The Color of Water

The Color of Water

I have a skill that I consider unique. I should say, considered, because until I wrote that last sentence, I really did think my skill was unique. But now, post-sentence, I realize that every sailor and fisherman from the dawn of time probably shares my skill. Heck, Jimmy Buffet might even possess this skill, and he’s just the son of a son of a sailor. What’s this magical, uncommon skill, you ask? It’s the ability to tell the time of year, or more precisely, the month, just by looking at the water. If Chicago wouldn’t have lost the Olympics to Rio, I might have been able to lobby the IOC to include “Water Watching” as an Olympic sport.

I put in long, hard hours practicing, and honing my skill. Whenever I’m watching the water from car, boat, or land, I often try to focus just on the water to see if the time of year fits what I think the water looks like. More often than not, it does. The results may be skewed, since I am both judge, jury, and defendant, but I’d like to think I’m pretty good at sensing the mood, and the temperature, of my beloved lake. A lake that I love more than any other inanimate object in this world. A love so unconditional that I could never be mad at it. Ever.

In honor of my own potentially misplaced confidence that I am indeed the water whisperer, I provide you, my lake loving friends, with an aquatic challenge. I have posted below four pictures of my adored lake. The pictures will only include water and waves. No other objects or hints as to the month or season, only the gentle, theraputic waves. We’re going to turn this into a contest, with the most finely turned lake watcher who comes in second place, winning an iconic Lake Geneva Boat Show print. These prints are locally designed and produced, and they’re a welcome accent to any wall. If you have a lake house here, you can hang it on a wall to further your lake adoring theme. If you don’t have a summer house here, you can hang it in your city house, where you can gaze longingly at it and slap yourself for not having the discernment to own a vacation home here. If you have a vacation home in Michigan, you can hang it there, in an attempt to convince yourself that your Michstake is less Michigan and more Lake Geneva. You can stare at it while tears drip from your chin, and wonder why you have to take Mario Batali’s advice over mine. Whatever the case, you’ll win second place if you send me an email correctly identifying which water picture belongs to which season. Why does the winner only place second? That’s right, because I’m the original, and champion, water gazer.

Water is an amazing thing. The mere sight of it can change my mood, and even though I’ve looked out at the water of Geneva more times than most, I still pause with appreciation every time I do. A realtor once told a customer of mine that lake views don’t really matter (she was showing a home that had a limited view). I laughed at the thought of a water view not mattering, because the truth is, a water view is more precious than any other view. When that water in view belongs to the lake that is Geneva, well that view is just about the most valuable thing I can imagine. The pictures as they appear in the post are labeled 1 through 4. So the first water shot appearing in the post is #1, the second, #2, and so on. We’re not going to get too specific here and actually label these by the month, so just identify the season that those waves were captured on film. A little hint: don’t assume they’re all from a different season… If you have any friends that might be willing to wager a guess, please do forward them this post. First person to email me the correct order of seasons wins this classic print. Or one just like it.

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  • David Curry December 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks to everyone who has entered the contest, but as of 12:24 pm CST, there has not been a correct entry. I’ll leave this active and will update this comment screen as soon as we have a winner. I am realizing that this is quite difficult, and even I, the king water whisperer, can’t guess the correct order without consulting my cheat sheet. Thanks for reading, David

  • Rachel W. December 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    First, I just want to say I’m a fan of your blog. In my many years of traveling to Lake Geneva, I always feel inspired by the trip around the water.

    With your vast knowledge of the real estate on the lake, I always wonder as I ride around the lake in my non-cobalt boat, ha…what percentage of the lake homes are old money vs. new money? if you would write a blog on the old money versus the new money on the lake, I’m intrigued by the history of the classic tour homes but would also like to get understand the new money around the lake.

    Thanks in advance.

  • David Curry December 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Hello Rachel,

    Thanks for your comment. I forgive you for not owning a Cobalt… I think you make a great point about new money versus old, the problem is that the old money doesn’t mind being talked about, and the new money generally does. If I were to write about, say, the Wrigley estate, I could do that without issue. But if I wrote about a software developer who sold a business for $100MM and bought a home on the last last summer, he might not enjoy the publicity so much. Privacy is quite important to many of these "new money" moguls, so I tread very lightly. Perhaps I’ll take your advice and figure out who wouldn’t mind being written about. As far as percentage of old versus new, that’s very hard to say. Generally, there isn’t much of the classic, old Lake Geneva money left on the lake these days. Even the old estates that we know by name aren’t owned by those families any more. Thanks again for reading, David

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