The third (and final) reason we went to Connecticut last weekend was to become land owners for a second time.
Both sides of Coreen’s family have cottages on a lake in Coventry Connecticut. They are the places she went to as a kid to spend time with her grandparents and they hold special places in her heart. We have continued the tradition with our kids. We have our annual “going to the lake” trips for things like the 4th of July which inevitably become endurance eating, skin wrinkling in water contests.
As our extended family has grown and changed our kids (who were at one time the little ones) have gotten bigger and new little ones have come into the world. It’s a terrific place.
One of those cottages has for various reasons become in need of “some love”. That cottage was built in the 1950’s and was meant to be a temporary cottage while a more substantial building was constructed. The more substantial building was never constructed and so the temporary cottage survived. When Coreen and I met at UCONN it was still usable. We “borrowed” a set of keys and would go there to spend some quiet one on one time. Later things started to break in the cottage. The electric was wonky. The well pump went out. Eventually Coreen’s mom decided to build her retirement home there and so maintenance on the cottage basically stopped. Coreen’s mom decided last year that she was not going to retire “to the lake” and wanted to sell.
Coreen and I had a long talk about purchasing that cottage. Did it make any sense for us to buy it? No it made no financial sense for us to do that. It’s too far away for us to use a lot in the summer. The taxes are high (Yeah lake front property in CT!). So it made no sense to buy. But…… it was a special and important place. So it made total sense (from an irrational perspective :)). After the long talk we decided that we were in a place where we could afford to take it over. Last week Coreen’s mom became the bank and we became the borrowers. Now we are proud owners of two properties. One being a small lake front parcel with a 400 square foot cabin in Coventry Connecticut. One of my friends in the ADK Luge Club pointed out the irony that we live in the Adirondacks (i.e. the middle of nowhere) and bought a vacation house in CT (i.e. in civilization).
The “Cottage” (capitalized now because that’s its name) is in need of some love.
(Classic 50’s eh? Can you hear the music from Dirty Dancing?)
The bones are solid. It’s straight, and square, and what rot there is is cosmetic. We would love to “cut a check” and have someone get this into shape for us, but alas, we cut a check to start buying it (and that was the last check like that in the book!). Worry not, we have a plan. Over the next couple of years, we are going to get it into shape ourselves. Roof, windows, siding next year. Remodel on the inside as we can.
In the end it will take longer to do it that way, but it will really be ours then. It will be a place where the memories include our sweat (and probably blood, but hopefully not tears). A place where our kids (and as Coreen’s aunt was “nice” enough to remind us, soon our grandkids, yikes!) can build their own memories.
Picture of the Day
“Wangumbaug Lake (aka Coventry Lake)” Taken from OUR beach!