Entry 40: Appendages

There is an awful lot of stuff attached to our new house.

No outside surface is without a protuberance or two. I know about the gutter drains and the vents; we even had those on our old condo townhouse, although the actual gutters and vents did not belong to us because they were on the outside of the house, so we were just kind of borrowing them from the homeowners association.

On our new house, we have all sorts of other stuff, the purpose of which I can only guess at.

For instance, at the front corner of the left side of the house is an odd contraption that is hiding behind a small trellis. It is a pipe that comes out of the house, passes through not one but two bulbous vessels of some sort and then emerges into the air. The two bulbous vessels are plugged into an outlet and each other. I have absolutely no idea what this is for; for all I know, it could be an explosive device left behind by the previous owners. I suspect I will find out its purpose one day, when it stops doing whatever it is that it does, and it needs to be repaired, or replaced, or we have to move.

Continuing around to the back of the house to the stone patio, we come to the central air machine which is roughly the size of a small hot tub and approximately where we might put a small hot tub were we hot tub people, which we are not, which is just as well, because we have this air conditioning machine where the hot tub would go.

Then there are two things sticking out of the side wall of the garage. One of them is a little nozzle kind of thing that I’m pretty sure is for oil delivery, because the tank is on the other side. But there’s also another pipe, sort of twisty, that comes out of and then goes immediately back into the wall. I can’t imagine what this is for, unless there’s a Habitrail® on the other side and there are hamsters running through it.

By far the most attention-grabbing item sticking out of our house is this pole on the front right corner. It kind of looks like a submarine periscope, except that it has no fewer than five separate cables attached to it. These cables run from our pole to a series of other poles leading off our property, and if they hung any lower, they could cut a tall man’s head off. At the very least, we’ll know where to hang our clothes if the dryer ever goes on the fritz. I figure two of the cables have something to do with electricity and cable television. And maybe a third is a vestige from when the house had an actual phone line (we get our phone service through cable now). But what would the other two cables be for? Telegraph service? A hot line to The White House?

Below the periscope is what may be a junction box.* And below that there are two meters. One is obviously electricity. But what’s the other one for?

I mention all this because our house is about to get even more appendages. As part of the kitchen renovation, we are getting two propane tanks and a generator. We need the propane tanks because, without them, Barbara’s new gas stove would be kind of silly. We also need them to run the generator, which we need in case our periscope ever submerges and takes our electricity with it. You need a generator up here, I’m told, because if you lose power, you can’t get water from your well. Also, without power, that contraption with the two bulbous vessels might stop working, and then who knows what might happen?

Seriously. Does anyone know what might happen?

See you soon.

*Note the use of a technical electricity-related term. Pretty good, huh? Of course, it’s probably not a junction box at all.

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