Well, that’s that. Summer is dead and gone. My dreams of enjoying it are left mostly unfulfilled, and I know it’s my own fault. When you’re young and you’re taught to make hay when the sun shines, you think it’s just something your dad says. But when you’re older and the sun is shining, you have no choice but to make hay. So maybe it isn’t solely my fault, even if I am indeed the only one suffering from the actions of whomever it is that is truly at fault. In spite of this admission of a failed summer, I did have a few moments under those sunny skies, adrift on that lake, and like one birdie in an otherwise miserable round of golf, I have experienced enough perfect summer to keep me coming back.
I should admit that I take great offense to my clients and their lack of understanding that ideal weather should not be taken for granted. In spite of my desire to let everyone live their own lives as they see fit, I choose to make some exceptions and ignoring ideal summer weather is one of them. I was walking the shore path this summer on a particularly delightful summer day, I believe it was in mid July, and my affliction is that I cannot just walk for the sake of a walk. I walk the path and look at the houses. I look at the boats. My feet are trudging onward but my mind is stopping at each house contemplating whatever I feel like contemplating. In many instances, the homes I’m passing are homes I’ve sold, and I pay special attention to those homes and their occupancy status.
On that delightful summer Sunday, I walked past several lakefront homes that I had previously sold, perhaps as many as 10 lakefronts in this two mile stretch of water. One of my clients was on his pier with his family, so I stepped out and talked about his new boat. What a boat it was. He was happy to be there on his pier, his family swimming and lounging, soaking in the luxury of a lakefront afternoon. It was good to see him, and to see him enjoying this place. But my wife was irritated that I was talking for so long, and so we hurried from the pier and back to the path. Alas, another home a few doors down was one I had sold just this year, so I took care to look around for the owner. I looked. And I looked. And I looked some more.
The owner was absent. His boats were nestled in their slips. His pool was, presumably, warm. The lawn looked right, the deck furniture impeccable, the property ready to host the weary. And yet, it was a ghost town. A normal person would just keep walking, content that perhaps the owner was inside napping, or maybe stuck in the city for a wedding or a funeral or a birthday party. But I sent the text anyway “You up?”, which in my parlance does not mean what it means to the younger generations. My client was not up, he explained, and was, instead, away for the weekend to some lesser-than location. He’d be up next weekend, he assured.
The next weekend was rainy. And the weekend after that was the first weekend in August, which meant the TV commercials were about going back to school and football. Once that happens, it might as well be October. Two weeks after that the kids were indeed back in school, and the only hope then was for Labor Day Weekend, which was a smashing success, in spite of a relatively miserable Saturday. That one weekend in July wasn’t everything, but man, it was something.
And that brings us to our goals for fall and how forecasts matter. This weekend it’s supposed to be warm and sunny, just like last weekend. Yet so many lake-house owners will be absent from the lake, for one reason or many others. I would like to suggest that your schedule matters little when it comes to a weekend at the lake. You can’t make it up this weekend because of Nanna’s birthday party on Sunday? This is a dilemma, but if Nanna is showing some signs of good health you might as well FaceTime her and let her know that you miss her and that you can’t wait to see her again soon, just as soon as your boat is taken from your slip and your pier is dismantled for the winter. Until then, these last few weeks of summer waits for no one, including Nanna. I’m sure she’ll understand.
Photo by Carrie Koster