I'm putting it out there…

In keeping with my hippie-steps, I’m now attempting to believe in the life I’ve always wanted to live.    You know, a’la The Secret or whatever.

What? Can’t hurt, right?  Every year at the beginning of the year I decide what I want to do.  Deal with my past, get my financials under control, make friends, be brave, not lose my shit… and every year at the end of the year, I realize I’ve mostly succeeded despite not actively working on the project.  {Most years. This year is different since I reference my “year of not losing my shit” rather often.}


I’ve always wanted a weekend lake house.  Not an “I have a lake house with a pool house and elegant lawn parties” lake house, but a “force my kids to hang out with their parents while doing fun and athletic things in a relaxed setting” kind of lake house.  Also important? That it’s not our regular home.  There’s something special about pulling yourself and your kids out of your regular lives twice a month that keeps everyone connected and out of trouble.

Every other Friday night, we’ll load the SUV with groceries, kids and dogs and head out after work.  Frantic and stressful? Maybe, but unlike any other week night!  We’ll get there in time to stash our stuff, light a bonfire, then go to sleep.

The “cabin” in my dreams is what you might call a “house”; given my city girl-ness, I don’t want to make assumptions.  It’s a simple place with materials chosen for functionality over beauty (which, frankly, is my preferred aesthetic anyway) – concrete floors, wood-plank walls (okay, maybe that’s an aesthetic choice) and stainless steel in the kitchen.  We have one bedroom for girls and one for boys, both of which sport bunk-style beds that fold up against the wall when not in use.  None, however, have video game systems, TV’s or computers in them.  I’m old-school that way.

The adults sleep across the living area from the kids so nobody’s really upset by giggles and whispers through the night.  Big, heavy, soundproof doors are a must!  We have two (three?) outdoor showers – one for boys, one for girls, one for adults – and muddy feet are frowned upon but often can’t be helped.  When it gets really bad, we fold up the beds and hose down the floors.

We wake up on Saturday morning and hit the lake for a morning on the boat!  Water-skiing and wakeboarding all around, plus those silly bouncy tube things people seem to like.  We come in for an easy lunch, head right back out for another couple of hours, bringing tired children and dogs home to rest in the late afternoon.

Did I say rest?  Ha.  The adults rest.  The kids get the late afternoon to be kids, making forts in the woods, climbing trees, chasing each other and dogs around (or, ahem, curling up under a nice tree with a book in hand).  In the evening we grill something and those that can’t hang in the heat watch a movie or play video games (together!) inside.  One TV, people, one TV.  Night time brings a fire and s’mores, silly stories and laughter, and tasty adult beverages for those old enough to imbibe legally.  Tired kiddos sleep where they fall until the adults round them up and dump them in bed.

In my most perfect (impractical?) dreams, we have room for another family of adults — really only necessitating another room+bath combo or two.  Kids? They have to play nice in the kid rooms.

I lied.  In my MOST perfect dreams, we have a compound with smaller cabins set around a communal area, each with a kitchen, adult room + bathroom and kids’ rooms (and let’s not forget the outdoor showers)!  Our siblings/ friends and their kids visit when they can, spending a weekend with us — or a whole week or two — all away from our own exhausting lives with the unusual opportunity to hang out as an extended family.

We sleep late on Sunday, wandering into the kitchen throughout the morning for coffee and something to read, then gather in time for a late brunch.  Some of us canoe or kayak, others wander the woods or lounge, and we all depart for our regular lives in the early afternoon.

Bonus kids get dropped off, exhausted and happy; dogs get hosed down one more time before heading off to their own comfy beds near air-conditioning; our own kids are sent to shower and prepare for the week ahead.  We sleep in our own beds, happy and content to be back in the familiar, looking forward to getting away again soon.


I recognize this dream has some practical challenges (beside the money thing, which, strangely, I’m not worried about).  What happens when our kids want to be in soccer or some other sport that requires us to be home on Saturday mornings?  Will we get tired of the commute? How do we maintain two homes when we’re splitting weekends between them?  Will our families really be able to join us?  Is it really possible to build a house in such a way that you can hose down the floors when they get dirty?

I think we can find an answer if we want it badly enough, and I do.  I have for years, actually – decades.  I used to believe that the first mortgage I ever had would be on a weekend home, given my propensity for moving across the country and dream of a vacation home as my anchor.  I want it.  I can see it.

Now I just need to convince my husband that a lake home is so much easier to make happen than a whole island of our very own.  He’s a big dreamer.


5 thoughts on “I'm putting it out there…

  1. That sounds amazingly perfect. I pictured it all in my head and my heart aches for the same thing 🙂 Very well put!!!

  2. My best friends parents have what we just call the ranch and it has a main house a bunk house and a little guest house. Even now at 25 all of us are still going when can we get to the ranch!

  3. my grandparents lakehouse (which they bought when they’re kids were young) was the highlight of all of their children and grandchildren’s summer. Despite grandma freaking out over sandy kitchen floors and several backued toilets from how many people we could cram in there, absolutely nothing could replace those summer memories.
    bug spray and tubing, sandcastles, and dune hiking, campfires and card games on a rainy afternoon.
    If you can, when you can, I say GO FOR IT!

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