Monday, February 05, 2007

Our Shack…

I had known Mike and Sue for 12 or 13 years at the time. I lived with them for a while in the early 1990’s and Mike had been my best man at our wedding in 1996.

They had a drafty old cabin on a lake in Vermont and asked if Christine and I were interested in using it for a vacation get-a-way. Having both lived in New England we jumped at the chance to use their place.

It turned out to be one of the most relaxing peaceful weeks either of us had ever spent away.

We just spent the week reading, sleeping late, observing nature, sailing on the pond and scouting the area. We found some great restaurants close by with local cheeses, breads and summer fruits that just delighted us.

The people were friendly and helpful to “flatlanders.”

After about four days I looked at Chris and said, “We should get a place here.” She gave me that look that says, “Nice idea dreamer boy!”

We poked around the pond and found a couple of old cabins that looked as if no one had been around in a long time. I did some research with the neighbors and the Walden town office and got the phones numbers of the owners. After we returned home to Cleveland I called both owners and left a message that went something like this, “We were up on Coles Pond last week and we saw your place and wondered if, when you are interested in selling, you would give us a call!” I left our name and number.

About three weeks later we got a call from a woman on Long Island who owned the place at the end of the pond called “Sommersett.” She was interested in selling because she was building a new home and she rarely got up to use the cabin.

It was a little quick for us… we thought it would be years before someone actually called us. But we mulled it over and made her an offer and to our surprise she accepted it!

When we were on vacation the previous summer we had only walked around the exterior. We had never seen the inside of the place. But our friends, Mike and Sue, got a key and inspected the place for us. With Mike’s approval we purchased it.

That was seven years ago and we have enjoyed it every summer since. With a nod to Christine’s Irish roots we renamed it “Tearmann” (Pronounced cheer-munn) which is Gaelic for “Sanctuary.” It has truly been a sanctuary for us. We have fixed it up through the years but without a well and only a wood stove for heat we were never able to use it year round.

This summer we are planning to build a new place on the site of the old cabin. It will allow us to realize some dreams sooner rather than later. We spent the weekend looking at counter tops, tile, and carpets - thinking about exterior finishes and metal roofs.

The thought of building is a fascinating and scary process.

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