Lucky indeed? Lucky, for Sure.
Last weekend, Cliff and I finally made it to our cabin to check on the damage from the heavy winter snowfall first hand. It has been a series of unexpected hurdles at Fallen Leaf Lake this winter, beginning with a broken water main, followed by a leak in the community propane tank, which essentially meant that ALL of the cabins in our little HOA had NO water and NO heat for most of the winter months, rendering them uninhabitable to anyone except the bears. (I'm a tough cookie but not freezing-cold-shower tough.)
"We're a Definite Maybe!"
"We're a definite maybe," the young Agent replied to my inquiry about whether or not her client would be writing on our latest listing.
Uhhh, is that akin to "We're a sure possibility?"
Or . . .
"We're an emphatic perhaps?
Or just a politer version of "Who the hell knows?"
For the record, I'll take the conflicted "maybe" over stone-cold silence any day, (Even uncertain communication beats none at all.)
I know it's not exactly sexy, riveting, or on-the-edge-of-your-seat news, but earlier this week, Jill, Kate, and I attacked the storage room at my house and organized the extra lightbulbs, switch plates, wallpaper, doormats, and light fixtures into neat categories, and then returned everything to their proper places on the shelves. Even with fairly substantial storage space, there's a fair amount of overflow that gradually happens as the Spring Market progresses. In other words, we tend to collect too much sh%^!
ONGOING, ONGOING, ONGOING . . .
Having grown up in the hot delta valley, and having spent summers baking in the sun (in an era when the application of baby oil was the preferred method of tanning), my aging skin has paid the price. Consequently, every few years, I'm forced to address the damage with professionals in a series of procedures that are not only extremely uncomfortable but expensive to boot. ("Yes, that hurts!")
Inevitably, the older I get, the more involved the maintenance seems to become. (Are you picking up the thread?)
Eyes Wide Open!
It's been a productive week; Sarah and I put 6316 Bullard on the Piedmont-side-of- Montclair into contract on Tuesday, and on the same day, I successfully helped Buyers secure 1014 Rose Avenue in Piedmont in a competitive race that had us scrambling up until the last minute.
While both had strong results, these two houses are a stark contrast in conditions: one is very large, while the other is fairly small. One has a fully-realized apartment below, while the other has an illegal unit out back. One is tucked away in a wooded neighborhood while the other is within walking distance to Piedmont Avenue with a decidedly more urban lifestyle. One is nearly pristine while the other is a "fixer" in sheep's clothing. . . .
In what may be my favorite quote of the week (or maybe ever), I ran into a smart young man at last Sunday's Open who has occasionally called on me for Real Estate advice. When I began to describe why Sarah and I had unfortunately dropped a certain property from our listing roster, he waved a hand, politely stopped me, and graciously replied: "No need to explain; some juice just isn't worth the squeeze." (Wisdom comes from the most unexpected places.)
While Sarah, Jill, Kate, and I strive to meet the needs (and the demands) of all our Sellers and Buyers, the truth is, we can't always accommodate other people's questionable behavior, crazy antics, or conflicts of interest - nor do we want to . . .
Many Hands Make Light Work
Last Saturday, I had the honor of joining several of my COMPASS colleagues at the AIDS Memorial Grove for their volunteer work day, which takes place on the third Saturday of each month, March through October. While our small band of brothers numbered about a dozen or so, in all, 157 people took time from their busy schedules to participate, my 90-year-old mother included! (She rarely misses a date.)
Let's Get "Real"
I love, love LOVE watching "Top Chef," the reality series based on some of America's best young chefs competing in quick-fire and elimination challenges under nerve-wracking time restraints and incredibly difficult circumstances.
Now in its 20th season, I've watched literally countless episodes of not only "Top Chef," but "Iron Chef," "The Great British Baking Show," "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives," and recently "Top Chef Masters." For whatever reason, if people are cooking, I'm eager to watch.
Has my appreciation for other people's culinary expertise in the kitchen made me a better home cook?
Get the Picture?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is this one trying to say exactly?
I'VE NEVER HAD A DAY OF FUN IN MY LIFE!?!
Whatever it is, this photo ISN'T saying: "Come live out your dreams here . . . "
Keep it Simple, Stupid
Aside from the unsettling phrase, "We're not going to sell unless we get our price," the next not-so-wonderful statement on a Realtor's hit list is: "Everything in our house runs on an app!" (Ugh.)
Not that I don't appreciate technology; it's clearly here to stay, and Cliff and I have absolutely benefitted from solar panels, Tesla walls, Apple TVs, Ring doorbells, faster Internet, and our own share of "smart" upgrades, not to mention the proverbial iPhones and laptops that make it possible to travel the world while simultaneously keeping an eye on what's happening back at home. (That's both good and bad.) Next up: A.I.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.