Monday, June 13, 2011

Landscape Looting, Sweat Equity, and a New Way of Living

One day not long ago, a pair of walkers packed up all of their worldly belongings and set off to find their fame and fortune in Tallahassee. They thought that their modest home and garden near Pensacola would be in good hands with an experienced property manager watching over them. He promised that the tenants he had found would take care of and cherish this landscape the walkers considered was truly sweat equity.

Would it be okay if the tenants were to add a few plants of their own? They love to garden, you say? Well, then, what's a few more plants?

Oh! We see (courtesy of a concerned neighbor and friend). They've moved--among many things--mature, fruit-bearing trees during a drought to make room for their "few more plants." And they promise to change it back to the way it was if they decide they don't like it here. Nice thought! It would require way more than "seven maids with seven mops" (see below) to accomplish that feat.

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear...

(excerpt from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, 1871)

The same weekend that the pair of walkers were packing up all of their worldly belongings to seek their fame and fortune in Tallahassee, their pride and joy (Son and Daughter) were graduating together from Pensacola State College. No bitter tears shed here.

By the time all that pomp and circumstance was said and done, though, there weren't many dry eyes in the place.

 Brother and sister graduating at the same time. One more step, completed together.

SAM has taken to the new way of living on a lake like...well, a fish takes to water! The landscape here suits him just fine.

This walker, for as long as she's allowed, will follow the eldest Oyster's example and stay put for a while. And this latest "oyster-bed" will not be disturbed. Even if she could afford "seven maids with seven mops," no sand sweeping (landscape looting) is necessary or desired.

18 comments:

tina said...

So sorry it is not going well with your tenants. But on a happy thought it's great your son and daughter graduated together. Congrats! Hubby's retirement date is less than a month away and we are looking for new fortunes too. A scary time. Glad you and SAM are doing well. Tell him we say hello.

troutbirder said...

Believe it or not a friend of mine (who rented a country home) was given the opportunity to be on Judge Judy over a similar issue. He turned it down on the theory that making the possibility of making a fool of himself in front of millions of "reality TV" watchers was not how he wanted to be rememembered. :)

Ciss B said...

From what I've heard, tenants are not always good these days. I'm sorry yours aren.t

Congrats on the move, and on the kids graduating!

Julie said...

If they can keep those fruit bearing trees going in their new locations, maybe they can just stay there....good grief! What an ordeal!!! Happy graduation day! Are these two graduates twins??? They sure look a lot alike! Hoping you and SAM are doing ok in your current place of residence. Nice looking fish he caught there..... :)

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Congrats to the graduates. Always a big day.

Claude said...

oh my... who has the energy to move trees? dang

☆sapphire said...

Long time no see. I'm very glad you are back. Congratuations on your son and daughter! There are problems associated with real estate rental in our country too. I love the last photo!! It is so beautiful.

Rose said...

Glad to have you back, W2W! I can't believe your tenants did all this without being more specific about their plans. But then I'm always surprised by the nerve of some people.

Congratulations to your Son and Daughter! Well done, Mom; I know you must be very proud of them both.

walk2write said...

Thanks for the congrats, everyone!

Tina, you and Mr. Fix-It need to take some time to relax before that next round of fortune seeking. You both deserve a break.

TB, I sure hope it doesn't come down to legal wrangling. We haven't even met these people yet, so it's difficult to say what we're up against. I hope your friend worked things out amicably.

CissB, I don't think the tenants are bad, just extremely aggressive. They've also taken it upon themselves to paint the entire house inside.

Julie, we were just hoping for someone to take care of things for us, not completely transform the place. Very strange indeed! We're all doing fine here. Gardening in pots now for the most part. This place is just naturally beautiful, and I don't want to change it.

Thanks, Mr. S!

Claude, I guess anyone who has access to a backhoe with a tree spade. Those trees were too big to dig up by hand.

Thank you, Sapphire! It's been very busy for me lately, but I'm glad to be blogging again. Yes, the view and the peace and quiet here are wonderful.

Rose, I think the main problem is a lack of communication. The property manager seems to be courting these people as potential buyers. He's seeing dollar signs in the future and forgetting that we're paying him to protect our interests. He acted all surprised by the whole thing, but I'm not so sure that he was. I hope they do buy the house. It's not going to seem like home anymore. Yes, we are very proud of the kids. They both worked full-time while going to school and paid for it themselves.

Britta said...

Dear Walk2Write,
congratulation to the fine exams both your children made! You can be proud!
Your tenants must have given you a shock and bad feelings. To cut down trees without your permission is awful! But now: Try not to think of it - look at your beautiful lake, count your blessings, don't let something spoil your beautiful surroundings now. Enjoy that - "here and now"! (Easier said than done, I know - but true)

cosmos said...

Hello Walk2Write,
Thank you for visiting my blog and it brought me here. I am afraid my English is not good enough to understand what you write or what you link completely, but I'm looking forward to getting to know your way of life.

You seem to be in trouble now. It must be a pet peeve. I hope things will turn out OK.
cosmos

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi W2W - what a pain .. crumbs fruit trees and a luxurious garden dug up for ?what???

People just simply don't know how to garden ... or appreciate the land under their feet ..

Glad the family have been successful, Sam is content with his fishing and you're established and bedded down for now! Cheers - and enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Stratoz said...

the tenant thing reminds me of times I wished I had more control than I could.

congrats to the grads. those days are glorious

lbdiamond said...

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I'm renovating a very old house (over 200 years old!) and am just getting to the gardens, LOL! I'm in love with my hanging baskets--full of geraniums. So pretty. :)

Tomz said...

Oh..so when can we read more about the moths in ur orchard? Ur tenants changed them all..

Happy to read from u again W2W..it is fantastic to read abt the achievements of ur children..

and I found we have something in common..I'm also an admirer of Carroll and his writings..

Even my previous password was a word which I had read in Wonderland..

snowwhite said...

Hello, Walk2Write,
Congratulations on happy graduation of your son and daughter!
There are people in this world whose behavior I cannot understand. My friend calls those people "Aliens from the other planet". I'm sorry that your thoughtless tenants moved many plants without permission and gave you shock.
I do hope everything will turn out good very soon.
Thank you for visiting. I'm glad to follow you.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Haddock said...

Congrats on those graduations.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh my goodness!! I'd be suffering apoplexy if a renter did that to a house I owned. Another reason to remind myself to not rent any property out in the future. Last time was bad enough and none of those things were permanent!

Glad you're settling down at the lake and the kids are out of college. Life is good, huh?