Monday, October 27, 2008

A restful interlude

I'm looking forward to this week because it promises to be "normal." We're having old friends from out of town for the weekend, and the only thing I'll be thinking about is getting ready for thier visit--removing 12th Street dust from all the surfaces, planning meals and fun stuff to do. No thoughts of any houses, new or old, nor of mortgages and their rates, nor constructions or demolitions. It'll be a pleasant, relatively care-free interlude. The house and yard have been winterized, meaning all the dead annuals have been dug out of the gardens outside and the house plants have taken their accustomed spots inside. A couple of them are outgrowing their pots, and Sandy is a great plant audience, willing to take cuttings that I'd otherwise have to throw away. All to the good.

A new Pompeii exhibit that's supposed to be breathtaking has just opened in the National Gallery of Art downtown. Something in the neighborhood of 100 objects that have never been out of Italy, let alone collected in one place, is making its world-wide rounds, and DC is lucky enough to be on the itinerary. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunty, one of the rare happenings for which I'll bestir myself to brave the crane-necked throngs that usually accompany these one-off cultural events. It's the type of thing Chuck and Sandy, our friends, love to do, so it will be the centerpiece of their time here. Since they're arriving Thursday, we can shoot for going to town on Friday and, just maybe, avoid the worst crowds.

The Delaware weekend was relatively uneventful but instructive nonetheless. We finished choosing lights and fans so the builder can fill in those blanks for his final proposal. More interesting, we got enough figures to do the math and figure out what the payments on the construction loan will be for just the initial steps of clearing the land and putting in the septic system. It's now clear that after these two steps are taken, we will be unable to do more construction until this house is sold--we can't pay this mortgage and that complete loan at the same time. So now we know that additional storage is a certainty, as well as our having to rent a place to live for the interim between the sale of this house and the completion of the new one. The first half of 2009 promises to be expensive and chaotic. And we still don't know for sure exactly what we'll get for this place nor how long it will take to sell.

Aren't you glad you hitched onto this ride? You're lucky--at least you can hit "delete"!


Mim said...

Hit delete, never!
This is too interesting and you are braver than us.
The unknown and the financial environment right now just throws is so many curves for you.
Putting your things in storage, and renting is something I bet wasn't in the plan, so hope you are dealing with this latest news ok.
The wknd guests and exhibit sound just perfect to help take your mind off some of the building details for a minute.
Just planning the menus and cooking will be fun in itself!
What style of lights and fans did you go for?

Ralph said...

I guess eventually you reach the point where all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and carry on, Mim. We're learning (and it's not easy) to play the hands we're dealt.

We're didn't go really fancy on the lights and fans--DR chandelier and bath lights will be understated and classic with a lot of straight lines. Fans in rooms not used much will be a discontinued model we're getting at half price; those in the great room and master BRs will be good, but again, classic in their look. Outdoor lighting is constrained by the salt air. We found some nice nautical-themed lights for the deck, which will face the water, and some good-looking semi-flush mounted front porch lights.

Anonymous said...

I "caught" The Wire in the 5th season. I was hooked. I then went to Blockbuster and rented the first four seasons. I watched the entire first season in one "sitting". Not recommended because it is a tad intense. The Wire is the
best thing I've ever seen on TV bar none - and that's from someone who swooned over "Brideshead Revisited."

Ralph said...

Anon, we've been known to watch an entire DVD in one sitting--a portion of a season--but we've never tried a whole season. You're right, that would be a bit heavy. But thqt speaks to how much you feel for those characters. I'm with you on how good it is, but I was also just as much in love with Six Feet Under.

Brideshead--now those were the days!

Anonymous said...

You remind me somewhat of another post . . . if you like the Galleries in D.C. you will miss them for sure. I do. Just reading here about the Pompeii exhibit makes me long to jump in the car and hit the airport. The D.C. lifestyle is in your blood Raff.

Ralph said...

Well, Z&M, I guess it's in my blood to the extent that I take it for granted I can hop in the car (or on the subway) and just go do what I want for free, but to tell the truth, you could count on one hand the number of times we've used DC in that way in the past 10 years. The crowds are too big, the venues are too expensive...I'm actually looking forward to a smaller town where things are cheaper and more accessible. Lewes and Rehoboth get their share of attractions, although I must admit this Pompeii exhibit is something really special.