Thursday, September 9, 2010

How It Happened: 365 Days to a New Cottage

If you scroll down, you will see the before and after pics of our Canadian cottage. I have been teasing my husband that it's new name should be the COT-TAJ. This place is massive in comparison to my regular house.

My husband has been pondering a renovation for years. He loves this place on the lake and refers to it as his "Palace of Solitude." He grew up on this lake and it is for all intents and purposes his "home."

He started visiting construction sites and flipping through magazines. He asked me if I would like to go along and join him on his site-seeing trips, I politely declined. I am in entertainment mode every minute I spend on the lake. My husband comes here for vacation. I come here for work.

A couple of days before we closed up for the season last summer, he had a meeting with a draftsman and a contractor. The next thing I knew, sitting at home in the good old USA, they were pouring basements and finding all kinds of problems with the existing structure.

I'll never forget the minute that he turned to me and said that they had burned the rest of the building down. The structure was not viable. Yes, our renovation had turned into a rebuild.

About a year later, I was stunned at this massive structure that loomed before me as we turned down the driveway. Gone was our little ramshackle place. Before me stood what looked like a Tahoe ski house.

I was and still am in a little bit of shock. I am a "farm girl." A landlubber. An adult with ADHD. I don't know where my socks are on a normal day, let alone how to navigate a massive dwelling. I should be excited. I should be jumping up and down.

All I can think is now I'm broke and have a lot more house to clean. Not very glass full, am I?

I've been muttering all summer that my husband absolutely married the wrong woman. Most woman would be jumping up and down for joy. I keep thinking we've got more space to have more guests come to visit--and it's completely winterized, so not only more guests, but more guests more often.

I love guests, and would go crazy in such a remote place without them. However, if my idea of a vacation was cooking 3 square meals a day for 20, making beds, stripping beds, washing sheets and cleaning the bathroom I would apply to be a chambermaid at the Holiday Inn.

I catapult from this existence back home to regular life, and people say, how was you summer? Did you have a great time on the lake? Mostly, I nod. It's too long of a story. You either get it or you don't.


Christina said...

It is a very beautiful cot-taj, but I think I'd go a bit stir-crazy. Peace and seclusion makes me a little crazy.

Deb said...

I am the same way, that's why I need to have my friends and family visit--which is also the reason that there is so much preparation and work. You can't win, I guess!

after builers cleaning said...

Pictures look amazing. The cottage in the forest It's like dream come true. Good luck with the left construction work.

Deb said...

It really is amazing, I can't believe that my husband really had the vision to design something like this. I am a person who has a tough time with transition, so it will take me a while, but I'm sure that I will come around and figure it all out.

Terri said...

It looks beautiful Deb, Can I come for a visit ? ;)

Deb said...

Of course :)

Helene said...

I wanna come for a visit too. It's truly beautiful!! I have a hard time envisioning a finished project as well.

Deb said...

It really is a beautiful place. It is in the middle of nowhere, which is not bad unless you need serious medical attention--and for those times I hear that there's a helicopter that will come and get you. Don't want to try that, though!

Rae Ann said...

I so hear you! I have similar feelings about our yearly trip to Colorado. Everyone always asks about my trip and I feel like a brat if I am not appropriately gush-y.

As for all the work? If they are good enough friends to come visit you in the middle of nowhere, they are good enough friends to strip their own beds! ;)