A snow event that wasn’t … re-thinking a house sale … and a really sharp knife

 I stopped riding Ellen and Reid some time ago about harsh, harsh winters in the South. They didn’t see the humor in ‘bitter cold’ 40-ish degree temperatures here that passed for a deep freeze since they live up North where the cold is real and bitter and unforgiving. 

But it is funny when people make frenzied runs to grocery stores to stock up on necessities and schools close at the mere hint of snow. 

On the other hand, perhaps this time next year I’ll be the one wishing for the ‘harshness’ of Charlotte’s arctic freezes.

January 9, 2017

Ellen/Reid: Our panic-inducing snow event passed without incident over the weekend. We got, at most, a skiff of snow in my part of Charlotte although in the northern ‘burbs they did get a few inches. Still, the whisper of snow in any amount literally threw the town into a major end-of-the-world food buying tizzy. I went to Harris Teeter last Thursday to get the usual and normal supply of bananas and lettuce, and without exaggeration the checkout lines were 7-10 deep, including the self-service lines. It was utterly bizarre to see carts filled to the gills with staples such as milk, bread and – bottled water? I can understand people wanting beer and wine, but water?


Uh, here’s an unretouched photo of my impassable driveway the morning after Charlotte’s snow event. The city can now stand down.

Schools down here also closed at the drop of a hat. At the mere mention of snow, kids were out of school. It’s hilariously crazy. Can you imagine what an inch or two would do to Minneapolis and Chicago? That’s not even a good start to a storm. It would be business as usual. But not here. Here’s what’s really weird: folks down in these parts drive the same SUVs with the same tires and four wheel drive as you guys motor around in up North. The one thing that isn’t normal are the bone-chilling temps. So I did break out the fleece and such and made a big pot of chili. Perhaps that just got me ready for the weather I’ll face up in Des Moines.

Speaking of that, my listing agreement expired at midnight on Saturday. My Realtor, Laura, sent me several messages about re-upping the agreement. I’ve yet to respond. I’ve been thinking long and hard about what direction to take since the only bids to walk in the door were when I listed the house on Zillow. It doesn’t seem to be a price issue; indeed, the home across the way just went on the market last week at a higher listing price per square foot. No other Realtors have balked at what we were asking so I’ll likely stick to my guns on it. My option is to find another, perhaps hungrier Realtor or stick with the big dog, Allen Tate Realtors, although I’ve honestly been disappointed in the real estate agent traffic that has trooped – or more precisely not trooped – through the house. What I thought I was buying was a lot of foot traffic. But since the listing expired the wolves have been howling at the door; there have been six or more calls from real estate agents to inquire about my listing. In the past few minutes as I’ve put pen to proverbial paper on this letter there’ve been a couple more calls from numbers I don’t recognize. My commitment to be closer to you two hasn’t wavered, however.

Ellen, I’m excited about visiting you guys in just over a month. Glad to help with the move. The photos of the re-done house show your renovations to look fabulous. Love what you and Tim are doing to it. The girls seem excited about things. Those videos of those two little imps prancing around and acting goofy are just too precious. Thanks for letting me bunk on the sofa. Tim was right; further exploration into the neighborhood where the fleabag motel/no-tel was booked showed it to be really sketchy and a whole hell of a lot further away from you than I wanted to be.

Reid, I’m off to the bookstore in a matter of minutes to get your books. Hope Liz likes the upper-end hand cream. It really is quite miraculous, or at least the one time I tried a sample of it. Tell Liz her grandfather’s filet knife got a workout on two redfish once home on Thursday night after my trek to Charleston. Man, what a blade. It worked great. What a trip that was, however, paddle-less and mortified at my mistake.


The filet knife bequeathed to me by the family of Reid’s significant other made quick work of two redfish just like these beauties.

I’m telling you, a 2×4 as a fill-in is no way to fight the tide. What a doofus. It kind of makes the videos morbidly fun in that it shows the other side, the dark side, of fishing success. The head guy at Charleston Outdoor Adventures laughed his head off and was nice enough to give me a loaner paddle. My new one from Austin Kayak should arrive any day. It should be at the door by at least Wednesday, since Miss Emma and I will be out the door at 3:15 a.m. Thursday to try it all over again. Loony, huh? That’s a rhetorical question.

Love, Dad


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