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Thursday, April 14, 2005

My two little non-conformists decided they wanted to show some solidarity with the other field trippers and appear in coordinated uniforms. The required attire for the day was the forest green polo with embroidered school logo and khaki shorts. They pulled out two forest green tee shirts: one emblazoned with a Victoria Bitter logo and the other sporting the emblem of the Celtic Ray.

Nice try, girls.


Today was a big day. Our inspection period has come to a close and this afternoon I dropped off a check for the balance of the deposit. Orange House is a go.

I experienced a burst of not just early buyer's remorse, but deep, pit-of-the-stomach dread that we were making a terrible mistake -- a terrible, expensive mistake -- and reading about the real estate bubble hadn't helped things. [Although I firmly believe South Florida is relatively immune from such disaster. There will always be someone, foreign or domestic, willing to pay for Florida coastal property.] Then I spied an editorial in our local paper, detailing the plans for development in our part of paradise. We'd heard once upon a time, when we had the island on the market, that big things were in store. Our area was going to be the new Naples, blah, blah, blah. Our realtor even talked us out of selling and good thing too; it's really starting to happen. The column pleaded with the county to purchase and protect any remaining waterfront parcels for the public's sake. It's probably too late for them, but if this deal closes, we will no longer have to worry about our marina selling out to develop condos and leaving us literally high and dry. We will be secure with our own land base for the island. So, I was slightly relieved. That's the good news.

The bad news was that Jorge figured we don't have enough money to continue renting this place and rebuild Orange House, and proposed living in the house in the midst of the tear-out. Now, I've been through this before and unfortunately don't have the patience to do it again. I know, I'm a selfish jerk, not willing to make the sacrifice for my family, but if the cobbler's children have no shoes, the builder's children have no Certificate of Occupancy. (Do the pharmacist's children have no drugs? Not in my neighborhood.) He even tried to bribe me with a pool (my germ phobia and fear of swallowing Band-Aids keeps me out of public pools), something I have been wanting for years, to exercise in. I don't do the official strokes, but I can tread water forever. When the plane goes down, that'll be me paddling away in the middle of the Atlantic, patiently waiting to be rescued after three or four days at sea.

The tension finally lifted when I suggested stashing most of our stuff at the house in a POD while the house is torn apart. In the meantime, the girls and I could resume living on the island. The solution was agreeable to all parties.

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