Every thing just doesn’t fall into place

Bob McKee

Real estate professionals cite the three things that will almost guarantee a piece of property will sell: location, location, location. In some cases apparently, that means that where a piece of property is located can be more important than the condition of the property when it is put on the market.

At least that’s the way I interpret that insider mantra for Realtors. If my interpretation is incorrect, I feel certain that some of the real estate agents who see this column will happily, but kindly, point out the errors of my ways. But this really isn’t about selling or buying a piece of property. It actually is about location, such as in: “where the hell am I?”

Now before you jump to conclusions of your own I do know where I am and that’s sitting before a computer in my makeshift home office. Actually it’s not makeshift, it is more or less permanent and has been for the last few years. The fact that it doubles as a spare bedroom has nothing to do with its primary purpose in this residential dwelling setting on some prime south Gasconade County acreage, which isn’t for sale, at least not yet.

The location question has to do with where this particular place is in relationship to other places. My sometimes overtaxed but mostly idle brain must deal with that question at this time every year when the absence of foliage allows glimpses of mysterious distant objects. Although the house sets on a ridge top, it is surrounded by trees that obscure views in any direction while the leaves are on. We can’t see the neighbors’ houses and they can’t see ours. In the dead of winter, however, the trees are bare because most of their leaves are stacked waist deep on the patio. The absence of foliage opens up new vistas.

Because the ridge continues to rise slightly to the west, the horizon is only 200 yards or so away in that direction blocking any meaningful scenery beyond. But to the east, north and south there are things to see and wonder about. A horizontal line that is out of place in a world of vertical trees has to be part of a neighbor’s house to the east that is not visible any other time of the year. But what is the sun reflecting off of at a certain time in the late afternoon? It appears to be the surface of a lake or large pond but there are none that I know of where this reflection occurs.

At night in that direction, the dusk to dawn lights at St. Johns United Church of Christ, Bem, are visible as well as the light in the church steeple when it is on. Two miles to the east, the headlights of northbound traffic on Highway 19 can be glimpsed through the bare tree branches.

To the north, there is nothing much to be seen but the little creek than runs between here and the next ridge over where sections of Bem Church Road are now visible. There also is one far-off dusk to dawn light, exact location unknown, but likely is somewhere along Hecker Road. If there were no trees in that direction, the lights of Owensville, six miles due north, would be visible. Not that I necessarily want to see the lights of Owensville at night but it would be something to look at occasionally.

The ground to the south and southwest slopes gently to the meandering Bourbeuse River, a little over a quarter of a mile distant. Treeless, that direction would offer the most scenic view of the river valley and the farmlands to the south. At night in that direction, there are a couple of dusk to dawn lights visible that appear to be much closer than they actually are. There are no lights on this side of the Bourbeuse. But 15 miles farther south, the lights of Cuba are sometimes reflected from a low cloud cover in that direction. 

While scenic views would be nice, I don’t want the trees gone. If I did, I would move to Kansas, Nebraska, eastern Wyoming or some other place with open plains. The problem with moving to one of those locales is that often there is nothing to look at but more open plains.

Where I am is fine, but I would like to know exactly where I am. In the old days, a good compass and an up-to-date topographic map would give your an idea of your exact location. Today a GPS (global positioning system) will do the same. In addition, there now is the website Google Earth which gives you a satellite view of your location. But Google Earth for this area is already several years old and I know of no plans to update it in the near future.

So what I’d like is for someone with a helicopter to land in our front yard and take me straight up high enough to get above the trees. We don’t even have to fly anywhere, just hover there for a few minutes so I can see exactly where I am and what is hither and yon. Location is everything.