Monday, September 7, 2009
Decks and Fences
I was having lunch with Douglas one day (I've decided not to use last names in this blog) and he told me a story about his parents' vacation home. When they first bought there, the beach was open to the public. Beachgoers could walk for miles in either direction for free. Day-strangers could swim openly, and picnics could be set up without restriction. This, understandably, became increasingly annoying to the homeowners who payed a lot of money for second homes. Little by little, they began to mark their space. It started with one homeowner who put some buoys in the water so that the kids would know where to swim. Another homeowner added a nice white fence from the back of their property to the corner of their lot where the grass met the sand. A third homeowner built a wooden deck with stairs leading down to the beach. And each year, the homeowners found small ways to protect their privacy and increase the value of their vacation homes.
Now, many years later, the beach itself is partitioned by nicely-constructed fences that mark the edge of each lot. The homeowners, though, don't go to the beach anymore. Most of the vacation activity now takes place on their decks that overlook the beach that leads to the water where people used to swim.