Pamela Harris

Our New House July 18, 2019

We bought a house.

It’s charming and adorable and a red fox and deer like to sleep at the edge of the yard. They come for the Mulberry trees and stay for the quiet.

We’re at the edge of a small town that sits on the Hudson River, directly across from the town of Hudson. An eight minute walk takes us to an amazing bakery and a quart of milk. With warm chocolate or almond croissants fresh from the oven, what else do I need?

Not much, but the house needs everything. It was built by hand in 1962 and has been in the same family since. They took great care of it—it’s rock solid—but everything needs updating. This week we had a new roof put on, trees got trimmed. Next week new gutters will hopefully be up, and then a new sewer line.

It’s a weekend place, a perfect size for not too much maintenance, and big enough to not be cramped. Our second weekend up the refrigerator died, then the kitchen lights blew. It’s as if the house is happy to know it’ll be lived in, and its leap of joy has shaken things loose.

The photos are of the kitchen cabinets. They’re a little wonky and need shoring up, but for now, they’re kind of perfect.

It’s interesting living in a time warp. The bathroom is wrapped in marbled Formica, the kitchen and sun porch floors have classic fake brick linoleum. The rest of the house has gorgeous oak floors, but it’s the yard I’m nuts for. Half an acre, untouched and wildly overgrown. I’ll spend this summer watching how the light moves through it, what might grow where.

We’ll fix it up slowly, over time. Chances are good the boiler’s going to go. Next up is a new heating system.

Ginger saw her first deer and bolted for the house. She’s still getting grounded. It’s fascinating to see her instincts kick in; she saw deer poop and dropped to roll in it. At night she slowly walks the house, on patrol, and is up at 3:45 when the birds start. She sits and listens, processing the sounds, the smell, the quiet.

That’s the amazing thing about this house. Inside, with the windows closed, it’s stone silent. I haven’t had this in over thirty years. Outside it’s birds and the occasional boat on the river, and the Amtrak train in Hudson pulling out. We hear mowers, and renovators, too. The town we’re in has incredible architecture from the 1800s, and many of the houses are loved and constantly maintained or fixed up.

Our neighbors are close, but not on top of us. At night Joe, myself and the dog walk to the river and sit and watch the action. There’s a large restaurant and hotel, and a ferry from Hudson carries people back and forth to eat, drink, listen to live music. It’s a very cool little town, quirky, arty, classic Hudson Valley. For now it’ll be weekends, but it already feels like home.


Hi Paul. As always, nice to hear from you!

Pamela | July 20, 2019 at 04:21 am

Wow !! So nice to hear from you !! Congrats on your new house !!
Sounds like you're having a deliciously good time. And you're right about the quiet in the night; it's like you were reborn when you hear the whispers in the dark. So refreshing..... like it used to be when we were kids. I'm so happy for you and Joe and Ginger. Are you in Athens, the town across from Hudson. Beautiful area. When I was a boy, my Dad was stationed at Westover AFB in Springfield, Mass which isn't too far from Hudson, maybe 80 miles or so. Well, enjoy your new world. It's almost like a resurrection.

Paul | July 18, 2019 at 05:36 pm

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