When both sides of the coin are tails … getting real about housing, a close call in Charleston and presidential politics …


Man, there’s just no relief from one week to another these days. If it’s not housing it’s job seeking and if it’s not a close call in Charleston it’s distressing presidential politics. There are no breaks in the action.

But it’s all in a day’s work as far as the weekly letters are concerned. That’s one of the nice things – the real, down to earth things – that I like about letters. Ellen and Reid see both sides of the coin. Even if sometimes both sides seem to be tails.


January 16, 2017

Ellen/Reid: Well, I’ll have a come-to-Jesus meeting this afternoon with my Realtor. Since the listing expired 10 days ago, I’ve been flooded with 25-30 calls and a like number of mailings from other agents knocking on the door. She wants me to re-up but at a lower price point. I’ll need her assurance that more agents from the big company will troop through here. But I won’t automatically re-list with her. Another Realtor from a very small company will meet with me tomorrow and he has some intriguing ideas while not dropping the price nearly as much. He thought the Oct.-Nov.-Dec. timeframe was the absolute worst period of the year, what with the holidays and all. One thing I’m not willing to do is sink a lot of bucks into the place just for some sort of makeover. I want them to sell to the inherit strengths of the place, not just the decor. Otherwise they’d be asking me to spend money in what amounts to a guessing game as to what someone else prefers. Ellen, Tim makes a point to just lower the price and get the hell out of here. Let’s hope it happens.

Reid, no doubt you see your mom and I as thorns in your side about work. But don’t let us put you automatically on the defensive about it. There’s got to be some employer out there that would value you. All it takes is that first step, that first resume out the door, that first phone call or get-to-know-me coffee, etc. Give yourself a goal of two contacts/resumes sent per day. It’ll move you off the dime and give yourself a sense of progress. You’ve got that spiffy MS under your belt. Make the most of it. Hell, I’d camp at the DePaul job office if that’s what it takes. Since you’re now a DePaul alumni, does it make sense to attend some alumni gatherings to circulate among the faithful? Chicago probably has some affinity to take care of its own, doesn’t it?

Close call last week in Charleston. The anchor line that trolleys the anchor back and forth along the boat broke and there was no way to repair it without retreating to the shore. So I paddled over to the broken up dock at the barge, Reid, and the boat suddenly slid out from under me as I scrambled awkwardly to get atop the wood. All of a sudden I’m chest deep in 10 feet of water while clinging to the dock. I was wearing rubber boots and without my PFD I would’ve gone down like a stone.

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My anchor was a lifeline attached to an oyster-encrusted stanchion on the barge where only moments before I thrashed in chest deep salt water when Miss Emma slipped out from under me.

I worked my way around the dock to an oyster bed and was able to get onto the angled dock to empty my boots and take stock of what the hell just happened. Miss Emma drifted over to a nearby tidal creek otherwise I’m in for a long, long walk back to the put-in spot. So I retrieved her and was back in the saddle. Mercifully it was a warm day so this drowned rat dried out pretty quickly. What a moron. But it’s further proof that the salt water, not the kayaker, rules. It was quite the sticky predicament when I first went under. A couple of nice size black drum made the trip home with us. Otherwise, not much was boated.

I guess there’s no denying we’ll be in for adventurous next four years, and that’s not said with a lot of optimism. He seems to see the U.S. as one big deal making opportunity. Yeah, he can badger some firms with his tactics, but where’s the strategy in that? Already the Europeans are thumbing their noses at him. Even if I had a TV I wouldn’t turn on the inauguration. He’s really a punk but he’ll bring a new, harsher definition to the term ‘bully pulpit.’ Hopefully, he’ll offend a larger and larger circle of people to his detriment. What’s particularly worrisome, however, is his ‘screw you’ approach to health care. How can he and the heartless GOP shove tens of millions of people out in the cold and effectively abandon them? I’d like to think the electorate will eviscerate these hoodlums at the mid term elections but somehow their spin machine will be in full-spin mode. I won’t be holding my breath.

Love, Dad

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