It’s official

We’re now in debt for the next 15 years!  Not that I’m thrilled about that, you understand. I have loved living the last 3 years debt free; now, we have to pray that the money from the ANAH comes through so we can finish the entire renovation project and get actual paying tenants.

People keep telling us that there will be a demand for these apartments when they’re done, but it’s hard to hold onto that thought some days. JM and I have nightmares of having spent all this money and not finding ANYONE to live there other than Mom!

And, the ANAH still needs another document (a drawing of the downstairs bathroom) before approving our grant, so we’re now waiting until the end of June to have any inkling of whether we get the grant, and if so, how much money we’ll get. Meanwhile, the sounds of construction are disturbing the calm of downtown Possum Kingdom.  There is a giant dumpster sitting in front of the new house, a scaffolding is in place and a big tube is hanging into the dumpster as an entire floor’s worth of rubble is being shoved into the dumpster.

Also, our mason, Manu Montoro, has finally finished his other job in Ste. Colombe and is now working on demolishen stuff in Mom’s someday new home!  That is really the best part for all of us, especially as lately, Mom has been having more problems negotiating the stairs and I think really, truly needs to be on the ground floor as soon as possible.

Other than the money, our biggest problem at the moment is the weather! The roofers are doing whatever they can on the inside, but eventually they need to fix the roof, and that is complicated by the fact that we have been having rain, rain and a little more rain on a daily basis! Last night there was thunder that was so loud we couldn’t hear the sound on the television set, and the rain itself sounded like somebody was dumping buckets out on the roof and street.

In fact, strangers actually stop you in public places to talk about how they can’t stand it anymore. I was in LeClerc in Limoux this morning looking at the summer clothes, when a total stranger came up and started to talk about how cold she was and wondering when we would ever see sun again. I must admit that it does get to you, but considering what is going on in the Midwest of the U.S. and how hot it is on the East Coast, I really don’t feel I should complain. I think I’ll stick with what we’ve got and be grateful to have it!

Ciao for now.


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2 thoughts on “It’s official

  1. Congratulations to you both — real progress at last.

    I’m sure your investment in the apartments will pay off in the short and long term.

    And not just as a comfortable ground-floor spot for your mom.

    Should there be not enough takers for year-round occupancy, you could probably make as much or more renting the apartments by the week or month to vacationers.

    Regarding the weather in Chalabre, there may be more rain than usual now, but southwest France is generally not rainy, and there will soon be plenty of sunny days to do roofing and other outdoor construction work.

    A second-hand anecdote from my friend Mark — he was eating outside at a restaurant in Carcassonne one July about a decade ago, and when a brief shower occurred, the staff and a few patrons came out to marvel at the rare, almost unique, summer rain.

    And whatever your weather, I can assure you that the four days of mid-90s, high-humidity weather (plus an unusual tornado watch in upstate NY, in early June) the Northeast is now suffering through is much worse, as are, obviously, the 100-year-plus floods in the Midwest.

    Good luck on the project — judging from what you did with your house, you know what you’re doing and will create excellent apartments that will be successful.

  2. Thanks, as always, Dev.

    Unfortunately, once the ANAH gives us grant money, we are locked into long term, low income renters for 9 years. We have to sign a contract to that effect and will even be unable to sell our property during that period. Still, it’s a small price to pay if we get the entire amount of grant money that we’re expecting.

    As to the weather, I wouldn’t say that summer rain is unusual here. Since we moved, we’ve had quite a lot of it, and that’s really a good thing, because there are some areas that have suffered drought conditions in the past. Certainly, we get far more rain during the summer than we ever got in Los Angeles!

    I sympathize with your heat and humidity. I remember Philadelphia summers well, and it isn’t with fondness. That humidity is pretty unbearable at times.

    I’m sure that everyone here will be complaining about the heat in a few weeks, because if I’ve learned one thing about living in rural France, it’s that almost no one is ever happy with the weather no matter what it is!


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