When your dream home is an old house

By Sandra Hutchinson

A version of this essay was published in The Chronicle newspaper, on September 29, 2016.

My dream home is an old house.

I grew up primarily in New York’s northern Westchester County, in several different mid-20th century houses. My father died when I was 14, and two years later, after my mother remarried, she decided to buy a rambling historic house and nearly 200 acres upstate, in rural Montgomery County, near my grandparents’ farm, where she had been born and raised.

So she and my new stepfather and my 16-year-old self moved from Chappaqua, New York to an isolated 18th century home with six working fireplaces, drafty single pane windows, only an oil-fueled generator for electrical power, a big Dutch door, and ghosts. To say that the move necessitated some adjustment on my part would be a gross understatement.


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