Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy 4th-giving!

Hopefully this post finds everyone recovered from turkey hangovers and pie highs. May the leftovers be abundant and different ways of preparing such be new and exciting....and that those extra pounds you were dreading disappear before the next round of culinary overindulgence at Christmas! Ours was nice. We were invited over to our Realtors house to join her family for a gourmet dinner. I mean nothing was standard issue. This woman is a chef and left no room for the plain old ordinary! I call it 'sexy' food, but however you cut it it was divine cuisine. Maryann did have to go to work for a split shift at 6:00P and afterwards John went to forage more leftovers from friends' house....he was invited. Apparently John was really impressed at the amount of friends who invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner since he was new to the area. Of course, he denied all of the invites, because he just absolutely wanted to be with his parents for Thanksgiving....wrrrriiight! We did have something to be extra thankful for this year. Just being able to be here, together, and living a long awaited dream.

In typical Alaskan style, the Thanksgiving holiday is extra special here, as another big holiday is celebrated at the same time. Every year in Kenai, the Friday night after Thanksgiving day is the long awaited celebration of the 4th of July. They have a 4th of July parade after the sun sets, complete with Santa Claus, and then a fireworks show. 4th of July for Thanksgiving! So it is definitely different around here this time of year, and alot of locals look forward to this time of year because of it. Now of course Friday after Thanksgiving day was the fabled 'Black Friday' shopping day. You see, everyone throughout the peninsula flocks to Fred Meyer in Soldotna to hit the day after sales. Isn't much in the way of shopping on the peninsula! Freds is about it. The big excitement for those who would rather not shop til they drop, is to sit in the furniture section of Freds and watch the herds of people scampering about mindlessly scoping out the best buys.....this in itself can be wholesome entertainment for the casual observer! There was a time long ago when Kmart was in Kenai. When Kmart closed nationwide, the one in Kenai closed as well. There was an ensuing crisis following the closure. The good people of Kenai had nowhere to buy socks and underwear! Thank God for Fred Meyer. Sad thing is, is that everyone in the area has to wear the same kind of socks and underwear....in fact it is a spoken rule of shopping here, that if you don't want to look like your neighbors, you have to go the 4 hour drive to do clothes shopping in Anchorage to get variety. The things one has to deal with to be original. I am thankful that I don't particularly care, myself! ;) And for the record....I get my underwear mail order from Campmor.

The weather has cooled down again, and seems like it is drifting towards snow. Could that be considered a ...'snow drift'....? I was asked today if it snows on the beach? Yes, in fact it does. Quite an oddity. In fact the inlet does ice over once the heavy freezes set in. We are hoping that we get more snow soon, especially now that I am kind of relying on it to make some winter cash flow with the plow. The last round we had last weekend found me going out plowing at around 2:00AM Sunday morning, and not getting home until 10:00PM Sunday night. I was just a little tired to say the least! But nonetheless it was fun. Remember, I am a little weird like that...I mean what I consider fun....and I am told it just keeps gettin more funnerer. ;)

Maryann and I have been re-exploring the thought of finishing off the downstairs room, and renting it our as a vacation cottage in the spring and summer. I say re-exploring because we thought about it....then lost the thought about it....and here we are again thinking about it. You see, it is not uncommon for people here to rent refurbished garages, done up storage buildings or lofts, or just rooms within their homes to summer vacationers. Sometimes just any kind of space that can be livable is rented. And this is a huge industry. We originally were looking a couple years ago at properties in the area that had additional cabins on the property to rent out. Believe it or not they are out there and priced reasonably. In other words, the chances of us succeeding at renting the downstairs room out on some kind of consistent basis are good. It is big enough down there for a queen bed and dresser, small couch, tv, maybe a small cafe table and a little reefer with a microwave. As well, it has an attached bathroom...unfinished as of now. As well as having locked access through the basement/utility area (for us) it also has it's own outside entry so all someone would have to do is park their ride, walk down a set of garden steps, and they can come and go anytime they want without ever interrupting us. The outside entry is such that they would have their own private grass area, where they could barbecue, walk a short path to swim or picnic at the lake, access to the sauna. And our location to the beach, Captain Cook State Park as well as close proximity to Kenai would make our location ideal. Pipe dream this is? Maybe. However, when we made this move we went in knowing that we would have to be creative and motivated to do things differently than we have been used to doing in the past to make cash flow. We took a calculated risk moving here. We had a steady and lucrative business that we just stopped cold and left behind to start quite literally over from $0.00 dollars a month. And no joke we did start at $0.00. At this point we have to look at things like our art, pottery, and say, this extra room as investment opportunities. We have to invest in ourselves and use our talents and the resources we have available to us to make our income. This is all part of the dream, man. Maryann says, "build it and they will come". Tom says, "put an apple on your desk and the teacher will teach".....or something like that. Sorry Tom, I know it is a good saying, just get confused on the verbiage! In any event aside from some obvious finances needed to complete the room and bathroom to a rentable status, there is nothing saying it couldn't happen. It does everyday in Alaska, and we know several people first hand who have done the same and reap the financial stability from multiple income sources. It would be a sweet set-up, and has so much potential both inside and out to be made inviting. Marketed right, we know it would be a success. So anyone who was thinking of visiting someday...you had your chance to do it for free, but when that room is done we're gonna charge you! Rest assured you will be comfortable though....I guarantee it! I posted a couple photos to kind of help with some visual aid of the setting and potential. Remember, the log outbuilding is the sauna, and the mentioned room is the open door going into the house.


























So for now I leave you with a thought to ponder. What is 'chance' but to have the chance? What does this mean.....hell if I know, but it sounds good! Have a good Sunday.