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Seasons and Home

Posted 5/4/2013

Posted in

    Many of you know that several years ago we bought a very small cottage on the water in Maine. Specifically, it is on an enormous tidal poond on Mt Desert Island, a place we have visited every year for decades. Before this cottage, we rented for a week or two each summer and dreamed of someday owning our own place. MDI is a four to five hour drive from Boston, so not very convenient, and real estate, especially on the water,is not cheap.Over the years we read real estate ads and occasionally, during a stretch of rain, actually went out and looked at properties, Nothing was ever possible.

  Then we saw an ad that read something like this: Art's Place, a cottage on the water in a particularly pretty part of the island. The price seemed impossible. What was wrong with it? Had someone been brutally murdered there? Was it on the site of a toxic waste dump?  Was there about to be a cell tower erected next door? It turned out that there was nothing wrong and everything right about the site: several acres in the woods, totally private, literally 15 or 20 feet from the water's edge. And a great deal wrong with the cottage itself; as one of our friends haltingly said: "It looks like a very big outhouse." The real problems, however, were that it had been on the market for several years, starting out way overpriced, and then chasing down a falling real estate market.  There also were many rigid restrictions about reconstruction; the total square footage (not the footprint, literally the square footage of the space) could not be enlarged at all (this is all beause of the proximity to the water), and it is tiny.

  The owners wanted out, and we wanted in. With the help of a very marvelous architect, we have transformed it into a small place full of light and life, and we love it here. All of this is to say that we are here this weekend with a daughter and her family. Spring lags three weeks behind Boston, so only the tiniest buds are on the trees. There are yellow flowers coming up that I have never seen before, and the grass is starting to green, and the the sun is shining. The tides bring in our pond and then take it away; when it is out, there are many birds, and their song delights us.

  I feel more at home here than in my "real" home. We have now witnessed the changing seasons for several year, and each is beautiful. Here I am most reminded of my good fortune in health and give thanksgiving.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/garden/in-a-maine-house-no-room-to-waste.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

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