Country Living by
(306 Stories)

Prompted By Home Repair

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

Country Living

Although I grew up in a house,  most of my married life I’ve been a Manhattanite and an apartment dweller.  (See (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,  Cooking with Gas)

However over the years we did spend many wonderful summers in houses at the beach.   (See The Great Hampton Babysitter Heist,  Menemsha Sunset  and Skinny Dipping)

They were all rentals and our stays there hassle-free.   At the end of our lease we’d empty the fridge,  pack up our stuff,  and drop off the keys.

But about a dozen years ago we decided we wanted a place of our own,  not just for summers,   but for weekend escapes and getaways year round.

So as much as we loved being at the beach,  we decided the Berkshire foothills in New England was the place for us with it’s natural beauty and so much in the area to enjoy in all four seasons.

Friends had bought a house in Lakeridge,  a lovely community in NW Connecticut,  two hours north of the city and 45 minutes south of Tanglewood.  Built on 235 acres carved out of a lush state forest,  the developers had preserved as many trees and as much of the natural habitat as possible.   In addition to it’s beautiful setting,  Lakeridge boasts 20 tennis courts, an indoor and outdoor pool,  a pond,  canoes and kayaks,  a small ice skating rink,  a ski slope and chairlift,  gardening plots,  and even a stable of horses!   The first time we visited our friends we were sold,  and we bought a house there too.   (See Wisdom in the Weeds,  Pickled)

The house was in good shape with no obvious need for renovation,  but the kitchen sink was very shallow,  not even deep enough to wash a big spaghetti pot.  So we got a new sink,  and since I had long wanted a stove with a cooktop,  we got a new stove,  and while we were at it,  a new microwave too.

Then one weekend a house guest was taking a shower while I was running the dishwasher and doing the laundry.  Suddenly his shower turned icy cold.   So we got a bigger hot water heater,  and also replaced the leaky downstairs toilet,  and also the old washing machine which sometimes leaked  down through the kitchen ceiling.

And then we decided to retile the upstairs bathrooms.  (Coming up one Friday night we found a dead squirrel floating in the toilet –  but we couldn’t do much about that.)

We’ve loved our years at our woodsy retreat,  and have enjoyed making friends with the deer and the occasional bear family,   but we’ve also learned why houses – even rustic houses in the woods – can be veritable money pits!

(BTW my neighbors just renovated their attic to create another bedroom and bath,  and it looks really great!   Next week their contractor is coming over to give me an estimate.)



– Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

Visit Author's Website

Tags: Connecticut, Renovation


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Old houses require maintenance, one way or another. Dead squirrel in the toilet – oh my! But yes, you will keep finding new outlets for renovations. Enjoy!

  2. Marian says:

    One thing your story proves, Dana, is that once you start “improving” one area in a house, you find the need to renovate others, which start looking old or non-functional. This house sounds delightful, and what a beautiful location and great amenities.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    Looks beautiful. Money pit seems to be a recurrent theme (and of course failed timelines for contractors). The Berkshires are lovely, and apparently good habitat still for people and wildlife, yay. Did I read you are considering adding a guest room? Let’s visit ha ha!

  4. Suzy says:

    Good story, Dana, about a house that fortunately didn’t need much work. How did you dispose of the squirrel in the toilet? Flushing it would have probably caused a major plumbing problem. And I’m with Khati, if you are adding another bedroom, we should all come visit!

    • Thanx Suzy, we were both too squeamish and called the condo office and a brave maintenance guy came over, fished out the poor squirrel, and threw him unceremoniously into the woods!

      And yes when we can all travel safely again we can plan a Retro reunion here!

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Even though it’s a money pit, what a beautiful setting. Getting away from the city and relaxing in nature is a true gift.

Leave a Reply