It had been put up to suggest a greeting card, opening away from the passersby on a major thoroughfare and it said, bluntly, "FOR SALE" in block red letters. The sign itself was dirty, dingy, and dinged; the weeds at its foot had grown to obscure the telephone number and mud was splattered on the name of the company offering it for sale. This was no storefront offering; indeed, this vacant lot has been "for sale" for my entire duration in Florida, a hurricane dodging, heat stroke avoiding, four years. But why? Not "why is it for sale?" rather, "why hasn't it sold?"
For most of the four years the lot stood entirely vacant, except, of course, for the sign; and that had changed only recently to reflect a change in the company offering it. The lot, now, looked bleak, appropriately identified with that sense of desolation one only feels in the underpasses of super highways and their forgotten medians. It was filled with large empty spools colored in municipal yellow, with matching empty flatbed trailers and trucks with tanks and hoses. These were arrayed on either side of the drive into the lot, which appeared to have been graded recently, stripping what green there was by virtue of the weeds and leaving only mounds of sand. Again, why had this not sold?
Granted, the lot was not putting its best foot forward; but I saw a large house with spanish tiles on the roof situated just behind the beautiful palms and at a gentle angle to the driveway entrance. The lucious greenery, now dusty with the nearby traffic, was manicured, well-watered, and punctuated with flowering beds of perennials. I could see, just beyond some of the palms closer to the house, the shaded pool at the foot of the garden surrounded again by blossoming plants and brightly colored pool furniture adorning a tasteful gazebo. There were two luxury cars in the driveway and, as I was watching, a smaller, violet colored, sports car drove up and two teenagers jumped out yelling "Mom." All in all, the scene was beautiful and, my imagination notwithstanding, was well worthy of the most serious consideration.
The traffic sped by, I looked longingly at the elegant, gracious architectural style of the house, inhaled a deep breath of the fragrant air enclouding it, drove the short block home and gift-wrapped the experience, attaching a card reading: WAG #8.