It's a Christmas miracle! Two letters (email), each reflecting the nature of my commentary here: part serious, part sort of silly:
The most useful and exciting certification that I have obtained since my construction degree is the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation from the National Association of Home Builders. The American Institute of Architects, AARP, kitchen-bath remodelers, occupational therapists — all these groups built the course. It is about exactly what you said: “Yes, kitchen counters should be height-adjustable.” (“Ideas for columns stream in,” Nov. 23).
The CAPS course is about making homes work pleasurably and safely for everyone. For example, wider hallways and doors, better lighting, attractive, secure grab bars and rails, removal of dangerous clutter, level entries, great insulation for low utility bills, and becoming aware of and including community resources in a plan for remaining in one's own home. It is about how to accomplish these things and how to market them.
I was so excited by the course that I went on to become certified as an instructor. ... Thanks.
Jack L. Werner
A to Z Inspections
3625 N. McKinley Ave.
For more information, call Jack at 412-7861 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sort of silly
I look forward to your column. I especially enjoyed today's reference to dog houses. (That's houses for sale that are “dogs,” not dog houses: “Oklahoma homes sell for the holidays,” Dec. 7).
When we came to look at homes in Edmond, I was stunned a few times, too. My favorite was the house with the den of deer heads, not one or two, but a dozen. It is hard to focus on a floor plan with that many glass eyes on you.
It also had the required sand bucket full of discarded cigarettes and an overflowing trash can. Add John Belushi and Tim Matheson, a toga party, and a live calf, and it would have been “Animal House.”
I also appreciated your comments on the sale of a home during the holidays. When we put our last home on the market Dec. 1, our agents warned us of no activity and dismal response.
It was located in a top suburb of Wichita, Kan., and December there can be brutal. We decorated, left hot spiced tea and banana bread for refreshments, and had our first brokers' open house on Thursday. It was sold on Saturday.
My parents were brokers and had me get my broker's license even though I am a medical professional. Their logic was that a home is the largest investment you will make and you need knowledge to do it correctly. It has served me well.
I do a appreciate your efforts in reminding us it is a home, but also an investment and needs to be cared for accordingly. Merry Christmas to you.
Thanks for reading, Jack and Lugene, and thanks for writing.
Not a letter, but deserving of mention:
As part of its You Pick Two Sweepstakes, Memphis, Tenn.-based American Home Shield, provider of home warranties, committed to donate $1 for each Facebook “like” — up to $5,000 — to Central Oklahoma Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Sweepstakes winners receive home appliances.
Goal reached: American Home Shield presented CEO Ann Felton Gilliland a check for $5,000. The donation will directly support construction efforts for homes devastated by the May tornadoes.
“So many people in central Oklahoma suffered a tremendous amount of loss, but they've shown incredible resilience and focus,” said Mark Barry, president of American Home Shield. “Adding a donation to this sweepstakes was a simple way to help others demonstrate their support for a community that is still feeling the effects of that terrible storm.”
The You Pick Two Sweepstakes entry deadline is New Year's Eve. For more information, go to www.youpicktwogiveaway.com.