First Christmas in the Rose Cottage: Post 2 of 9 – Citations

Just joining us? Did you miss the start of Mary’s “First Christmas in the Rose Cottage” series? Click here to start at the beginning.

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

Annie came with me to the closing for my new home. The sellers brought along their brand new baby and it was all so magical and bright and shiny that for the first time in the whole process I wasn’t scared. But, I should have been. I should have been very afraid.

I should have wondered just a bit more why the seller had essentially moved out in the middle of the night; failing to say good-bye to any of the people who had been his neighbors for years. I dismissed it with the understanding that the young man who owned the house had recently married and was anxious to get his new wife to their new digs to await the birth of their first child. I thought he was moving, not running.

I had smartly negotiated the price. In addition to an inspection I had gotten advice on the roof. I had proof that it was not certifiable and would have to be replaced and the price of the house was adjusted accordingly. No contingencies. No problems. It all went very quickly and very smoothly. Annie and I grabbed the keys, shook hands all around and jumped in her car. Destination: Mary’s first home. Not her parents’ home, not her sister’s home, not the 30+ apartments spanning 20+ years and multiple states, not the crushing marital 2-flat. Her own home. The trouble started immediately.

It is hard to describe all the emotions I felt entering my little cottage that day. I thanked God profusely and immediately. Annie swept quickly into the tiny kitchen to arrange the assortment of new home gifts on the island there. While she arranged her surprises, I collapsed on the steps that lead from the small foyer to the vaulted living room. I wept and gave thanks. But this was a day to be joyous. A day like no other.  I dried my eyes and went to the kitchen where Annie’s was waiting with a hug and my housewarming gifts. But along the way I was practically bowled over by the smell.

This was a very different smell from the inspection day smell. This was the smell of gas. Strong and permeating and scary enough that we quickly decided to leave the premises and call the gas company from the front yard. They arrived very quickly and instructed us to remain outdoors while they inspected the property. Their gauges were sounding alarms as soon as they stepped onto the front porch. I don’t remember who said a decisive Damn. Was it them or was it me? They spent a fair amount of time and then asked Annie and I to come into the house. They seemed to feel genuinely bad realizing that I had taken possession of the house less than an hour earlier. They began their tour, escorting me around my new home.

cdog + seamus porch

Ceiliedgh and her brave feline companion, Seamus, spent years together guarding our front porch. They are both gone now, so memories must suffice.

We have shut off your stove. We have shut off your clothes dryer. We have shut off your boiler. We have shut off your water tank. We have shut off the gas line to your house. Your boiler is leaking so badly that your entire home is at risk until the boiler is repaired or replaced. Risk of what, I asked? Exploding, they said, as they lay a stack of written citations on the kitchen island, just beside my gifts and left. But not before the young man on the co-ed team said to me, “Ma’am, if you were my sister, here’s what I’d say to you about  your new house. Keep your dog tied to the front porch for the first few months. I saw a few unsavory types hanging around outside as we pulled up. The dog will give ’em the right message. You know what I mean.” And they were gone. I looked at my gentle, loyal and rapidly aging border collie and thought what the hell have we gotten ourselves into? And that is how I was introduced to the tip of the iceberg.

To continue to part 3, click here.

Mary Duggan is Co-Founder and President of the Duggan Sisters.

The Duggan Sisters cracked the code and created a natural deodorant that actually works: lifestinks. And that was just the beginning. We hope you will spend a few minutes exploring to experience their spirited approach to wellness through their natural products and healing stories.

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