Epping Journal

In 2000 my mother sold a property that had been in the family for years in Patchogue NY.  She decided to purchase a place in the Boston area that I could live in while I was attending graduate school.  We looked all around the Boston metro area but really couldn't find a place we could afford that was close to Boston - go figure.  With the help of a buyer broker in Southern New Hampshire I found a place in Epping that I liked and that fit the specific characteristics we needed for the "like kind exchange" we needed to do.  It had to have a rental unit for one and it had to be large enough for all the accumulated STUFF that was moved from Patchogue.  I did throw out A LOT of stuff from Patchogue before the move but there was a lot left over.  Plus I had a fair amount of STUFF of my own...  
We settled on the home at 24 Pleasant St in Epping NH.  It was BIG, had a rental unit and had some interesting architecural details, including three fireplaces.  It was close enough that I could commute to Harvard (about an hour and 15 min).  Not really that close I guess (it was a 10 min bike ride to Harvard from Somerville) and I did put a lot of miles on my car over the next few years.  It was in town, in the Epping "historic district" in fact, but had an acre lot.  It turned out that the folks next door, Alice & Phil, were like-minded and became great neighbors.  Debbie & I were even able to get married across the street! The house was built around 1910 and was in pretty good shape.  We had to fix one part of the roof that was leaking but that was about it.  The fellow that did the house inspection knew the house well because his father used to own it.  I got some "inside information" about the place.

        The yard is big with lots of maples and I found out a lot about leaf removal that Fall and about snow plowing that Winter.  

                    Rebecca & Chris visited for Christmas that first year and we were treated to a partial solar eclipse.  The first party at 24 Pleasant St was my 40th birthday party.  This morphed into the Groundhog party tradition that has lasted till this year and we will continue in Delmar.  

                                      The deck on the back of the house was nothing special but it was a good place to hang out and catch some sun in the nice weather.  It was a good place for family photos too...

                                                      One addition that I made was the hot tub.  I started work soon after I moved in.  It was built in place and was a wooden tub with a vinyl liner.  It started out with a small electric heater but later I installed a larger gas unit.  It became part of the groundhog day experience.  

                                                                        The yard had so many beautiful flowers, plants and other things to photograph - here is a sampling:

                                                                                                                                                There was a hedgehog that lived in the back yard (and sometimes under the barn).  We also had a flying squirrel and bats (not pictured).  There were animal visitors as well:  

                                                                                                                                                                              Then there were the cats - some long term residents like Figgy, some bringing roommates and others just up for a short stay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Kathy lived upstairs the whole time we had the house but there were lots of roommates.  Starting with Heidi & Lane then Ben, Lindy and finally Eric.  Andy stayed at 24 Pleasant St a short while as well.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some house projects other than the hot tub included deck staining and the swing, casting a new cover for the dry well, a workbench for the barn, putting new carpet in the attic, tree removal, replacing the roof on the back room and turning the unused chimney into a telescope mount.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Some general snapshots including groundhog and other parties:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Finally, a little tree in the back yard that I find I have a lot of pictures of but sadly had to be removed not too long ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All in all, 24 Pleasant St was a very nice place to live and will be missed...