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Don't you just hate it when ......


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I didn't get any flak from the seller - it was a foreclosure. If I had followed my usual routine, I'd have already seen the rot at the exterior and wouldn't have tried to open it. Just before I arrived, the skies opened up and the first of several big summer storms passed through, so I decided to start indoors.

That wasn't the only window I lost. As I went to unlock a dormer window in the attic, the pane next to the lock went sailing off into space. As I watched it drop below the roofline, I counted my blessings that since it was raining cats and dogs, no one was likely to be at the bottom of its trajectory.

The buyer paid to have the plumbing de-winterized, but the handyman who did it (arranged by the buyer's agent) left an ambiguous note explaining that there was a problem and he couldn't charge the system. The buyer was rightfully disappointed, and asked if he could attempt to do it. I advised against it. He asked again and I told him (in front of the agent) that what I don't see I won't know. Five minutes later, I hear the wife yelling "TURN THE WATER OFF!" Luckily, the agent had some towels in her car that the buyers made use of for a good twenty minutes.

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There was a bizarre wood frame over the pool. The buyer asked me how to remove it. "Darned if I know, I can't even imagine how the built it", was my answer.

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Can you say damp basement?

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It was actually a very enjoyable inspection. It was the kind of property that Bill Kibble probably sees several times a week, but I get to see far too seldom. It was also in his backyard, in Springfield Township.

It's hard to see in the picture, but from 200 years of use, the treads of these steps are worn down over 3/8".

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To cap the day off, After the buyers left, I explored the magnificent bank barn that was on the property. It was a real treat to be able to explore a barn at my leisure and not risk arrest for trespassing. I wish I'd had known that it would be there, because I would have brought a better camera.

Load paths? Don't worry about it!

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I think Scott is right about that being a security measure. We see them now and then, but don't have many pools in mid-Michigan. Great idea - cover a half full pool with a frame and tarp, then let is "simmer" into a nice green soup!

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Joe,

Good story! I am facinated with old farm barns and the concept of how they work! Sometimes you just look around and think "How did they do That?"

Then you're probably a fan of Eric Sloane. He wrote: "Unfortunately, the only recognized relics of yesterday's farmers are obsolete curiosities when the greatest relic, their philosophy of living, is seldom considered." I got hooked on his books when I was a teenager. I'm the lucky caretaker of a mint condition, first edition American Barns and Covered Bridges. Some of my other favorites are Our Vanishing Landscape, An Age of Barns, Diary of an Early American Boy, A Museum of Early American Tools, A Reverence for Wood, I Remember America, The Spirits of '76 and American Yesterday.

A Reverence for Wood

Cool barn. Was that a slate roof on it?

Yes, and it's in relatively good shape.

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Thanks for sharing the minor mishap with us. I'll be sure to watch out for that.

Imagine a person standing below when something like that happens. You would have potential for much bigger consequences in that case.

I know it'll be in the back of my mind for a while. I shudder when I think, what if .........

The wood cover thing over the pool was most likely put on by the bank. I have seen a few of them almost exactly like the one in the picture. They try to make is secure so that nobody can fall into it and they are then held responsible.

I figured that's what it was. It just seemed like overkill. There were anchor sockets for a safety cover. The cover was there , but it had been cut. A new one would probably cost less than the materials and labor to build the platform, but it would have had to been ordered. I'm sure the bank just wanted to git 'er done!

I think Scott is right about that being a security measure. We see them now and then, but don't have many pools in mid-Michigan. Great idea - cover a half full pool with a frame and tarp, then let is "simmer" into a nice green soup!

I had a foreclosure last August, just a few miles away from the one with the frame. The pool had all summer to simmer. Perfect conditions, too - tarp half on and half off. That let's sun in, and also retains the heat. Doesn't that diving board look inviting?

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So anyway, this house is out in the middle of nowhere. I get there early, walk back to the pool and what do I see, but sunbathers. I must have scared them. They must have wanted cover real bad, because they jumped right into that green soup. Yech! One was a little slower than the others, however - that, or maybe just not as shy. I couldn't help but notice the dark, uniform skin color, from head to feet. Luckily, my camera was right on my belt, so I stealthily slipped it out and boldly snapped a picture.

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