Monday, August 18, 2008

Cottage Living

I've shared pics of the cottage before, but I took some interiors to share the way it was constructed. These little cottages were made as fishing/retreat cabins around 100 years ago. There are still some on our lake in original condition. They are a treasure because most of them have been remodeled through the years. You can see there is some framing (horizontal and vertical) that the beadboard is nailed to. Originally the other side of that beadboard showed on the outside of the cottage like in the link above. Definitely a for summer only in the Michigan climate. In the 50s or 60s my grandparents added steel siding to the outside so they wouldn't have to paint. They also changed out the original windows to aluminum ones.

Only the windows between the porch and main house remain original.

All in all though, our cottage remains one of the more unchanged ones. Back in the day there was a hand pump in the kitchen....we are all glad to have modern running water and faucets of course.

You certainly wouldn't build a house this way today...there isn't a nice system of studs so many inches apart. But it has stood here for a hundred years and I hope it will for many more. To me all the little old fashioned things add to the charm. And the modern touches like flushing toilets add to our comfort. When my dad first started coming here as a boy they had an outhouse.

Here's my mom sitting on the porch in the late 50s or early 60s. We still have the same swing's made from an old wagon seat. The grands were super at trash to treasure projects, but I bet they just thought it practical.

Here's the little back porch. It's a nice place for a cup of coffee or cereal in the morning. It's the first room to warm up during the day since it faces east.

Here 's the side that faces the road.

I love this pic of my dad. The cottage as it was when Nana and Granddaddy bought it behind him and the wooden boat. And Dad hamming it up for the camera.

And here it is today. My husband and I honeymooned here...we were young and making do on his apprentice salary. Granddad let us have it all to ourselves. And we had a wonderful time. Everyone today thinks they need palm trees for a honeymoon, but really all you need is each other.

Can you hear me now?

This is another charm of the cottage. We purposely don't have a TV here. Or a computer. Or a land line. And the cell phone reception is iffy. Does that sound charming to you? It is for us, because when we're not playing in the water, we sit and talk, tell stories, read, play cards and board games and make things. The kids almost automatically go into a different mode when they come here because they know the electronic things aren't available. They even told me once that they probably know more about their lake friends ideas than they do about the friends at home because they sit and talk more. Probably so.

We are so fortunate that our grandparents kept the place, and that now my dad and uncle are doing the same. I hope it stays in the family for a long, long time.


Sue said...

Your cottage is just gorgeous, how relaxing, and so much fun for kids! Im pleased to hear you havent altered it too much, except for the creature comforts! It is a shame for some to change the simplicity of living, and adding gadgets and modcons.It is a place to escape, and enjoy each other, just lovely.

Jan and Tom's Place said...

How beautiful!! Sounds like my kind of place.


Jan~Feather Your Nest Antiques said...

Loved this post Joyce. And I loved those pics of your Mom and Dad. I felt very fotunate to have met your Mom, which makes seeing the picture in her "younger" days even better! Cora and I have been talking about a trip to your mall in the future, possibly in October.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful place to vacation. I hope it stays in your family. I love how there is no phone, tv or computer. That's the best way to relax. Getting away from it ALL.

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Wow is all I have to say. The photos of your parents there are incredible. I'd love to have something like that in our family. It's lovely that you appreciate it as well.

Pink Slippers said...

That is so very cool. I would of loved to honeymoon there. Instead I went to Pueta Vallarta and caught a little water bug. Your cottage is very pretty the way it is. Unchanged makes it look so real. Many people try to make there home look like your family cottage. Enjoy, don't ever let it go.


Thanks for visiting my blog.
Your post is simply delightful and the cottage is precious. I'm so glad I visited and will be back!


Ms.Daisy said...

What a treasure you and your family have here! I hope it becomes your children's and their children's most favorite place too!

I love the pictures of your parents younger days and the interior of the cabin the way it is now!



Oh I am trying to e-mail you i love you r blog...Lets add each other on to our lists!!!
xoxo Laura

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Thank you so much for your kind, heartfelt comments on my post. I am so glad to visit you here. My eldest daughter is moving to Michigan next year, this lake cottage looks so special.
xo Lidy

sharie said...

What a pretty cottage and a beautiful aspect it has. It must be lovely having this place to escape to especially since it has such a family history.

An Enchanted Cottage said...

This is one of the loveliest posts I have ever read... How blessed you are to have this cottage, to have the memories, to have the old photos... It is all so perfect!...Donna

Anonymous said...

This is pure Michigan! I love the vintage photos!