The Roberthouse – The Lakes Region Real Estate Report
It seems like every week or so we getting new people sending in applications to join the Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603. That is pretty good except that we don’t have an application form, so I don’t know where these are coming from. This past week Robert House contacted me directly to join, so I set up the meeting at his porch up in Moultonborough on Bear Cove.
As you recall, it has been pretty darned icy. I followed Robert’s directions precisely out to the lake and found his driveway which pitched gently down to the residence. Well, pitching gently on an icy drive really means starting out slowly and gathering great speed and momentum as you go. Luckily, there were still good banks on each side of the driveway and the house was well off to the right, so I was able to slide right without running into it, the large pine trees, and the dog house. I hit the lake well clear of the open area where the bubbler was protecting the dock. Now, that was exciting!
As I came to a stop, there was a fairly large bobhouse directly in front of me about thirty yards out. It appeared to be pretty fancy as it even had a front porch. And, on that front porch there was a guy hollering and waiving to me. I then realized he was waiving to tell me to move my truck and get out of the way. Sensing I was in grave danger, I shifted into four-wheel drive, cranked the wheel to the left, and moved just in time before Dewie Cheatum’s car went sliding past me. Dirk Davenport was riding shotgun in front and Travis D. Coletrain, Stu D. Baker, and Little Stevie Prestone were in the back seat. They all looked like they’d seen a ghost.
The guy from the bobhouse came running over and introduced himself to us as the aforementioned Robert House. He started apologizing profusely for how icy his driveway was. He said he had sanded earlier but it had rained and froze over again. We told him it was no big deal as neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these members from swiftly setting in their appointed rockers. I said, “Shall we head up to your house and get the meeting started?”
Robert replied, “No, no, come out to my bobhouse! That’s what I wanted you guys to see! I’ve got a little porch there, plenty of chairs, and some freshly made Porch Crawler beverages! And stop calling me Robert…call me Bob” That sounded a lot easier than trying to get our vehicles back up that incline…at least until we got a little more sand down.
So, we slowly made our way across the ice, which did not have a speck of snow or crust on it to get a grip. Travis was complaining the whole way that he had fallen three time in the past two days showing real estate and was tired of homeowners not sanding their walkways. Little Stevie quipped, “You are on the lake! Quit your whining. This is fun!” Travis says, “I hope you fall on your butt, then we’ll see if you think it’s fun!” Real estate agents are such an amicable sort.
We arrived unscathed at the bobhouse and he gave us a quick tour of the inside…a couple of us at a time, that is. Bob had the place all decked out inside. He had a little propane heater, a couple of comfy recliners, a cot, a refrigerator and a blender powered by a small generator, a small stove, and pretty great collection of Snap-On calendars on the wall…you know the ones with tools and pretty girls on them? He poured us all a Porch Crawler beverage and we convened the meeting outside on his porch and on the ice with some chairs in a semi-circle.
We sat talking about the weather, the pond hockey tournament, the fishing derby, and how there are bobhouses springing up everywhere around the lake. Bob says, “You may not realize it, but it has always been a mystery as to who invented or even named the bobhouse. You won’t find a ‘History of bobhouses’ on the internet anywhere. But, I know, and it was invented here in the Lakes Region!” “Go on,” Dirk said, “who invented the bobhouse?”
“Well,” Bob says, “My great grandfather was also named Robert House and he and his brother, Arthur, lived right here well over a hundred years ago. They had a pretty nice house and as was common back then with no indoor plumbing they had an outhouse. But, this was no ordinary out house. It was a three-holer done up real nice with a porch and it even had a place to set a bucket of coals to keep you warm in the winter. They also built it on a set of skids so they could easily relocate it as necessary.”
He continued, “One winter day after a spell of weather just like this except the wind was blowing terribly, Robert went out to do his business. He went into the out- house, slammed the door tight, and started to sit down. Just then the outhouse trembled, creaked, and groaned. He looked down between his legs into the hole below and realized the outhouse was moving…and because his trousers were around his ankles there was little he could do but hold on. He braced himself for the impact that was sure to come, but nothing happened. He watched the frozen earth whoosh by through the hole below and then he could see ice. He knew he was on the lake and safe. Amazing, when the outhouse came to a rest he looked down to see water and the ice fishing tip-up that Arthur had set up earlier.”
We set spellbound as he went on, “Seconds later, Arthur came a running to make sure his gear was OK and they both realized what they had; a covered fishing hole! They decided they couldn’t call it Robert’s house… so, they called it a “bobhouse,” for short. No one knows for sure if the wind blew the outhouse down the slope, of if Artur was playing a prank. He could have easily pushed it to get her started. You see, Arthur was a such huge man his nickname was ‘Tiny.’ Not only did they invent the bobhouse, you could say Tiny started “Tiny House Movement,” which is a double entendre if I ever saw one! Maybe even a triple…