But, exhausted, we rolled in today after a marathon drive back from JFK (itself following 8 hours in the plane from Geneva after a three-hour drive from Zurich, where the train delivered us in only 12 overheated, poorly air-conditioned hours between 7 in the evening Monday and 7 in the morning Tuesday). Rewind the chronology on that, and you'll see it was planes, trains, and automobiles for three days, one of which was a 30-hour day.
Anyway, we got in, stripped two months' worth of spiderwebs off the front door (seriously), managed to remember the alarm code (whew), and walked into the carriage house. Except for mold in the fridge, there was no damage from two months' disuse, and the air smelled clean. This is literally a first for us; we've had horrible things happen during these summer absences; once the entire house sprouted mold - different colors of mold, including in the carpet of the car in the garage. We sold that house at a ridiculous profit in 2004, and laughed all the way to the bank. I miss the tree house there, though.
All summer long we've been thinking seriously of selling the place and getting something in a little less grungy part of town. It would kill me, but the family would like it. But you know? A house that doesn't get moldy when you leave it alone for a couple of months is kind of a keeper.
The big house smells a lot better now, too, now that the gutters are fully functional. The basement is still damp; the dehumidifier will only run for a few weeks before its bucket fills, no matter how tightly I tighten the hose. Not to mention a lot of the basement floor still has its plastic vapor barrier on it, which I really should remove soon.
Anyway - we're back. I was surprised how glad I was to see this place.