Saturday, March 16, 2024

What's It All Mean, Mr. Natural? Part Bazillion


An attempt at wrens' nest building in our bedroom. I discovered that the screen was not entirely closed. Poor birds. All that work. 

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I felt flat-out crazy this morning. Crazy as a betsy-bug as my mother-in-law used to say. I could not stop crying. And then Mr. Moon sent me a link to a house he sort of wanted to look at and I opened it up and got furious because it's on a lake that I've told him a million times I'm not really interested in living on but which he's told me a million times that he really is interested in having a house on. 
The deal is, after we sell the Dog Island property, we have to reinvest the money in more real estate within 45 days or we'll be taxed like a billion percent. 
Okay, I am using some hyperbole here today. I told you I was crazy. 
So he's going through some emotional trauma about letting the island property go (as am I) and he's also in a bit of a panic to figure out where to put this money. And I understand this, every iota of it, and I understand that he has always wanted a place on a lake with a dock so that he can fish to his heart's content and the grandkids can fish too. 
Understanding does not mean complete acceptance though. 
We had a bit of a spat. Rare for us. And I couldn't stop with the crying and I felt like I had a demon in me and y'all- that's just not a good way to feel.
To make a long story short we made up sweetly and I told him I'd go look at it with him and we drove about forty-five minutes to where the house was and unbeknownst to me, not only was there no way for us to get in, but also every blind in every window was snapped as shut as a turtle's mouth on a junebug. 
He'd called the realtor who'd given him instructions on opening the gate but that was it. 
The lot was nice. Some citrus trees, cedar trees, magnolias, crepe myrtle. But the dock wasn't as fine as I think my husband had hoped and it was also shared with a close neighbor. Physically close, of course. We don't know them.
I mostly sat in a swing overlooking a small part of the lake and contemplated the meaning of life. 


The pictures of the house I'd seen online did not do much for me. But...I'd been willing to give it a look. Since that was impossible, we left fairly soon to go find lunch. There was exactly one restaurant in the area and it was called "Country Boys." The interior looked about what I had expected it would. 


Fluorescent lights, a picture of boats (in this case, oyster boats looking towards the bridge to Apalachicola) and a paddle on the wall. When we got there, there were only the people you see in that picture. It was about 1:45. The menu was typical for the area- fish and shrimp and oysters and hamburgers and and chicken sandwiches. Etc. 
Our server was a woman who was probably younger than me but not by much. The way she walked told me she has spent a lot of time on her feet in her life and she is probably in pain most of the time. Her grandson works in the kitchen and there were two other women who had no doubt gone to the same hair stylist as she had. 
As she walked away from our table, I realized she was wearing a shirt that said, on the back, "Respect everyone's differences. Work together, not apart." And there was a graphic of hands of different colors grasped together in a circle.
Not what I expected. 
By the time we got our food we knew a lot about her including the fact that her husband died two years ago and since then she probably hasn't cooked two meals. Also, her son is a fireman. 

The food was fine and by the time we left, there were at least fifteen new customers there, most of them Black while the entire staff of the restaurant was white. There was nothing but grace and joking, ease and good food. It may sound ridiculous to even notice something like this, much less to comment on it, but I am here to tell you that I remember the days when restaurants, almost without fail, had signs that said, "We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone."
"But what does that mean?" I'd ask my mother or my grandfather. No one ever really told me the truth of it and I wondered for years what grievous sin one had to commit to be denied entrance into a Tastee Freez. 
God, things are slow in changing but at least, they do change. 

We drove home and I went out and kicked some bamboo. It's coming up for sure. In sweeter news, the wisteria is suddenly blooming. 




There is a glory about wisteria, even though it, too, is considered invasive. The way its vines can climb up into the sky is magical to me and it's grape-like clusters of blossoms draw the bees. 

I had to check on the tung tree to see if it had started blooming yet and just a few lone flowers have opened. 


