The other day, James returned from a business trip, announcing with assurance that he’d found an awesome deal on 40 acres for hunting/farming that just happens to come with a vacation cottage and a boat.
“It’s just two miles from Bugg’s Island Lake in Charlotte County.”
1) Life has taught me that the phrase “awesome deal” is usually accompanied by neighbors pressuring you to join their Amway down-line and potentially make a million dollars selling soap to every human you’ve ever met (or die trying)…or your cousin wanting to sell you his just-out-of-warranty pickup truck that mysteriously has no title.
If “awesome deal” were an animal, it would be something brightly colored like a poison dart frog.
2) Do we get a mule too? And where’s Charlotte County? And who names a lake Bugg’s Island? Sounds like the place where Evinrude and the other critters lived in Disney’s The Rescuers.
3) Since when have we been in the market for land to hunt or farm or play Doomsday Preppers? I didn’t know we were real estate shopping.
So James and I drove an hour-and-a-half south to the town of Red Oak where we met a very down-to-earth realtor named Chad who used the expression “as the crow flies” more often than I was personally comfortable with.
At least twice when he was explaining how close the acreage was to “this landmark” or “that historic settlement,” I had to remind him that we’re not crows, but flightless humans, dependent on vehicles and roads and navigational devices.
It didn’t take long to see why the property was so cheap. But with a little TLC, some C4 explosives and perhaps a well-trained exorcist, I could picture the cottage one day gracing the cover of Country Living. Or at least becoming a respectable meth lab.
“We could come down here on the weekends to unwind, work the land, and fix up the house. Every family needs a project to work on together. Don’t you think, Honey?” James emphasized that last part the same way one claims to look forward to a stint in prison.
“Well, I was starting to get bored. I mean, once you’ve located all your kitchen utensils and power tools after a big move, then it’s clearly time to invest in a money pit or have another kid…or both.”
As we walked the property, listening to Tour Guide Chad make comments like “I knew I should’ve brought a machete,” an adventurous smile played across James’ face. I’d seen that look several times throughout our marriage, always followed by the phrase “let me get my checkbook.”
My expression remained frozen
in horror.So I took pictures. Ya know, those “before” photos everyone needs to remind them where their psychological decline project began.
I wonder if TLC would be interested in televising our story. If not them, maybe Investigation Discovery.