Monday, March 13, 2006
On Golden Pond...
On Saturday, H & I headed up to our cottage to make sure it is still standing after a long winter’s nap. It is! Yea! We bought *Nantucket* about 5 years ago when H discovered it in a For Sale by Owner booklet. I think he decided we didn’t have enough projects in the midst of remodeling our old house and designing and building a brand new house…so he found the perfect *project house* to help fill in any gaps where we might decide to, say, relax or go on vacation. We like to think of the cottage as *Nantucket* in the sense that we resemble the Kennedy family who can whisk off to a lovely weekend home as a getaway from our mundane everyday life. I must admit that our Nantucket is much more rustic than anything remotely Kennedy; however, the cottage is a fun place because it’s on the water and hey, there is always enough booze to make you ignore the décor and just be thankful there is at least indoor plumbing. Rather than *Nantucket*, I often refer to our place as *Jusfuckit*.
Since the past 2 summers have been filled with fun-adventures that involved selling a house and H singlehandedly building our new home, we have not had much time to spend at the cottage. Our last attempt at a weekend away, in the midst of HouseBuildingHell last year, ended in a horrible explosion of tempers when the plumbing in the bathroom decided to act up just as H stepped into the shower. As I recall, we ended up packing the car and heading home right in the heat of battle. It was ugly and I believe it to be a major contribution to last summer's complete and utter hell. Now that we are in the dawn of a new summer, H is once again raring to go on anything and everything involving work, tearing out, building, home improvement projects, and driving his wife completely mental. So off we went on Saturday to *make a list* (H’s pre-storm warning that tells me we are in for some fun!) of what we need to buy for this spring’s project.
One of my favorite things about the cottage is the neighborhood. Think King of the Hill. This is a colony of retirees who simply live to fish in the summer and survive on pure gossip in the winter. Let’s meet the neighbors, shall we…
*Denny* is a retired forklift operator who, after divorcing *Wanda*, told me he was in need of some companionship. He eventually hooked up with *Lois*, the widow of his best friend. When speaking of Lois’s husband, he will talk about his best friend but in the same breath say how “that bastard never treated Lois well a day in his life.” Denny wears canvas slip-ons, smokes generic cigarettes, and is usually a good source of what’s what.
*Jack* is Denny’s neighbor and sworn enemy. We are not sure what started this feud but we quickly learned that there is no love lost between the two. Jack is also retired, annually trains the swan families to eat from his hand, has a mysterious woman who arrives for a week or so mid-summer, and has pretty much greeted us with a friendly “Hi Neighbor!” when we have crossed paths.
*Tina* is a single mother to little *Glorianna*. Tina moved up from Chicago under mysterious circumstances. She introduced herself to us while her dog had the shits all over our yard. Glorianna or "Glory", is her overweight, somewhat obnoxious daughter who, at 7, is home-schooled. When they first arrived, Denny was looking for companionship and had high hopes with Tina…once referring to little Glory as “cute as a button”. This all stopped with the arrival of *Uncle Phil*.
*Uncle Phil* is Tina’s friend/brother/uncle?? We can’t figure it out. Uncle Phil arrives from Chicago every weekend in a blue Lincoln Towncar. He mentioned to H that he works in real estate. He purchased a pontoon boat and Chocolate Lab puppy for Tina and Glory. He also can't swim so he wears a life jacket most of the time when he is outside. The life jacket came in handy when Jack nudged Uncle Phil in his boat and Uncle Phil almost fell in the water. As a result, Uncle Phil hates Jack even tho the nudge was supposed to be a joke amongst neighbors. Since we heard Glory refer to Uncle Phil as “Dad” a couple of years ago, we now also refer to Uncle Phil as Tina’s Bootie Call.
*Richard* lives 3 doors down from us and is the neighborhood drunk. He seems to switch teams as far as alliances as he speaks to both Jack and Denny but not necessarily at the same time. He drives his boat very fast, usually with a beer in hand. Richard attempted friendship with H once by bringing him a tupperware container of rice casserole when I was not up at the cottage with him. H was afraid eating the rice casserole would put him smack in the middle of the Denny/Richard/Jack relationship so he played it safe and brought the tupperware container and rice home to throw it away.
*Bob Yager* lives across from Richard and, according to Denny, is thought by the majority to be “Queer as a three dollar bill”. Bob has a lovely landscaped yard with copious flowers, a bright pontoon boat with colorful flags, and young male visitors nearly every weekend.
By the looks of things on Saturday, the cottage is still standing and the gossip is still being served-up fresh! Denny informed us of his mild stroke while changing the kitchen faucet in November, Jack was feeding some baby swans, Bob Yager had a load of fresh potting soil delivered, Richard was holed up watching NASCAR, and Uncle Phil's Towncar was parked at Tina's. Can't wait for summer!