We had a family gathering today. Not for a holiday or birthday but to discuss business things. My husband is wise beyond even my knowing sometimes and he wanted to gather the children and spouses to go over some of our financial situations. Mostly real estate things- the house on Dog Island, the property in Apalachicola, Moon Plaza.
He has come to the conclusion that it is time for the children to have a say in our decisions as to what to do with various properties because they will be involved in these things after we are gone. And so we all got together except for Lily who had to work, and first we snacked on sourdough bread and smoked salmon and cheese and cucumbers and apples and pickles and then went out to sit around the table there because it was a perfect day for being outside.
Not to mention that right now, the house is not livable due to hurricane damage which has taken out the pump for the well (the water is not potable but one does use it to wash and clean with), the washing machine and dryer are not functioning, nor is the hot water heater. As to electricity and so forth- we are not sure.
So our friend and partner would like us to buy him out if we want to hold on to the house and that had to be discussed.
Do we want to keep it?
Will they use it?
What is to be done about repairing damages as well as fixing things up like taking out the ancient shag carpet, perhaps turning two bathrooms into one larger and more functional one, replacing flooring, etc.?
Dog Island is a unique and wonderful place. A tiny barrier island with nothing on it but the trees, the plants, the critters, marshes, pine woods, dunes, and the things an island comes with straight from nature. There are some houses and there is electricity and a primitive and basic system of dirt roads. There's a dock where people can tie up their boats, a small landing strip where people who want to fly tiny planes in can land, some waste and recycle containers that have to be barged to land for dumping, and a parking lot where people keep their junky cars to get from the dock to their houses.
That's it. No commerce at all.
But it is the uniqueness, its peace and its privacy, its primitive amenities, its difficult access which make it daunting to just pick up and go visit.
Personally, as a grandmother and a woman who loves the parts of Florida that are disappearing so quickly, I want to hold on to the place so that my grandkids can know what life can be like away from the world we generally live in and learn to love the trees and sky and water of bay and Gulf and the many forms of life which are, for the most part, undisturbed in their natural state. A place where there is nothing at all to do except to enjoy that nature, read, rest, cook and eat, fish, crab, and watch the weather as it comes and goes.
So. All of that was discussed. Everyone got to ask questions and give their opinion.
It was all serious, but it was also extremely interesting and, dare I say? We laughed a lot.
We moved on to the property in Apalachicola. That too was discussed as to financial options and outcomes, and opinions were again sought and given.
On to Moon Plaza which is a small bit of property we own that Mr. Moon first built a business on to sell cars and then built a tiny strip of commercial rental property as well as a bank building with a drive-through. The bank changed hands and has been empty now for awhile but we've gotten an offer to rent it and that needed to be discussed as it involves some rather long-term ramifications.
So again- Mr. Moon laid it all out concisely and with explanations that the rest of us who are not at all wise in the ways of business, could understand.
And this is what amazed me today- seeing my husband in his role as business man. I was gobsmacked at how focused and knowledgeable he was. He had made notes, he had all the answers to all the questions. He listened to each person with equal attention. He said things like, "I hear what you are saying," and he meant it and he surely didn't learn that at any sort of communications class. He just knows how to do it.
And he made it all sound like the things he's done to support and sustain and provide for all of us as being simple and even easy when honest to god- it just hasn't been. He's simply worked his way through all of it and learned and studied and figured things out from contracts to permits to construction to management and so much more.
I fell in love with my husband all over again and am boggling still at just how vast his knowledge and common sense and work ethic is. Not to mention his generosity and love for his family.
He opened his first business right after we'd gotten married with absolutely no experience whatsoever beyond having worked at his father's gas station as a boy and by working eighty-hour weeks and sheer perseverance made that a success. Then he determined that the only true way to make money in business was to own your own property.
And so he did the research and had the foresight to see which way Tallahassee was going to grow and we bought a piece of land in that area and there he built (with his dad's help) a tire and automotive repair shop which is what he'd been doing in the first rental location.
And it went from there.
He bought the property next door to that business and eventually sold the first piece of land and the business on it and went on to build what we've got now.
We are not hugely wealthy but we are comfortable and he has done that with his sweat, his brain, his common sense, his belief in himself. And he was right- that part of Tallahassee is exploding.
I always say that if it weren't for him, I'd be living in a van down by the river.
And that's the truth.
So it was a good and constructive day. Owen did a great job of keeping the little ones entertained and safe while the adults talked about things that would affect their futures.
So it was a good Sunday. It was fun to just hang out with everyone and there was no pressure and no angst as far as I could see or feel.
And there was this.
Little man found a shovel and some dirt.
My Sasangua is blooming!
Last but not least...
The Save-The-Date magnets are ready to send!
I cannot even believe that by this time next year Hank and Rachel will have been married for six months.
Whoo! And Whoa! And...bless, bless, bless.
A lot got accomplished today. And once again, I have been reminded how incredibly fortunate I was to meet Glen Moon and that we fell in love and that I had the wisdom and sense to marry him when he asked me. At that time he had a truck, a dog, a degree in something having to do with exercise education, a former career in basketball, and a house painting business but he promised me that he could and would always take care of me and my children and the children we might have together.
I had almost no reason at all to trust anything that any man said but something inside of me said, "This one. This one you can trust."
And I did.
And here we are.
And he's still so very handsome.
And I love him more than I could ever have imagined I would.
Well, that's the report on the goings-on in Lloyd for today.