Monday, April 23, 2007


The effort to sell my house drags on, albeit with a far larger group of potential buyers failing for one reason or another to make an offer. Saturday evening, the third showing of the day produced a most interesting and interested couple. They were husband and wife, both architects (she an MIT graduate), who spent over an hour in the house and on the property. Fritz and I were both at home as I'd been given a different time for their visit than their actual arrival.

I don't know if this would be true of all sellers, but I think it was a positive advantage that we were here for their visit. They and their agent offered to return at another time but I invited them in enthusiastically and we kept mostly out of their way. After twenty-five minutes indoors they spent another twenty outside talking intensely with their agent. At that point I had to leave for a concert I was attending and Fritz urged me to invite them back in if they'd like to see more. I did so, and he told me when I got back that he'd had a very good conversation with them in the half hour or so they stayed the second time. They liked the house and did a lot of imagining how they might modernize and redecorate. With any luck they might make an offer.

We went back up to New Hampshire Sunday morning for a double barreled birthday day. The bigger event was the 95th birthday of a remarkable woman with whom Fritz had been involved professionally for a number of years in the area of early childhood education. She'd come to our wedding celebration three years ago and was as sharp, funny and as much in control today as ever. Her younger brother (in his mid 80s—great genes in that family) hosted and spoke of her encyclopedic knowledge and ability to take over in any difficult situation. The event was held in a private room at the Exeter Inn at midday and was extremely pleasant. We were the only non-family members invited and were made to feel completely part of the group.

In the evening we had A the potter/ceramist and B the chef over to celebrate B's birthday. A cooked, we supplied the cake and an after-dinner hot tub before I returned to Boston.


The construction drawings for the house are finished and were sent out to both prospective contractors with a copy to me (it arrived Saturday morning). On first inspection everything looks very good. Despite the huge disruption of communications in the heart of southeastern New Hampshire due to the destruction of Verizon’s Raymond substation, I was able to get a meeting set up for next Friday morning with all interested parties. The purpose is to review the plans, answer questions and iron out all details. After that, the contractors submit their bids, we choose, and construction can begin.

Leaving aside any political animosity toward former President Ronald Reagan, does anyone else remember when he stood before the Berlin Wall and demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" The idea of a wall to separate East and West Berlin was looked upon by the Republican President as a great symbol of failure of the Communist philosophy.

Well, another Republican President is now resorting to walls to seal people away from each other. Not only the wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but a new 12' high concrete wall is slowly snaking its way through Baghdad to separate Sunni and Shia neighborhoods. Inevitably, communications, freedom of movement and trade of all kinds will be disrupted.

This report from BBC.

The 5km (three-mile) concrete wall is part of a strategy to "break the cycle of sectarian violence", a US military spokesman said.
Adhamiya lies on the mainly Shia Muslim east bank of the Tigris river and has been badly hit by sectarian attacks.

The wall has provoked an angry reaction from residents.

US military spokesman Lt Col Christopher Garver said it was "not the stated goal of the Baghdad security plan to divide everything up into these... small gated communities".

But the BBC's Andrew North, in Baghdad, says troops have already dubbed it "the Great Wall of Adhamiya".

When the wall is complete at the end of the month, say US commanders, residents will only be able to cross the 3.6 metre (12 feet) high wall through several checkpoints guarded by US and Iraqi troops.

Similar walls are being planned for two other areas of Baghdad.

Can there be any greater symbol of the total failure of Bush and his heinous policies than the fact that the United States of America, supposedly the great home of freedom, is now ghettoizing the very people we so arrogantly claimed to be liberating via the precious gift of democracy?

good luck with the buyers... let's hope someone bites in an acceptable way soon. I have my fingers crossed. And, honestly, the disaster that is Iraq boggles the mind and how the country is not more stoked to the heights of anger that I feel and you too is a mystery that is at best an indictment of the media. But it is probably an indictment somewhat broader than that it in the end, I think.
If I may,

You seem to have made a grteat deal of improvements with the house. Is it worth talking with your realtor to continue to make yourself available to potential buyers that may seem serious?

You strike me as a very honest individual and the advantage to buying a house such as yours would be that the structural improvements you have made would be done correctly and not a half done patch job.

In this case, a designer talking to an architect would certainly be compatiable as you both have the ability to see things in the same light.

Good luck.
Good luck on the house selling. I noticed him my neighborhood there seemed to be a plethora of real estate signs everywhere. For some reason more people are selling than buying...maybe it's the baby boom retiring?

As for Iraq, when I first heard of this wall, like you I thought of the Berlin Wall. The occupation of Iraq is a logistical nightmare and the sooner we leave, the better.
I'll bet you guys are getting a little tired of the house thing...I can feel it. Keep your chin up. Time and patience.
I do remember that Regan thing. I remember standing at the broken down wall in Berlin too. Eerie. And now Iraq.
I forgot about the "wall' speech
You never cease to amaze me at your knowledge of things!
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