Once upon a time, there was a young girl.
This is the young girl with her best friend from high school the year they dressed as hobos for Halloween.
These are her parents a few years ago at the Halloween event on historic Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri. They have been married for almost 57 years.
Over the years, this family was very good to the young girl and as she grew up and got married, they were very good to her family, too.
About 23 years ago, they bought a little cottage by the lake, and as the young girl grew into a woman, she spent many wonderful weekends at this place with her family.
This year, the couple decided it was time to sell the little cottage, and after their children decided not to buy it, they offered to sell it to us.
My DSH has always dreamed of owning a house on the lake and, in fact, at one point in time, we did own a piece of lake property. But raising five children meant that we did not have the time or the resources to dedicate to it, so we gave it up.
The timing was right for all of us in a lot of ways. Our oldest three children are out on their own, and our youngest two children are nearly halfway finished with college (the end is in sight!).
So, we decided to take the plunge. Since it had been some time since DSH had visited the place, we took a trip down to the lake with our youngest child who had not yet left for school. We also were looking at another property just down the road from the little cottage.
One property was a newly built condo with a boat slip, pool, lake swimming area, a large deck overlooking the lake in a quiet cove, and a nice large kitchen with granite countertops. The other property was the little lake cottage with no washer & dryer and no dishwasher, but with its own lakefront and dock and a nice flat lot on a quiet cove.
When we asked our daughter which property she preferred, we fully expected her to say the condo. But, she didn’t. She said that she preferred the little cottage and, when asked why, she responded it was because it came with many wonderful memories of the times we spent visiting over the years.
We sealed the deal and took my friend’s parents out to dinner to celebrate and to get the inside tips on maintaining the place. We learned that my friend’s dad was the same age as DSH is now when they bought it some 23 years ago. We thought that was kind of neat.
We recently spent our first weekend at the little cottage by lake. This is what the cottage looks like coming down the driveway from the highway.
This is what greeted us as we entered – a nice bottle of wine and a lovely note that I will keep and treasure. They told us that selling to us was like keeping it in the family. This family has treated me like family for over 42 years, and saying it was a compliment that I will also treasure.
Here is a view of the little cottage by the lake looking up from the dock. The deck is nearly half the size of the cottage!
Here is a view of our dock looking down from the cottage. There is a boat slip waiting for boat and a swim dock waiting for visitors.
It doesn’t quite feel like our place yet. We still feel like visitors. As we make changes and add our own touches over time, I’m sure it will feel more and more like it’s ours.
In the meantime, there is nothing quite like a sunset over the lake; or watching the herons and egrets and woodpeckers and bluebirds and ducks and geese; or listening to the water lap the shore; or sitting quietly in the evening without television. There is definitely a different pace to life at a vacation home. A retreat from the hub bub of life.
We look forward to spending a lot of time here and making many more wonderful memories. We also hope that we will be able to pay it forward like my friend and her parents did for us.