Now, I need to explain that I’m the youngest boy in the family, the fourth no less. And I don’t care how old, how experienced, or how many accolades that a younger brother earns, his older brothers will always point out where the younger brother missed a step, where things weren’t done quite right.
Growing up, there was always the taking down a peg or two. Like the old joke of the guy that won the Noble Prize and his brother said, “Well that’s fine, but its not very practical is it?”
As my brothers’ like to say, they aren’t complaining or criticizing…they are just saying.
Though my cabin isn’t anything fancy, but it fits me, and it fits my personality.
Two days before I closed was Easter, and I received permission from the owners to lead my family on a tour of the place.
Proudly, I lead the procession through the quiet streets of Detroit Lakes on the sunny day of spring.
We pulled up into the little rock lot and proceeded to show them around.
Now in fairness, I had my older brother and sister-in-law go through earlier to get there opinion, and it met their standards. He had been there when the inspector gave it the once over and the seal of approval.
If they didn’t approve of the purchase, they have never said and have been nothing but encouraging.
But they are one of three…
It took about five minutes for one brother walk out to the lake and see something that looked like a Christmas tree out on the ice and proclaim, “That is a bog out there.” He proceeded to give the male relatives a lecture on the horrors of floating bogs. About how it was going to float in, lodge against my shore, and make my shoreline unusable for years because, “You can only trim off about ten percent a year.”
Not being able to take it anymore as he continued to intone very seriously how a bog can rip up a shoreline, I went into the cabin, where one of my sister-in-laws was leading a search through the cabin.
In one of the bedrooms, there was a tennis racket on the wall, and that meant one, and only one thing: the place obviously had bats.
Soon, the female members of the family were marching around the outside of the house, trying to figure out where the flying rodents were gaining entrance.
Standing on the deck, it was like some kind of nightmare – this cabin that I was buying was going to have a useless shoreline and was infested with flying, rabies infested rodents.
I was still a bit shaken when I went to the closing. Once the papers were all signed, I looked at the people that had just sold me their cabin – who were visibly upset about having to sell it, and I asked very casually….so tell me about the tennis racket on the wall in the bedroom.
They gave me a quizzical look, “Our son played tennis. There is a court about a mile away. He would hop on his bike and go play…plus it makes a nice decoration.” Was the reply.
‘No bats?” I asked.
“Oh Gosh No!” Came the sharp and startled reply.
Driving around the lake, the ice was quickly breaking up in the late April sunshine. The floating bog that looked like a Christmas tree on the ice was closer to the far shore and the road…and was in fact someones Christmas tree that was now falling through the fast dissipating ice.
Over a year in, there is still no signs of bats, or bogs. I appreciate my brothers’ input and their opinions. If this sounds like I’m complaining, or gripping, or bitter about the experience and their reaction…I’m not…I’m just saying…