Friday, August 29, 2014


Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary as we typically do---working all day, then going to Russo's specialty market and buying all kinds of wonderful deli items to have for our picnic dinner just north of downtown at a park along the river. The day gave us a gorgeous dawn on the river and we accomplished a lot at the business, people meandering in and out for some late summer purchases, including a plywood coffin. We had been warned about that a couple of months ago, and then 2 days ago, the woman from Florida called telling us that she was visiting her folks here in West Michigan and wanted to get that matter out of the way. Her father, who is a mere 95 and has no reason to die soon, wants to be prepared for when the day comes. So we removed the items that were displayed and pulled out the shelves, dusted it off and loaded it on to their pickup. Now John will have to build another one for himself.

The previous day my long-time dream came true. Dr. Blough, who has his vet clinic next door  at the shop, called me over to tell me he plans to retire and sell his beautiful 1+ acre lot mostly lawn, small house turned into clinic and small parking lot, at a price we could afford. John said the decision was up to me. I thought for an hour or so, very mixed emotions, and decided not to pursue it. We may regret it, should some terrible neighbors move in. My reasoning was certainly not financial. It would be the best decision in that regard that we could make. The 2 lots together are far more valuable than 2 separately and when we sell we would easily double our investment. But the timing of his offer was significant, coming on the eve of our 10 years of marriage. Without being overly dramatic, this decade has been damn near perfect. If we could decide our next decade it would be more of the same, both of us loving what we do, expecting to slow down as years and maybe decades unfold. I know from experience and every instinct I have that it would be impossible to purchase the property next door without it drastically changing our lives. There is no scenario I can imagine that would simply allow us to write a check and settle the matter, and I don't want to upset this incredible marriage applecart. So, I will tell him that I'm going to pass on his giving me opportunity of first refusal, which I requested of him several years ago.