About a week ago, my husband and I returned from a week-long trip to Upstate New York, where we went to get our VRBO house on Lake Champlain ready for our busy summer rental season.
We bought this one-of-a-kind former farmhouse, which was originally built in 1830 with some later additions in the 1940's, when we were still living in our New Hampshire "forever home." At the time, we thought we might rent it out until my husband was ready to retire, and then we'd sell our NH house and move into it, using it as our home base and traveling from there to visit our far-flung grown children.
But with three of our five sons living in the same area of Virginia and looking like they were settling down for the foreseeable future, we decided to keep the NY house as a rental property, sell our NH house, and move closer to them. When we made our life-changing move south in 2017, sons number two, three, and four were already VA neighbors; then shortly after we became Virginians, son number one moved here, too. What are the odds?! I can't believe God arranged it so that those four boys would roam far from their NH roots and serendipitously end up in the same place, giving us the opportunity to have all 17 of our grandchildren living less than an hour away from us. (We just have to get our baby and his wife to move here—that's still a WIP.)
Our Colonial beauty in NY (which we've dubbed "Oyster Haven") sits on a gorgeous piece of property that includes a football field-sized back yard and boasts 250 feet of lakefront, which essentially gives us our own private beach. There are spectacular views of historic Valcour Island and its little brother, Carleton's Prize (nicknamed "Gunboat Island"), as well as the outlines of the mountains of Vermont on the other side of the lake. It is about as idyllic and heavenly a setting as you could ever imagine.
We try to block off a week or so each summer so that our kids and grandkids can spend some time there with us, but otherwise we keep the NY house available for guests. We spend the summer months staying at my husband's childhood home just a few miles down the road, managing our VRBO property and enjoying boating on the lake. But the rest of the year is spent in our adopted state of VA, living in a house that has become the perfect meeting place for all the little Pearl cousins.
There is no doubt that the glorious panoramic view from the back yard patio at our house in NY handily beats the nothing-to-see-here view from our tiny side yard patio in VA. Our modest house in a cookie cutter neighborhood on a postage stamp-sized plot of land has nothing on our spread in NY when it comes to views. Surely, it is not the most impressive place by the world's standards; but as a central location where our gang can gather easily, it really couldn't be more perfect for us.
|More on our garden Sasquatch in a future post!|
My husband has set up an outdoor video camera at his childhood home, so that when we're in VA we can look at the real time lake view on the big screen TV in our family room.
And here's my usual view from my overstuffed arm chair in said cozy family room: my husband in his recliner chair over on the other side of the couch, with his nightly glass of scotch on the table beside him; me relaxing with my feet up on my ottoman, wearing my sensible shoes (the ones that navigated miles of cobblestoned streets in Rome with ease), enjoying the company of my favorite human and the peaceful aura of our home sweet home.