That picture is deceptive in size. The tung blossom is only a bit bigger than the small individual clusters of the bridal wreath spirea. I love these flowers with their delicate red-orange veins against the palest of peach petals. When they are in full bloom along the interstate here, they look like clouds drifted down from somewhere in the Far East and indeed, they do come from China, brought here to produce tung oil. 

I picked a bouquet of azaleas and spirea to bring into the house.


The spring-breakers have all come home safely. Here are two more pictures of their trips.


I imagine you can figure out where this was taken.


Look at all of the pristine beach that they had to themselves. Okay, sure. They had to paddle for two hours to get there and two hours to get back but I am sure they would say that it had been more than worth it. 

I am looking forward to hearing all of the stories. 

Love...Ms. Moon
















 

42 comments:

  1. All the good vibes of the restaurant don't make up for the bad vibes of the house. And especially not for its falling down, shared dock.

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  2. That house doesn't sound like a go. I know about the tax levy on property sales, and I thought people took that into account while they were selling, so there was something's ready and secured on. If course that sounds simple and like a lot of things not so easy to do.

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    1. I'm sure that people who buy and sell property regularly are more apt to have another piece of property in line to buy.

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  3. When Dennis sold the house/office he invested the $$ in a realty scheme that is nation wide- all sorts of properties that pay you monthly . Not at all romantic but for a business head might be something to consider. Your flowers take my breath away! WOW!

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    1. Well, we own the little Moon Plaza and get some good rent off of it. Glen does spend an awful lot of time and energy managing and dealing with it so property that comes with a management system sounds good.
      Our flowers are pretty gaudy right now, aren't they?

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  4. Here you are taxed if you own more than one property (a new state tax that was not well thought out).
    Your's sounds like our capital gains tax but I don't think we have the option of reinvesting the proceeds.
    I want a wisteria.

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    1. Yes. Capital gains taxes.
      Does wisteria grow in Australia? I have no idea.

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    2. Yes, everywhere. There is some near me dropping its leaves ready for autumn.

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  5. I'm happy to be here, reading about your comings and goings, your sweetness and your self-proclaimed crazy. I feel much the same over here on the left coast.

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    1. Oh honey. Should we form the Crazy As A Betsy Bug Club?

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  6. Could you maybe invest some of that Dog Island money into a house for Lily and Lauren and the kids? That has to be better than being taxed to death. Your azalea and spirea bouquet is lovely. I love wisteria, though it makes me sneeze and get a bit congested.

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    1. Well, that would not be quite fair to my other two children who do not own their own houses. Lily wants to own a house for credit purposes and for stability. She'll get there.
      I'm sorry that wisteria is not your friend! That's so sad.

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  7. Just sent the govt around $7000 myself for the capital gains on a property sale. The way they are spending it, they need all they can get. Maybe we can spend the rest on a little traveling to see our beautiful country before it becomes a shit hole.

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    1. Wow. That's a lot of money to fork over to the government in one go. Yes. Do some traveling if that's your heart's desire.

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  8. Our wisteria is only just showing tiny buds on the bare branches, but the magnolias in people's gardens are in full flower this last few days as it has been warmer. We always expect a frost when they bloom as they so often get cut off in their prime by a cold night!

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    1. I just hate it when plants go to all the trouble to make their flowers and then Mother Nature socks them with the freezes. Not fair!

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    2. I think that they might be ok this year....no frosts forecast!

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  9. I feel for you. The pressure to HAVE to do something with that money within 45 days must be horrible!

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    1. Well, it's freaking Glen out for sure. If it wasn't for him, I'd definitely be living in a van down by the river.

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  10. Those last two photos are joyful. Sorry about the flat-out crazy feelings. At first, the day’s experience surrounding the house by the lake sounded very depressing, even that restaurant. Until the waitress turned her back and you saw the T-shirt. What a nice surprise!

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    1. It was a nice surprise. It felt like a little country oasis of goodness in the middle of the deep south.

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  11. I suspect you meant to write, "Not what I expected" and not "Now what I expected." Sorry - I can't get that nit-picking high school English teacher out of me.

