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For the Love, Peace and Sake of the Cottage:

It might be a little bazaar to some of you that I am a tad obsessed with things like my dogs and cottage. It’s ok, I agree that it is odd. I’m of the mind that when you love something fully, you should embrace it and never be scared to show your true feelings. You can only look like a fool if you’re trying to be someone you’re not. I think so anyway.

My lovely and peaceful view at the cottage

If you’ve been paying attention here on bea makes three, hopefully you’ve come to understand that although many of the things I think and do may be a little out of the norm, they do for the most part kind of make sense at the end of the day. Almost always. On the off-chance that they don’t, you can be sure I’m having fun anyway.

Canoeing with Alex at the point!

This weekend I was incredibly lucky to swing by my house in NNY (the cottage, CP, the point, CP2, etc.. see my 2/2/11 entry at http://beamakesthree.com/2011/02/02/the-north-country/ for more details) briefly before heading out to a job. Although it was a very quick trip it was very special for me.

My gorgeous sister Julia at the most incredible wedding
shower ever (mine) which she threw for us!

The main reason for my April fly by was to check out the newly completed renovations at the cottage. To the average person it was nothing extravagant. We put in some new floors, a little paint and a countertop. Voila, new kitchen. On the other hand, to me it was the final deletion to the year’s I like to refer to as the “dark days”. Sick, yes.

With a few of my favorite's from the cottage at our wedding!

When I built (re-bulit) the cottage in 1999, it was a lifelong dream come true. Being 21 at the time, you can imagine I felt an
enormous accomplishment. I spent more then a year picking out flooring, tiles, paint colors, shingles and windows. It wasn’t just an ordinary project, for me I was building a home that my grandchildren’s grandchildren would be able to enjoy. My heart and soul were a billion percent invested not only because I love the cottage with all of my heart but, because I truly want
everyone to love it as much as I do. It totally deserves to be.

My favorite picture of me and Alex, even though my hair looks bad.

A few years after the cottage was complete, I ran into my fair share of misfortune and “lost the plot”, so to say. I guess if I had to say exactly what happened to me, my honest answer would be that I do not know. I can say that it was somewhere between an emotional breakdown and a complete loss of faith. Whatever it was, it took me longer then I wish it had to get over it but, I did. That’s the honest beginning and end of it. I’m not proud that I wasn’t the strongest person in the world that I wish I had been but, I am confident that I am better off because of all that I went through. The only reason to ever have regret is if you don’t come out stronger. For me, at least.

Hen and Al, happy at the point!

When this whole plot of mine was lost, I decided to not take care of basic survival tactics such as bills, reality, and responsibility, of any kind. In a nut shell, I didn’t pay my insurance, heat or electricity bills for a number of years on my precious home in NNY. Anyone from NNY knows the answer to that problem. Your pipes freeze, burst, melt … and then chaos sets in. Chaos for me meant (after not being at the home for months after impact) ceilings on the floor, wood floor
buckling, furniture molding and broken (ceilings), water damage everywhere (well-drained into the home) and electricity blown.

The average person would understandably clean up the mess, insure the home, and reach a decision as to how to avoid this sort of problem again. Maggie, not so much. Instead, I flew home from Paris, cried for a week upon seeing my cottage, fixed the issue and went about not insuring the home or issue. Yes, I DO see why my sister looked at me cross-eyed for 3 years. Moving on. For the three years that followed, the cottage continued to implode on itself and I continued to cry and be astonished by the effects of non bill paying. Time travel would come in handy right about now.

Sunset at CP!

I fought very hard to keep my cottage during those years. There was not very much of me that was in a good place and I’m a little
astonished myself that I didn’t lose it. There were a number of things on and off that seemed to keep dragging me down, none of
which deserve my attention ever again. So, I won’t be getting into it. What is important is that this place, my cottage,
was my rock throughout.

Our engagement party this
summer at the cottage!

It was a process but, eventually I did come out of the land of the lost which I had placed myself in. I give all of the credit to Alex. He was removed enough from the situation to really be able to help me. Although he did sympathize greatly with me, he did something no one else had been able to get through to me, he let me know that I could fix this. Did I believe him at first? Absolutely not but, he had enough faith in me for both of us. Slowly and surely with his help I came to believe that
my problem was solvable and worth fixing.

cottage sunset!

I have spent the past years overcoming the emotional damage I went through. I can honestly say that though I am sad I haven’t
always held myself to the highest standards I wish I had, I do now. I believe that as long as I can hold my head up high, admit
to my wrong doings in the past and commit to always setting my goals high in the future, then I have nothing to be but proud.

My beautiful mom and sisters Kate and Patricia at CP!

The renovations are happily 100% perfect and the cottage looks better then it did when I originally built it in 1999. Having a
completely re-finished cottage without any reminders left behind from the years of neglect brings a smile to my face that the
cottage deserves. Once upon a time I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. Then, I thought I was the unluckiest. Today I know that it was never about luck, it’s about believing in yourself. If you can’t, hopefully someone who loves you will show you how to.

Looking forward to summer,
Maggie

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great post Maggie. I love your writing. When I was a kid we
    had a cottage on a lake in Rhode Island. At first it was just a
    shack that had been an old ice house. We added on to it. My dad and
    brother spent many happy hours banging nails, wiring, plumbing,
    roofing and all that stuff. Those were such happy days. My dad was
    a doctor, but he loved to build stuff and taught me so much. At 12
    I became a plumber, and electrician……and my dad was so proud!
    The little ice house turned into a big cottage and I have so many
    happy memories of that place. Swimming, water skiing, fishing, and
    just exploring as a kid. Sadly we sold the place and we all
    regretted it. My dad and brother are gone now, and I live on the
    other coast. I look at the place on Google satellite maps once in a
    while and it is still there. Looks the same, maybe a little bigger.
    I will go back some day to look at it. You are so lucky to still
    have your cottage. Keep it forever. Pass it on to your kids. A
    cottage on the water is a very special place.

    April 15, 2011
  2. Jennifer Ransome #

    Maggie,

    You need to be easier on yourself. You may have had some struggles…at that age…with those problems…you overcame…and overcame with great love and grace!! There is no better than that!! Love you so much!!

    April 11, 2011
  3. I am the luckiest person to be your mother in law!

    April 10, 2011

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