Improving my old home took a long time and ultimately three different contractors. The first guy started to slack off and not come regularly. It became clear that something was going on with him. I had even lent him money only to find out he was supporting a drug habit. I did all the normal due diligence before hiring him, but it never occurred to me to ask if he had ever had an alcohol or drug problem. Stuff happens. I terminated him and found someone else and had all the necessary permits redone.
The second guy completed my projects and the the town inspector signed off on the work. Things were initially good and then I had a leak in one of my skylights. I called the contractor numerous times and he never returned my calls. Note to self, always be weary of those who seem too good to be true......they aren't always there for the long haul. I found a new person through a building supplier and was happy with his work and responsiveness. He did other things for me and while expensive I grew to like and respect him. He has since become ill and retired, but luckily someone who used to work for him is a neighbor and a very reliable guy.
Through all of this I had my dogs and they were wonderfully supportive because that is what dogs do. I volunteered with a local shelter for awhile, worked at a local museum for a couple of years, and more recently had a space in a local antique place where I worked a day a week.
The Berkshires is an amazing area. There are activities of every sort and each town is very different and yet special. I don't need to fight traffic to see great shows, music or dance. There is culture everywhere, education and sports of every sort. The shopping is great and the restaurants are varied and plentiful. To be continued...................