67) Dead Man’s House

In my last post you read about our son’s diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis. In this post I’ll share with you our experience buying a house in Londonderry, New Hampshire, whose last owner died inside the house.

Feeling Disconnected

Between seeing myself as overworked, burdened with too many projects that bore my name and an electric, restless energy, I began to make inquires about taking a mask design contract somewhere else in the country – actually, anywhere but New England.

New Englander’s were nice enough – unless you include Boston – I just began to realize many of them reject outsiders. Although Nadine and the children did not seem to share my hurt feelings, or apparently my feeling of exclusion.

Smells Like Change – Again

I never saw myself as someone who would be a technologist for the rest of my life. Although the design team at Analog Devices was great, after we had completed the ADXL50, the team dissolved. In the larger population at ADI and in New England, I was an outsider. At least this is what I felt. My midwest upbringing and west coast education did not serve me well.  In short, I felt disconnected, without friends and under tremendous pressure at work with no end in sight. In January of 1996, I knew I would have some very harsh news for Nadine and the kids. We would need to sell the house in New Hampshire and move again. But not right away.

Our House in Londonderry,  NH.

HouseLondonderryOur house in Londonderry, New Hampshire stood 2-stories tall, was white with green shutters, sat on nearly an acre and had a circular driveway that was bisected by a dry-stacked, granite stone wall running the length of the house. Later, when I began contracting to make more money, we built a custom deck wrapped around an above ground swimming pool.

Note to Neighbor: Please Call Before Visiting

The prior owner of the house, a man in his 70’s had died in the house, which was a little creepy because we were always trying to figure out in which room, his death had occurred.

His grown son was an attorney and lived on the next plot of land to the north, with his wife and two children. The man was nice enough but had a pattern of dropping in at our house. This made me uncomfortable. Yet in conversations with my wife, he attempted to make it sound like I was out of line for not warmly accepting his visits. His visits did not seem to illicit the same uneasiness in Nadine.

“Is he always this way?” I once heard the man ask my wife at the door of our house. A private man like me doesn’t want to encourage that kind of conversation in his own house.

Do you sometimes get the weird idea that folks are more interested in talking to your spouse than in talking to you?

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