Well…………..after all these weeks we’re still on the road, still dependent on the kindness and generosity of strangers and in some cases the not so strange. But there is progress. We have not yet eliminated world hunger as we’d hoped but have traveled far and wide, and near and long, thus eliminating many of those nasty fossil fuels we read so much about. We also reduced vast amounts of available wine and spirits much to the benefit of those other people for whom it has become a “problem.” In our spare time – actually all our time is spare – we resuscitated our real estate agent in Fernandina Beach after we finally put in an offer on a house. After all these years of showing us properties, he never saw that one coming! As a matter of fact it was a house he didn’t even show us. We’d previously thoroughly researched this neighborhood and liked the location; so after a leisurely conversation one afternoon with an elderly, mobility challenged gentleman who resided there, Susan sent him a letter after carefully placing a banana peel in his driveway, and asked him to let us know if he would ever consider selling his home. Well as the fates would have it, and I am not a particularly superstitious man —- -if you disregard that Friday the 13th thing, walking under a ladder and oh yes, the black cat crossing your path problem ——we got a response to her letter on the very day that we sold our house in Ithaca. Just a coincidence? I don’t think so! There are forces at work in the universe beyond our control and I am afraid they are evil. After seeing the house and realizing it would benefit from an entire remodel we decided to buy it at a “more than the market can bear” price. Smart! Yes?
To return to the plight of our real estate agent, after a brief but effective resuscitation we offered to cover his fee since the owners wanted to do “for sale by owner.” Our agent, who we will call “Gary,” has earned and continues to earn his fee. I think, for Gary, over the years we had become that client from middle earth (pronounced /hel/). During Susan’s days in real estate she would come home from similar client experiences and proclaim with theatrical flair “They’re never going to buy a house, pour me some wine!” Well in our case, we never saw anything we liked. As a matter of fact, we apparently don’t like this one since we want to change everything!……… I don’t like where this is going $$$$$$…. Any way, Gary spent so much time with us that he became a contender as Godfather for our grandson. Turned out he was runner up, second only to a relative, and truth be told I would have chosen Voltaire but that’s another story for another time.
This house is a project possibly greater than all others we have undertaken. Perhaps not more foolish – -remember the vineyard! None the less, we are excited. The level of excitement one feels when realizing the next year will be spent with contractors, plumbers, painters , etc., or having all your teeth removed. We bought a house with a magnificent sunset view over the marsh that edges the intercostal water way. Yes, we bought a view. Now if either of us goes blind I will be really pissed! Also if the sea level actually rises.
As a good friend of mine recently reminded me, “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!” Thank you Paul. Except my Mother – she’s here for a good long time!
Have a Good Time – Grumpa