This is the first post from Ellen Dudley as she sets out to home share.
My name is Ellen Dudley and I am nearly in the market for a home-mate. I am living alone after putting my husband in a nursing home because of his severe dementia. I miss him like crazy.
We had to sell our vacation house in Hawaii in order not to have “too much” and have to pay for my husband’s care instead of the state paying for it with Medicaid. We actually built that house with our own four hands. I used the proceeds I had left to pay my mortgage on our Vermont house. So here I am, rattling around like a BB in a boxcar in this big ark of a house, wishing I didn’t have to spend another bunch of money to make it a livable home share for two unrelated people. But that’s what I must do.
You can tell that the original house is 1800 or so, because the mill on the brook changed from a pit saw to a circular saw around 1800, and the exposed timber frame in the kitchen was sawn on the pit saw. In 1999 we added an office and garage, where I scratched a quote from Samuel Beckett in the concrete floor. It says “Try. Fail. Fail again. Fail better.” A motto for life if I ever heard one. Above the office/garage is my master bedroom and bath.
The old part of the house includes an unfinished bed-sitting room with a window overlooking the beaver pond. I have come to love that beaver pond. I am fiercely protective of it. My future home-mate must understand this.
One summer day, I found a car full of out-of-staters bathing in the pond (soap and all). I ran down there to tell them to get the h*** out of my pond, or the giant snapping turtles would bite off their manhood! (I put it much more graphically, but they got the message and got lost.) I love the wildlife in the pond and don’t appreciate people mucking it up – it is the habitat of the snapping turtles! I wouldn’t dream of going in that water because it belongs to them and the beavers. And, of course, the snapping turtles might snap at me. I had one bite my toe when I was a kid, fishing barefoot. I have never forgotten!
So, back to the bed-sit: I have been planning a finished room, overlooking the pond on one side and the yard on the other, so I can rent it out, stay in my house and have some company. I requested an estimate from my contractor to finish this space and he came back to me with a couple of questions that I answered. So now I wait to find out how much it will cost to put down a floor, trim the windows, build a closet, put up some drywall, paint, and so on and so on. I’ll be back here to tell you when there’s more to report.
If I had a home-mate I could do a lot more, like visiting the kids in Oregon for more than a few days at time, while my giant dog is at home in Vermont. He is a 155 lb “rottie,” and loves only women. So, my future home-mate has got to be a dog-loving female!
Here’s another post that may interest you: Staying Home by Sharing Housing.