The Lake House: A 2020 Update

If there’s a satisfying update to be had this year, it’s most likely because my mom has been making a lot of progress updating the Lake House, almost entirely without my help.

I did build the deck stairs, and one time wedged myself through this tiny hole to fix a broken hose spigot…  


1.) Yes, that bigass boulder is a part of the Lake House foundation. And, 2.) I legit dragged my mom’s hair dryer through that hole with me… if you’re ever having a hard time loosening a threaded copper fitting? Hair dry it. And try not to feel like an idiot while you’re doing it. Good luck.

Other than the stairs and the hair-dryer incident though, all the credit for how good the Lake House is looking goes to my mom.  

Here’s the house when we bought it 2 years ago… 


The roof was about at the end of its life, so my mom hired a roofer to replace it. And, while she was at it, to create a new little porch with a gable roof: 


The old overhang was starting to sag and get in the way of opening the door, and it didn’t provide much protection from the elements (for people or for packages.) 


She also had a new front door put in. And a new garage door. And started painting the house and the garage. 

This is what the garage looked like when we bought it: 


The wood siding is old. Not crumbling (or being eaten by chickens, like some houses I know… ahem) but enough to require a lot of scraping and caulking.


And, also, (according to my mom) a very tiny paintbrush…


For real, I’m up on a ladder finishing up the other half of the front of the garage and my mom says something like, “I can’t believe how fast you paint” and then I look down and she’s basically using three hairs taped to a stick as a paintbrush. 

However… she did get all the cracks real good, so you can’t blame her. See? 


She’s still in the process of painting the actual house, but this is the color palette she’s working from: 

I believe she gave herself an “end of 2021” deadline to have the whole thing painted, so, stay tuned. 

There was also one new addition to her front yard… 

This is a dwarf, self-pollinating (or self-fertile) peach tree. (Fun fact for people who haven’t been tending an orchard for the last decade: A lot of types of fruit tree require at least two trees to cross pollinate in order to bear fruit, but you can also find a number of varieties that will self-pollinate so you only need one.) 

The only reason I originally put peach trees in my own little orchard was because peaches are my mom’s favorite, and they ended up being my favorite trees on the farm. So, I thought it would be fun for her to have her own fruit growing at the Lake House eventually. 

All in all, the exterior of the house is looking great. 


And (lucky for me) the interior doesn’t need a lot of work. 

There was this little ledge between the kitchen and living room, that looked like this for the last year or so… 


And when the guys were working on her roof, my mom mentioned wanting to put a piece of butcher block in this spot to make it more of a breakfast-bar/eating area. So they called up a finish-carpenter friend of theirs, and he had it done in a day… 


And, I still have to finish the doors and trim for these built-ins…  


And that damn mantel. But my mom has figured out how to make do without it… 


I know I should feel bad about that, but, not gonna lie… I laughed. (Good thing my mother also has a sense of humor.) 

But even without the mantel or cabinet doors, things are looking great at the lake house. In another year or two we’ll rebuild the deck, and then it will be nothing but floating from here on out… 



16 Responses

  1. Lovely! I have been wondering what’s been happening at the Lake House since the stairs post…thanks for sharing…

  2. SO GLAD you are back!!! Truly my favorite space online; I have genuinely missed your voice this past year. And the Lake House is looking beautiful…

  3. I love seeing the updates and all the hard work you’ve both put into the Lake House. Most of all I’m so happy your mom got to see her dream come true, and lives on such a sweet lake. I can’t wait to visit again and see it in person. It’s so darn cute.

  4. A true “Labor of Love”… Enjoy everyday to the fullest girls, you will never regret it🙌

  5. Dang, that’s a little bitty hole with the pipe. Mom’s house is looking sweet. So glad to get a holler from you. I have missed your updates.

  6. Your updates remain the best savory spicy sweet bits of writing. It may take me a bit to get to them, but I’m always glad to have come. Thank you.

  7. I am so pissed that I am now just finding these 2020 post. I have mourned the loss of your stories! Unfortunately way back when I signed up for email notifications I was on my old yahoo account which I don’t keep up with any more like I should. This has been a bright spot in my New Years Day to find these new posts in a world where myself and seven family members and co-workers have had Covid in the month of December. One still critical at this time. Thank goodness something led me back to that old yahoo account this morning! I have also subscribed to the email account I use daily. I don’t want to miss any more post. Happy New Year to you and your mom and the fur babies. I have really missed you all!

    1. I too am just getting over a bout of Covid. (Luckily mild, but it still wipes you out.) Hope your health is good heading into 2021!

      1. So glad yours’ was mild also. I slept a week and a half of my life away, at least 18 hrs. a day. Just so fatigued. So thankful that was as bad as it got!

  8. Wow, always wanted a place like that out on the water. Would be perfect to have a kayak to row out too. Good luck dolling it up!

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