Ilze Berzins

Good Friday we showed some nouveaux riche vulgarians from Calgary through our home and garden. From top to bottom. Every nook and cranny. Cupboards were opened, every inch inspected and my husband and I were both grilled about why we are selling, where we are going, where do we come from and who the hell are we.

“Are you Germans?” asks hyper overbearing female.

“No, we’re Latvian.”


Who are we indeed?

Very open guileless people. Ex-hippies. Yaw, we gotta toughen up.

Long story short: Vulgarians lowballed us and then were mad that we wasted their time.

Yaw, we definitely gotta toughen up.

‘And now, the end is near and so…’

I’m a Sinatra fan. I sang MY WAY in a karaoke bar in Kyoto, Japan and was surprised that nobody booed me off the stage.

But seriously.

Yesterday we went to the hardware store and purchased a HOUSE FOR SALE BY OWNER sign.  

When the sign was up it was hanging from our lamppost but I was quite shocked to see that George had used one of my paintings as a backing. Still, I have to say it looks quite good, actually. I’m seeing my work from a brand new perspective.

And now we wait. Look out the window. See who stops to write down our e-mail address. Of course it’s March Break. Everyone is away.

The next morning we respond to a few e-mails. Pretty feeble stuff. Folks figured that we’d be giving our house away because we didn’t know any better.

Do we?


A fellow comes to mind.

Some years ago I held a book launch party at this very house and a strange little character turned up. A strange wonderful character, I should say. Accepting a glass of wine from me he said, “I’d like to buy every book you’ve written.”

What a way to impress an author!

Then, through neighbourhood chitchat I learned that this same fellow, Bob Whatzit (not his real name), is a real estate agent.   

Long story short, we are no longer alone in this perilous real estate journey.

“Your house is just meat on the hook for me,” Bob says at our meeting at which I am to sign on. “And it’s in pretty bad shape.”

“(expletive),” I reply with as much dignity as I can summon.

How will all this turn out? Will we ever be able to leave Scragsville?