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
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!