Rich had to work. He needed to catch up after the weekend in New Hampshire. We went to the beach around four. The sky was getting dark, the thunderclouds building ominously, but we decided to take our chances. We planned a picnic dinner. Earlier in the afternoon I bought Italian subs and a six pack of Yuengling, our new favorite beer.
First I walked. The wind was picking up, sand was blowing. I followed a windsurfer’s progress out at sea. He couldn’t get his sail up, it was dragging him north along the shore, a football field out to sea. He was holding onto his board. The lifeguards pulled up on their dune buggy, one of them jumped off and paddled out on his surfboard. The windsurfer seemed to indicate he was okay, he had things under control. The lifeguard caught a wave back to shore. I walked and watched as the windsurfer, keeping pace with me a few feet up ahead, got the sail to turn towards shore, safely making it to his destination.
I passed an older woman in tight pants and a beach coverup, doing yoga along the shoreline. She tried to keep her balance on one leg. My feet were sinking into the soft, wet sand. It made for difficult walking. It also made standing on one leg impossible. She gave up, moved onto standing sun salutations, bending forward and backward, arms raised.
After a mile down and back, we had our picnic dinner. The rain held off. Rich was on the blanket, I was in a beach chair. Between the wind and the pounding surf, conversation was difficult. When we finished eating, we packed up and left.
Washing our feet at one of the outdoor showers, I came across some graffiti. It was eerily appropos of a conversation I had with my sister, earlier in the day, about my dad’s state of denial on the subject of aging, death, dying, and my mother’s Azheimer’s. I am not sure what to make of this.
On the way home, we stopped for one more drink in Boynton. The rain never materialized so we sat at sidewalk tables where misters cooled things off. A lovely South Florida night. Before we drove home, we walked through the little park next to the bar where lanterns hang from the trees.
House hunting is getting intense. The real estate market in Delray is exploding. Houses are being gobbled up by investors after six days on the market. A neighborhood on the intracoastal has torn down houses valued at $350-$400K, rebuilt them, and put them back on the market at $800K to one million dollars in just one year’s time. I read in the New York Times this is happening throughout Florida. Wall Street money gobbling up real estate before the interest rates climb higher. The middle income buyer is getting squeezed. The middle class always gets squeezed these days, the folks who pay the taxes that are used to repair the highways, pay the military, fund the schools. Someone please explain to me what the Frank-Dodd banking bill accomplished.
We drove to an up and coming neighborhood just west of Route One, a bike ride from the beach. We were interested in a house that hit the market on Thursday. We parked the car and walked around the neighborhood. Two houses were “For Sale by Owner”. I wrote down the phone numbers. We saw another house we loved. It appeared to be empty. We poked around the yard where there was a pool. It was tiny but nicely remodeled. I wrote down the address, but knew it was probably out of our price range. The pool, the new countertops, remodeled bathrooms.
I contacted the realtor to schedule a showing for the house we originally drove over to see. My husband called the two for sale by owner properties. After three days on the market, the original property already had four offers on it by Sunday night. The two for sale by owner are asking too much. It’s the wild, wild west out here in South Florida, in more ways than one.