September 17Dear Martha,Sorry I’ve taken so long t to respond to your last letter. I admit I’m a chronic procrastinator. I’ll try tobring you up to speed with us. I’m sure you got the news we moved from Darla, didn’t you?We dithered for a long time, but in the end we agreed the sensible thing to do was to move into acondo. Once we decided, luck was with us. We found the perfect place in the same town not too far fromwhere we lived for years. After the market crashed and most of our other ready cash went up in Iraqismoke, our big house took too big a bite out of the budget. Too big and too expensive for us to keep. Likeyou, we do a lot traveling, with our businesses, and we can’t work in the yard during the day even whenwe are home. Rafe, our old gardener went with the new owners after the sale which made not having tokeep up the grounds made a condo seem a reasonable compromise for us, more than reasonable.We needed to make the usual modifications before we moved in. The contractor resisted making thealterations I wanted, but with some special
I convinced him, “Yes, what I told you is
what I want you to do. “ And “Yes, I want the work done to the specifications I gave you and I don’t careif it doesn’t meet code.” A few extra bucks to fake the building permit, a special smile, the usual way youmust deal with the trades. I’m sure you’ve done the same.All in all, we were able to make the change pretty much turnkey. Put on your garage sale, pack upwhat you want, and put what’s left at the new place. Our residence is more compact than the old one, lessthan half at 3000 square feet. We were lucky to get such a lucrative deal for the villa. With the economyin the tank, not too many want so large a home because of the servant issue. We don’t even need full timehelp now, what a relief!