Saturday, July 22, 2017

End of an Era

Buying our lakehouse property began as a dare from my brother-in-law the year after Larry and I got married: "We'll buy the boat; you get the place to keep the boat." We've owned it for fifteen years. When we decided to renovate after unsuccessfully trying to sell it, we knew we would have it for seven years (we got a 7/1 ARM mortgage to pay for most of the renovation). We've had a new house here for three years now. Over the years, we tried twice to buy adjoining or adjacent parcels of land to either expand or create a buffer from the main road, but staying in Larry's home state was just not meant to be.

Now, we have a sixteen-month-old grandson in Massachusetts (my home state), and he trumps the decision. Not just that, but after fifteen years, the private, secluded, beautiful isolation no longer serves my Spirit. I long for my peeps and for a lot more stimulation. Our friends and family here in South Carolina all work. We are retired, so all week we fill our time with chores; waiting to see someone socially for a dinner or a boat ride. This level of socialization is just not enough for me anymore. As I get older, I realize I am healthier in the company of friends my own age or older who serve as positive mentors for aging in a healthy, productive way. I also long to be with my adorable grandson.

Earlier this year, the abandoned property we tried to buy when our neighbor first died, was purchased by a lovely, young family who already live in our town about three miles away. I so longed for this kind of neighbor with children next door. Soon after we met, I told them we would be selling our half of the "point", and they were very disappointed. "I'm sorry," I told them, "it's just too late." Soon after this conversation, they approached us and made an offer on our property and shared their dream with us. Their dream was much like the dream we had when we wanted to buy that property. We became friends very quickly, and realized this beautiful, young family were the only buyers for us. They will love our property, like we did, and like we promised the previous and original owners, Fred and Marilyn Peden, we would do when they interviewed us to decide if we were worthy of their beloved lake property. We carried on the history they began here, and now we feel like we are passing on the torch of love we took from them. We also believe they would approve of these new buyers, so this feeling calms any reservations we have about selling it.

We passed papers on our lakehouse property two days ago, and I spent much of the day beginning at sunrise, taking pictures, crying and remembering. This property gave us and our family, especially Larry's late sister, Libby, much joy and peace. All our family and friends had fun here because we shared it freely with them. We gave them keys and said use it as much as you want while we're in Rhode Island. Everyone is sad the joyful history of our lake home is at an end, but they also accept that change happens. I'm glad because as the initiator of this sale, I feel a little guilty. I wrestled with the decision, fought with my husband over it for years, and eventually got him to see and accept the decision I made for my personal mental, emotional and physical health. He has put the past behind him and has accepted that we no longer own our little piece of paradise, nor any of the furniture in it. We sold it furnished. His happiness is of primary importance to me, and being from this area, has a totally different and opposite experience with the isolation. It worked for me for many years, and I learned to love the quiet. But, now, I only want to vacation in it. Today, for the first time in its history, the fence dividing this ten and a half acres is coming down. It will become one big parcel for the first time. We wanted to do this ourselves, so seeing it gone makes me happy. But, this also means Jackson has the full run of all of it, making it harder to control his activities. We will be staying here until the end of August, when on the 21st, we will host a Solar Eclipse party as our last hurrah.

Larry will learn to have a new relationship with his brother and his family, and our friends will all find new ways to keep in touch. We want them to come north to visit us. We want to share vacations together. Relationships, especially life-long ones, require work. We will all work to find a new normal for ourselves because we will all be in each others' lives until death do us part.

God bless our beloved lakehouse. May she take good care of her new owners, stay healthy and bring them as much joy as she brought us and our families. Thank you, God, for the honor of care taking this beautiful property, and for the blessing of having it in our lives. Amen.


  1. Thank you for sharing the story of the lakehouse over the years. I have enjoyed following along. This is a wonderful closing chapter.

  2. Thanks, Robin, I really appreciate that. Love you.