Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is Your Attic (2)... and Lunch

Is Your Attic (2)... and Lunch

            A brushing off of crumbs?
            The estate inspection; a request for help referral from one attorney to another attorney… and then to us… lead to Portland, over the bridge to South Portland, out Ocean Ave. to Cape Elizabeth and then a “reach left and wander down to the water” (quoted from written directions) that found us in the driveway “of a new one”; a big recently built faux grand “ON THE WATER” “mansion”.  Two upper grade SUVs were already parked.  Two matching “goldies” stopped cavorting before the front door and prepared to charge us.  We waited in the car as they were corralled. Two… “late thirties” women postured to receive us at that cleared doorway.  We greeted and entered; the inspection began.
            Like a red carpet runner unrolling before us after a kick from “we are the owners” the estate became:  The contents (all still in place throughout the otherwise barren white wall and perfectionist clean …home…) was …all recently restored and refinished antique furniture of considerable variety… that had ALL been purchased within the last three years from coastal Maine antiques shop by the mother of the two …ball cap with blond ponytail poking out the hat back… daughters who admitted they “had helped some”.  Between us and that furniture they placed a loose leaf notebook containing the purchase receipts, notes, photographs, contact information and descriptions of ALL of “that”.  Further, we were well informed, “all of that” WITH the notebook had already been turned over to a “sale consultant” (a tag sale manager) requesting “she sell it and, at least, get our money back”.  The sale effort had failed.  Only one piece of furniture actually sold.  “Now what do we do?”
            “Now what do we do?” had become a hot potato passed from attorney… to attorney… to us?  Looking past the notebook off yonder to the furniture I… moved forward.  “May we walk through the house quickly and then I will make a quick verbal assessment”.
            “SURE”.  Then, as the doggies rose at that pronouncement, a “NO.”
            We toured the house.  There was no furniture on the… over looking the Atlantic Ocean… “deck”.  There was absolutely NOTHING in the attic.  It was white walled, empty and very vacuumed.  I took the photograph.  We had seen everything.
            Back downstairs with one sibling looking wistfully out to sea and the other  ratcheting down upon the notebook and I… I told her, to her face, that the furniture while all fine and well as antiques and household decorative purchases, would not find a market interest at the original purchase prices (as found in the notebook) for they were “retail” prices they paid from professional vendors.
            “What would be the market prices?”
            “You can expect to quickly realize about one quarter of what you paid, including the possible re-purchase of some of the furniture from the original vendors.  Don’t overlook THAT”.
            That’s not what they wanted to hear.  The sea gazing sibling was now gazing at me.  The doggies had their jowls on the carpeting.  “Do YOU want to buy…”
            “Well… how about the theorem?”
            “The what?”
            “That.” I said pointing to a “1993” watercolor on velvet basket of fruit with bird in new paint decorated frame …theorem… hanging beside us on the wall.
            “THAT’S NEW!” she said.
            “I know.  1993”.
            “And how about the fraktur?” I said point to a small framed watercolor just into the front hall.
            “THAT’S NEW TOO!” she said.
            “Yes, you can tell by the motto (and the later noted “1983” date)”.
            “Yes.  Are they for sale?”
            “Those?  You decide” she said turning to ocean gaze sibling.
            Without moving she looked at her sister, looked at the theorem, looked at the fraktur and said, in reverse order “ten for that, twenty-five for that”.
            I tactfully paused and then said “OK”.
            “Anything else?” said the first sister.
            “The two ducks?” I said pointing to the two painted wood decoys on the table top before the window viewing the deck.
            “Those are NEW.” said the first sibling.  It was clear to me… now… that the tag sale manager had resiliently informed the sisters of “these are NEW”… and therefore “NG” (no good) status of “select objects in the home”.  Quick study, I here reap the benefit of that woman’s “loose with dignity” pronouncements.
            “Fifty?” said the sea gazer without waiting for her sister’s guidance.
            “How about forty?” I said quickly.
            “ANYTHING else?” from the first sister?
            “The print? I said pointing to a very contemporary museum grade reproduction “on canvas” print of a Casco Bay; (? and of a view right… from where we were standing?) Luminist Fitz Hugh Lane (?) painting.
            “That’s NEW.  Mother bought that at the museum.”
            What museum I wondered.  “Its nice.” I said.
            “How about forty for that too?” said the sea gaze sister.
            Another calculated pause and then I said “OK.”

            I produced the cash laying the exact total on the notebook and lifted the theorem off the wall, then retrieved the fraktur.  My wife received the print from the first sister.  The sea gaze sister picked up the two decoys.  “NO.” was said again to the doggies.  We walked outside chatting lightly.  Nothing more was said about the furniture and its sale.  We loaded our plunder and left.  “THAT?” I said to my wife when she started to denote the wonder of our purchase experience.  “To them that was a brushing off of crumbs” (we included?). 

It was just after eleven and… time for lunch.
Following Ocean Ave back to its intersection with Broadway in South Portland we went straight through that intersection and one and one half blocks more (with the park on our right for the first block) to …delightedly spy the unknown jewel of Portland area Vietnamese restaurants… Pho Hanoi… at mid block on the left, “open”.  We are regulars for lunch.  This is due to their qualities and our “a lot of work in the area”.  Always only lightly filled… because “no body knows about this place”… seating is assured as is easy parking right in front.  Forgetting the estate inspection and plunder in the car, we eat.  Lunch at Pho Hanoi is quick, clean, inexpensive, ample and delicious.

Today we first shared a Goi Tom (#13) shrimp salad.  Theirs is a singular preparation on a bed of shredded iceburg lettuce with an also singular tangy & sweet dressing.  In addition to “great” the word is “singular”; one will not find Goi Tom made the same elsewhere.  This day… with us both being slightly cooled from standing by the Atlantic Ocean AND having that clean, crisp, moist, salty and PURE sea air still upon us… we both ordered “medium” “Hu Tieu Mi Tom Muc Va Heo (#35D) a pho type SEAFOOD broth soup having shrimp, squid and sliced pork with yellow and white noodles.  This is coastal Maine and this seafood soup is a hardy “the pure sea at it’s best”.  If I am “really starving” I’ll get the large but a medium is “way enough” for most.
Keeping to practical and… great opportunity, we order “to go” for our arriving-home-late-due-to-a-long-day supper… two medium Mi Hoanh Thanh (dumpling wonton soup) that is an enhanced version of ANY wonton soup for it includes beyond the usual dumplings sliced pork, yellow noodles, basil and bean sprouts making it, including the singular flavored dumplings an “always fondly remembered”.  Two orders of shrimp spring rolls (#2) always seem to sneak into the take out order too.

No comments:

Post a Comment