Fridays Weekend Column
Sold My House
by James Glaser
Well I haven't seen any money yet, the people have put some money down, we do have a closing date, but I always think that it is never a sure thing until the papers are signed and the check clears the bank.
The following is a letter that I wrote to the people who are buying my house in Northern Minnesota. I told them some of the things about living up north on the lake, but there is so much more. I forgot to tell them about the loons, and how they will make their calls late into the night, and after a while you can hear the baby loons trying their best to copy their parents. Then there are the ducks, and the owls, and the deer, and the squirrels, and all the different birds, those who live there part of the year, and those who just pass through on their way to or from Canada.
I wasn't able to tall them about all the nice people they are going to get to know, nor was I able to explain what the Northern Lights are like on a crisp cold clear night. Moon shadows in the winter, I should have told them about those too, and how you can watch the deer silently glide through the yard on a winter's full moon night.
It won't take them long to find out what it is like and they will fall in love with living on Island Lake. It is wonderful, but it isn't wonderful if you all of a sudden become alone. Without Charmaine to experience everything with, life up there wasn't the same, so I am happy that a couple will be buying my place. I know they will become closer to each other, and that is nice. Here is that letter
Dear Jeff and Lisa,
I am happy for you, that you are buying my home. It is a wonderful place to live, and when Charmaine and I first saw it, we knew that was the place for us. After a while you will learn that the lake has become the best neighbor you have ever had. It is always interesting.
In the spring you will hear the stream on the west side of the house rush down to the lake. That lasts for several weeks as the snow of winter melts. That time of year there is still a thick layer of ice on the lake, and the melting of the ice is filled with sounds, groans and loud cracks sometimes startle you. Then when the ice is gone you can start hearing fish jump. If you are sitting on the upper deck looking out at the lake, every once in a while a big fish will break the water as in lunges up for I would guess a small perch.
I hope you would wait a while before you cut any trees on the lake side. You will see that you have a great view even with them. I have seen so many people move up here and the first thing they do is cut a viewing area down to the lake. Then they wonder why they did that. Those trees protect you from a lot of wind and hold up the hill side, and also give you a sense of privacy. The shade is also nice in the summer. You will find that you have almost no bugs on the lake decks in the summer, as there is always a nice breeze off the lake in the evening.
I would like to sit down with you and tell you all about the construction of the place. Most of it is screwed together. That unfinished little house on the side of the hill is well built and all the posts are in concrete. Under the tarp next to the workshop is the siding needed to finish the little building across the road, also there is the rest of the wood to trim out the exterior of the house. The blue on the house trim is Chelsea Blue, and I bought that at the True Value store in town.
You will have to break in to the workshop. I put a new lock on it the day I left, but then when I tried the key it didn't work, and I was already packed, and the truck was running, so I blew off fixing it. I had an electrician do the workshop. There are enough lights and outlets (110 & 220) and a new service box. The LP gas heater is old, but works just fine, the place is insulated and there is storage room upstairs.
The greenhouse is a lot of fun. One summer I got over 1500 tomatoes out of it. The raspberry patch in front of it produces well, but I bet it needs thinning now.
You will have to watch the flower beds in front. There are a lot of perennials. When I come up there I'll show you where the water, sewer, and underground electrical and phone lines are located.
When I was reading over the purchase agreement I said to myself no way on giving up my lawn ornaments, and I still remember making three church bird houses with two friends of mine. I would like you to let me take down the one I kept, and do maintenance on it for an afternoon. As I thought about what was in the yard I figured I got all those things (and the rocks) and placed them as they are, so that the yard would look the way it does, so I should leave them there. Right in front of the house the rock garden is filled with Lilly of the Valley, and for about two weeks in early June or maybe it is late May, you open the windows to the north and there is strong hint of the fragrance of their flowers all throughout the house.
We are going to have to work something out about getting my things out of the house and workshop. I will try and hire a friend to do that, but I will need some time, if I can't work that out, I'll have to come up there and do it myself. Tell me what your time frame is.
If you two are in love, the north side of Island Lake is a great place to be. Charmaine and I had wonderful years together there, if fact the place brought us closer together. You will find many interesting people all around the lake and many will become your close friends.
I don't know If I will always stay in Florida, but for now I have a wonderful art studio in an "Art Park" with 81 other artists. I'll be having a show of my work in the oldest and largest art foundation gallery in Northern Florida. So I have more than a years worth of work to do in this next year, but I am going to come up to Island Lake, rent a cabin, and stay a few weeks in the summer. Island Lake is special and you will find that out.
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