July 2, 2020

A Cabin to Call Our Own

 

My love affair with the Adirondack Mountains began soon after I met Billy and he brought me to his family's cabin that they co-owned with friends for the first time. I had travelled to the area with my parents growing up, but we stayed in the very commercial village of Lake George, which isn't anything at all like the parts of these mountains that you find when you venture just a little further north.  


Boreas Ponds in North Hudson, NY

It would be hard to imagine the story of us without this place. Billy asked me to marry him in front of the fireplace here, every one of our three baby boys came here within their first weeks of life and we've celebrated countless birthdays, holidays and anniversaries here in these mountains. Perhaps even more importantly, it has also served as our safe haven when life gets hard, as it inevitably does. I can distinctly remember finding peace here after the death of my father, in the rare days we snuck away following my mother's stroke, after the deaths of our beloved dogs who lived many of their best days here and, most recently, during the pandemic. I think that even if we keep coming here for the rest of our lives (as is the plan), we will never tire of exploring these mountains. There is always someplace new to discover. Or a familiar place seemingly transformed in different light. Or us ourselves, equally transformed in a new season of life.

Cabin in Autumn

My mother and father-in-law generously offered for us to treat this cabin as our own and we certainly took them up on it through the years. We have wonderful memories here with my husband's side of the family, and also with my own parents, brother and our many friends who we were able to share it with thanks to their kindness. Every one of those memories has made this place what it is. We will be forever grateful to the gift that they provided to our family as time at this house. Our family is closer because of our time here together.

Cabin in Winter

So, a couple of years ago, when it began to feel like it was time for Billy and I to buy our own piece of Adirondack Park to share with our own young adult children as it had been shared with us, we thought about all the things we loved about this house and set out to replicate it as much as we could. We looked at fixer-upper cabins and finished cabins and property to build a new cabin. But, like the story of the 3 bears, each was just too big or small. None felt just right.  


 
Around the same time, Billy's parents and their friends began to feel that the upkeep on their house was becoming too much of a burden in relation to how often they could use it. To our surprise, they offered to sell it to us. We happily agreed on the spot. In the words of our youngest son, there could be no better house for us, this one is totally perfect. He was referring to the fact that this house sits right on the snowmobile trail that is his year-round playground but he was totally right in that you just can't buy memories like we have made here and that's what truly makes it the perfect house.

Real Estate Closing in the Time of Covid

And so, on a recent Thursday morning during the 3 month shutdown of the NY metro area thanks to Coronavirus  we attended the closing for our new old cabin. We joked that of all the things we've accomplished in innovative ways thanks to the lockdown, purchasing a house at a drive-thru closing will probably remain the most memorable. 

Front Porch in Spring

 The house needs work which we have already begun in earnest. We've started on fun projects like the kitchen and decorating which I will share more about soon, but there are also lots of necessary, not-so-fun jobs in our near future like painting the exterior, tree work and a whole new electrical system to name just a few. Fortunately, we have lots of experience working on houses and we are happy to have our boys' help now that they are older. They will be investing in their own future through sweat equity and hopefully learning some skills for their future houses.

Cabin Kitchen

We've been thinking about what we should name our cabin, or "camp" as properties such as this are often referred to in this area. We came up with "Camp Lucky Dog" because our dogs, along with the dogs of our family and friends, are such a fun and integral part of being here. We simply can't imagine Camp without them!

Dax welcoming you to Camp!

More than anything, we are grateful. Grateful to have a place to escape to that we love so much. Grateful for generous parents who have shared everything they worked so hard for with us. Grateful that our kids (and hopefully our future grandkids!) will continue to come together and make memories in this special place. I hope you'll enjoy following along on our journey both in our NJ home and, now, at our family's cabin in the woods.

40 comments:

  1. Oh Courtney, I'm so happy for you! Congratulations! I was hoping that it would turn out this way...I've always loved seeing your photos from this house and you're son is right, "there could be no better house for you"! Wishing you many more years of happiness at Camp Lucky Dog! Just perfect!
    Cheers!
    Shelley

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    1. Thanks so much, Shelley! You made me smile, I could feel your enthusiasm in this comment. :) I know that you appreciate how special time away with your family is. Have a great weekend!

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  2. Oh my word, how exciting. What a generous offer and such a fabulous home with so many memories. I know you will continue to make more and more memories here with your family. I look forward to seeing the changes you make. It looks pretty perfect to me as it is.

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    1. Thanks so much, Marty! It already is pretty great, just needs some updates so it stays that way for a long time to come. Have a great weekend!

