It’s after Labor Day and all I have been thinking is, “where has the time gone?” How in the world is it September already? In an effort to extend summertime just a little longer, I thought I would share a little bit about our little summer cottage. It is located in Traverse City, Michigan on a private lake that must be one of the best kept secrets! We purchased it nine years ago and have slowly been transforming it into the darling little getaway I have always had in my head. Over the years, as we have moved across the country between California and Michigan, back and forth a few times, my husband has urged me to ‘get rid of stuff’. Ever the collector, my response has always been, “NO! I’m saving that for our someday cottage!”
Fast forward to today, the ‘little cottage that could’ is now the adorable place I have always dreamed of. Luckily, my husband trusts me and my decorating choices, so although he has not always understood them, he has given me the thumbs up. As luck (good or bad) would have it, this spring northern Michigan experienced a ridiculously large snowstorm late in the season that dropped 24 inches of snow overnight. My neighbor called me with the news that our beautiful 100 year old maple tree in the front yard had “lost a branch” in the storm. It had luckily not hit the house but was laying across the driveway, so I wasn’t too alarmed. I thanked him and let him know we would be up some time in April to take care of it. Then the exterminator called me a few weeks later, warning me about the branch and I started to wonder. When we finally made it up north to open the cottage, my mouth dropped open. Branch? Hmmm, half the tree had come down and was completely blocking the entire driveway! So the arborist was called in and we got the bad news, the whole tree would have to come down. The tree that the kids had climbed, the one with the swing that my son had made for his youngest sister and the site of many a photo shoot for her as she got older. This was a sad day.
I firmly believe that when life hands you lemons, it’s much tastier to just make lemonade, so down the tree came (after we alerted the kids like there was a death in the family) and the landscapers were called in. After a few interviews to find the right one, we chose the guy who got my vision of ‘cute’ and set out on the transformation. We were not at the house while all the work was being done so when they finished I sent him an email and asked, “Is it as cute as we thought it would be?” His response, “Yes, Jill. It’s totally cute!” Aaahhh, someone who gets me!
So here I am, trying to savor the warm days of summer still before autumn closes in on us and I find myself having to close the cottage for the season. I will take pictures of all the things I repainted this year with our yummy CeCe Caldwell’s Paints and share those soon. But truly, my silver lining will be the gift that Mother Nature gave us in taking that beautiful maple tree away and sparing me the hours of raking leaves this fall! I will keep the rake in the garage and savor the summer that is now behind us and dream of all the memories we have made here. Until next year!
Be happy, Jill
P.S. My beautiful photographer daughter, Lizzy, took these pictures. If you would like to see some cool photography, check out her website here.