A few years back the Impish Husband and I bought a cottage near his parents’ place.
The property is a beautiful, wooded lot on the water but the cottage itself was desperately in need of some loving. At the time, some families of raccoons and squirrels had moved in and made it their home.
We spent most of our weekends that summer trying to mitigate the damages.
We hauled out leaves that had accumulated when the roof collapsed, carted away dishes left behind by the previous owner, and with the help of my father-in-law the Impish Husband put up a new roof.
Originally the cottage had been used as a summer lake house. In fact, the entire neighborhood had once been nearly exclusively made up of summer cottages, my in-laws’ home included.
One by one however, the owners, perhaps moved by the same magnetic draw to the lakeside that motivates our weekend visits, decided to move to the area year round and converted their summer homes to something more substantial.
When we bought the cottage, we had intended to make it livable again. We thought that we could spend our weekends there or maybe even fix it up enough to rent it out in the summers to families looking for a getaway on the lake.
But our plans have been put on hold for now while we figure out where the next few years will take us. There are still too many missing puzzle pieces that need to fall into place before it makes sense for us to commit and settle down.
And so the cottage has sat, uninhabited for some years again. It has, inevitably it seems, reverted somewhat to its previous neglected state.
Squirrels have taken up residence on the porch and leaves that blow in through one of the broken windowpanes have piled up in a corner of the living room.
The pipes and electrical wiring are outdated and would need to be replaced but the truth is that at this point the termite damage alone means that the cottage, in its present incarnation, will probably never be livable again.