20.6.11

FAIR WEATHER

Finally, for Father's Day, the weather was perfect---the kind of day that we have seen far too seldom this year---blue skies, no haze, not too cold, not too hot, a breeze making waves lap gently on the shore---in short, perfect for lunch with parents and sister on the deck at the cottage.  Dessert was shortcake, with the first native strawberries of the season, deep red and succulent. 

From the deck, a view beyond the neighboring dock to the Mt. Desert Hills

As my father and I sat enjoying the view, he reminisced that he owes this piece of real estate good fortune to his maternal grandfather, a speculative sort, who bought the small piece of ocean frontage in the Depression for $35.00 (Thirty-Five Dollars).  unable to turn it for a quick profit at $85.00, my great-grandfather instead purchased a cute little dairy cottage from a local farm and had it moved to the property, and later gave it to my parents, who added a large living room and a deck dramatically poised high above the edge of the beach (which is what we call the mix of pebbles and rocks along the shore in Maine)

Because of the unending bad weather this year, very few boats are out yet
My father went on to remember that later on, his paternal grandmother, who owned a larger place just down the road, decided after WWII to sell that cottage, for $2,000.  Lest the reader be gasping in amazement, in that same era, the grandest shore front cottage in our town, 3 floors of hulking stone and shingle 16 bedrooms strong, on a 3 acre plot in the most fashionable summer neighborhood, was sold fully furnished, for a mere $15,000. The next time that house, still hulking, still fully furnished, sold, in 1963, the price was $55,000.  That purchaser sold it a decade and a half later, now unfurnished, but hulking still, for an even million, a local record at the time.  And so it goes...the last sale of my great-grandmother's cottage was in the early 80's, in the low six figures.  The next time it goes on the market, it will likely be much higher, and the purchaser far more likely to be wealthy than before.  And so it goes...


Looking directly down on the beach---when I was growing up, this was the best time for a swim, when the tide came up over the sun washed beach (yes, that's my shadow, increasingly large these days), and the water might be as warm as 60 degrees, though more likely 58.  One doesn't do it as willingly now...

13 comments:

lindaraxa said...

Every year I promise myself a couple of weeks in Maine and every year around this time I regret not having made arrangements. I so miss a good lobster roll! You are so lucky to have a home there to go to every year. Don't ever let it go!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Your real estate story (or as realtors would like to say, Real Estate story) reminds me of a story concerning a friend's daughter. She and her husband bought a house in California in the 1980s for $80,000. It was a renovated chicken coop!

Rose C'est La Vie said...

This looks like my kind of place. Oh lucky you DED!

The Devoted Classicist said...

Ocean-front property! How cold did you say it gets in the winter? Never mind, one can always add another sweater; it is hot as blazes in the Delta.

The Ancient said...

Dilettante --

My parents have been dead for half a century, so I can't possibly imagine how wonderful this was for you.

Despite all the detritus.

All the best,

A

P.S. I am once again delighted to see that you've escaped from the clam shop slavers and are free to do what you do best.

Daniel-Halifax said...

i think i'm going to make a pilgrimage up to maine this summer. it's just silly, that i've never really been.

smilla4blogs said...

I'm so glad you call your cottage...a cottage. I've never gotten used to the local vernacular, "the camp" which always makes me think of a lean-to and roasted marshmallows. So, when do think summer will finally arrive so we can take that long anticipated dip on our stony beaches? You have a gorgeous spot DED!

Blue said...

Dilettante, a beautiful place, indeed! Someday, someday, I'll get to Maine. In the meantime, there's your blog.

home before dark said...

Thanks for the cool dip. Hot as hell and so humid. At least you have the lovely days though they may be few. And so glad you had your dad on this most beautiful of days to tell you stories. I envy that the most. Here's to good sailing for the rest of the summer.

My Notting Hill said...

The water in the last pic looks deceivingly warm. Oh, and the shortcake you described sounds perfect.

b&b breakfast said...

Superb Posting for Weather . beautiful clicking

Sabra said...

Mrs. Parsons offered to sell my dad the house we were renting on Lindsay Road in York for what was beyond reach (and/or practicality for a peripatetic Navy family) then, but, looking back, seems like such a steal that we kick ourselves for not having made the leap of faith.

Mike said...

At your lake do thy have big cliffs? I love to jump into the water from cliffs. It's super fun. It's like a diving board but at a lake.