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  3. This is such a dream! Congratulations! I am a mid-western girl whose life took her to the hot Arizona desert, and I would give anything to be in a beautiful place like that. We did manage to find a sweet little ranch house on an acre surrounded by grass and trees (which is RARE out here), but I always look at your page and wish I had the seasons and trees and snow as you do! I hope you continue to enjoy it!

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    1. Thanks so much, Amanda! I'm sure the grass and trees make all the difference when living in your area. The winters are tough here so I think there are pluses and minuses to all places.

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  4. Congratulations! What could be better than to take on the stewardship of a family home from the first generation, and to enjoy being the caretakers for the next generation. You and your family are so fortunate to have such a wonderful family legacy. It's a great story. Have fun as you make it your own!

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes, you totally get it, that's what makes it such a special place.

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  5. Congratulations Courtney!! So happy for you and your family!!! I always enjoy the posts you share at the cabin (I enjoy all of your posts!!). How blessed you are to have had this opportunity. That area is beautiful!! I live on Long island and we often travel to the Adirondacks and the lake placid area..simply girgeous!!!! Enjoy this new venture.

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth! The ride into Lake Placid is gorgeous!! One of my favorite places to photograph.

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  6. Congrats! What a dream come true for you. Can't wait to follow you for updates and how you make it your own. How long is the drive for you to your camp?

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    1. Thanks! It is 3 hours and 15 minutes, door to door, with no traffic.

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  7. OMG! So happy for you! I too have been going to the Adirondack Mountains my whole life. My mom's family is from the Albany area and my great grandmother and uncle had/have camps on Lake Desolation outside Saratoga. It is my happy place. We live in Maryland so it is quite a hike up there but so worth it. I can't wait to follow along as you update your beautiful camp.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lynda! I never heard of Lake Desolation but I'm sure it is beautiful. Definitely worth the drive from Maryland.

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  8. How wonderful, Courtney! I know you love it there! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Linda! I know you know how wonderful it is to have a place to get away to.

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  9. So excited for all of you to be able to keep the cabin in the family ... and another place for you to decorate!

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    1. Thanks! I've already had a lot of fun decorating there, so fun to have a new space.

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  10. Welcome! How exciting to be a resident of the Adirondacks! We live halfway between Warrensburg and North Creek and there is no better place to be :) I love reading your stories about your visits up here and seeing your pictures of your trips to familiar places. Enjoy your "new old" place, I know you and your family will be making many more wonderful memories. Can't wait to see what you do with the place!

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    1. Thanks so much! That sure is a lovely area you live in. We spend a lot of time in North Creek - love Cafe Sarah, the farmer's market and Foothills and we often food shop at Price Chopper in Warrensburg!

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  11. How exciting! We all need a place to retreat, relax, and heal sometimes. This seems the perfect place. I look forward to seeing some changes and hearing how y'all are making new memories.

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    1. Thanks so much, Cindy! Looking forward to sharing all that too.

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  12. Oh my; what a blessing! Can't wait to see what all you do to the place.

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  13. What a wonderful post! I am sitting here with a grin a mile wide for you. It is with joy I read your happy news - in this time of anything but happy news. Thanks for sharing this blessing with us.

    I love how this is all serendipitous for you and wish you a lifelong continuing peace and harmony at that awesome cabin.

    Camp Lucky Dog? I think you are ALL lucky dogs! Perfect name!

    Our home is named Finch Rest, so an appropriate name is a good thing. : - )

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    1. Thank you so much, Michele! Your comment made me smile too. :-) Finch Rest - what a lovely name too.

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  14. Growing up our family shared the family farm where my mother and her 8 siblings grew up in the early 1900's. My bachelor uncle bought the farm after my grandfather passed. He allowed our family to bring up our campers and roam the farm where we all bonded tightly. The house was torn down this past winter by new owners. They plan to build a new house and live on it. But, in my memory it is still standing and always will!

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    1. Oh, must have been so difficult to see it torn down. Some places just become a part of us and we are better for having spent time there. It sounds like you will carry those memories with you forever.

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  15. This is fabulous and I am so excited that all the memories you have made in this sweet cabin through the years can continue as you are now the owners. I know you will have it beautifully decorated as your home is. Enjoy sweet friend. xoxo

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  16. This is like something fantastic. I have never seen such a beauty before. You are a really creative and smart person! Keep it up!

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  21. شكرا على هذه التدوينة ومدونتك رائعة جدا
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    ReplyDelete

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