Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Civil War trench?

We live in Georgia, work in the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain--home of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, site of the Civil War Battle of Kennesaw--learned the story (at the least the white Southern version) of the War of Northern Aggression before we could speak. But a Civil War trench, right in our own backyard? Doesn't seem likely.

We own a of residential lot, left over from Chris's days as a remodeling contractor/builder. We've had it on the market for a while, not really expecting it to sell in this economy, but as our agent says, "it doesn't hurt anything to keep a sign in the yard." Well, we got a contract this week. A very nice surprise.

A bigger surprise was one of the special stipulations on the contract. If a Civil War trench exists on the property, the buyers don't have to close. The picture that jumped into my mind when I read that was of Indiana Jones-type archeologists trooping through the wooded lot, then suddenly dropping into a trench filled with Confederate flags, muskets, and perhaps some long-dead soldier propped against the dirt.

Who is going to tell these buyers whether or not there's a Civil War trench on the property? I don't think the Yellow Pages has a listing for Civil War trench hunters.

How many pieces of property have the buyers tried to buy that had a Civil War trench on them? Why wouldn't they want it?

Our real estate agent, who has sold real estate in this area for many years, says she's never run across this issue before.

Maybe if there is a trench we can open our own historic site on the lot. But really, I hope there isn't one. Not so much because that means we won't close (though I do want to sell the lot) but because I want to go to the closing and ask the buyers about the stipulation and how they know there is no Civil War trench on their new property.

Anybody out there heard of this? Clue me in. I can't begin to figure this one out.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A man walks into a ...

... OK, not into a bar. It's not a joke. Chris walked into the alternations shop the other day, wearing a cap because his bald head gets cold, to pick up a pair of pants he'd had hemmed.

He looked quite handsome in his cap, apparently, because Sandy, the owner, said, "You a very handsome man. You need more hats."


So, along with his pants, she handed him a large shopping bag full of a bizarre collection of hats and scarves. I know because he brought them all home. Inside the bag were such treasures as a pink and white baseball cap with an after-market elastic chin strap sewn on, a black straw hat with bright red band, a couple of straw driving caps, two fluffy burgundy hats that you'd have to be really cold to wear out in public. Picture Phyllis Diller-style hats. There were at least a dozen.

As I tried on hat after cap, I noticed that they smelled like little old lady, in a good way. A way that reminds me of my great-grandmother and maybe a little of my grandmother, from years ago. A combination of cedar chest and some floral, old-fashioned perfume or powder.

When I mentioned the happy smell, Chris said, "Oh, yeah, they said we might want to wash them before wearing them."

I yanked the weird fuzzy one off and flung it into the laundry room, where it and several others have continued to smell like little old lady for a couple of weeks. I didn't want to wash them and lose that aroma of childhood. But today I was determined to wash everything in the laundry room, dirty laundry's been breeding in there when I turn out the lights.

To my surprise, washing the washable hats and scarves (wool winter scarves, not decorative, floaty scarves) with my no-dyes, no-perfumes laundry detergent diminished the smell, but didn't completely kill it.

Now, thanks to my very handsome man, I can slip back to my childhood any time I want with a sniff of some little old lady's hats.