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  12. I'm sure you will find a place that both of you like. Or maybe just pay the taxes and don't buy something. It will work out okay.
    It's that kidney stone that's making you feel so weepy. Feel better, Mary!

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    1. I think you're right about the kidney stone.

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  13. I spent yesterday holed up inside, and you know, I didn't feel great physically, but mentally, what a great thing to be lazy in a quiet house!

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    1. It is nice to have a whole quiet house to oneself occasionally.

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  14. I adore the woman server.....clearly, first impressions are often wrong. She displayed a message that touched my heart.

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    1. Deeply touched me too. I would love to hear the story of how she became the sort of person who wears such a shirt.

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  15. I like the sounds of that server. And the restaurant. I'll bet the food was pretty good, too.

    I hope you and Mr. Moon can find a house that makes you both happy and checks all the boxes! I'm sure it's probably out there, waiting for the Moon family. xx

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    1. The food was very good. Well, I got a hamburger. Can you believe that? But I knew I was going to be cooking fish for supper so...
      And it was a delicious hamburger. I couldn't eat it all and brought some home and had that for lunch today.
      I should probably do a little house-hunting myself.

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  16. Bad days happen. I spent a fair bit of yesterday crying too. Jack asked me to write down my phone number on a piece of paper and put it in his pocket in case his mama was drunking. That just broke my hear. When we dropped him off at his mama's, the first thing he told her was that he had my phone number in case she was drunking. Obviously that pissed her off. He remembers you drinking I told her. I'm done with sugar coating things.

    I feel better today though and I hope you do too. Sending hugs and love Mary.

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    1. Oh god. Of course that broke your heart. That poor little man. So I take it that Gracie's sobriety has probably come to an end again?
      I'm okay today. I hope the same for you.

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    2. No, she hasn't started drinking again. Time will tell but I know she wasn't prepared to talk to her son about her alcoholism.

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  17. paddling two hours to get there would be a pleasure.

    too bad you couldn't see/get inside the house even though you did see pictures but rickety dock shared with a stranger, um, no. the money has to be invested in real estate to avoid the horrendous tax?

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    1. Yes! The money does have to be invested in another property. Weird, huh?

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  18. The ideal would be finding a house you both love. If that is not possible, you could consider building your swimming pool, patio and outdoor kitchen in the lovely new space previously occupied by the pear trees. While the boys are fishing, the girls could enjoy the pool. When the boys come home from fishing, they'd have a nice meal and swim in the pool. A poolside Jacuzzi is a nice addition to a pool as well.

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    1. That would be the ideal.
      We are still thinking about the pool issue. We're just sort of letting it all rest right now. I really do not want an outdoor kitchen. Too damn hot here most of the time to cook outside. I'd die. Jacuzzi's are nice but once again- the months when you can use one here are few in number.

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  19. What a joy to have such beautiful flowers to pick! I just came back from a trip back home to Norway, and I’m so excited to be able to bring some daffodils insidešŸ˜„I hope you guys find a perfect property to invest your money in- I can imagine how stressed you’re both feeling about it! I’m so happy your kids are having a great time-I bet you can’t wait to see them again! Best wishes for your kidney stone troubles to end soon, and as painlessly as possiblešŸ„° xo Rigmor

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  20. It doesn't sound like that Realtor is very interested in making a sale! Wasn't Mr. Moon interested in having a place in Apalachicola at some point? Is that on the table again?

    I do remember those signs about refusing service, even well into the '70s. I never knew what they meant either.

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  21. "As she walked away from our table, I realized she was wearing a shirt that said, on the back, "Respect everyone's differences. Work together, not apart." And there was a graphic of hands of different colors grasped together in a circle.
    Not what I expected."

    That restaurant experience didn't unfold the way I thought it would either, and I felt such ridiculous relief at that fact, to the point where my eyes teared up. The world is changing, even if the 24/7 catastrophic take on the news and the noise of trumpers would have us think differently. Now I have a question: Why do you not want to live on that lake. The one photo you took looks serene and blue and quite beautiful.

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Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.