Have you seen the movie Sliding Doors? It's influenced my outlook on life more than a film should. If you haven't seen it (go rent it!), the film follows two versions of the protagonist Helen's (Gwenyth Paltrow) life, made totally different by one simple, seemingly innocuous event. Anytime someone around me laments a decision or something that's happened to them, I caution "sliding doors". There's this tendency for people to think that the alternative is rosier, but I'm of the belief that a situation wouldn't necessarily be better if things had unfolded differently. Watch the movie, I'll sound less batty.
Last summer we stumbled across the lakehouse we now call home although it really wasn't the plan to buy a house then. This place was so perfect though that we took a leap and bought it, even though it meant some sacrifices, like being rushed to sell and not making money on the sale of our townhouse. Our plan had been to move this year, around this time actually. I haven't, for a second, regretted our somewhat rash decision and when the sun sets on our piece of Lake Superior, I couldn't be happier or more at peace. I feel very privileged we were able to realize one of our dreams. Of course, things aren't perfect: we miss Ottawa and our life there, the lakehouse has some quirks (and we've had some unpleasant surprises), we're an hour from the nearest city which can be taxing and tiring, and our 8km long dirt road is treacherous some days (at least until the grader shows up), but we love it here. Hubby, though equally contented, still trolls the real estate listings, looking at other homes for sale on Lake Superior. I am secretly terrified of this, wondering if one day he'll find something better and it will be evident that we should have waited. I thought it might be fun to share some of the comparable homes with you, every now and then, to see where we might have ended up - or not - had we dug in our heels and stuck to our plan.
Here's the first place, which is actually on the part of Lake Superior I wanted to be on, because it's only a 20 minute drive into town and closer to my parents. It's near a bay that Hubby and I used to frequent for swimming dates in our teens and early twenties. When I first saw the listing, my heart tightened. I love the location, and the exterior is minty green. It's similarly sized as ours, (maybe 100-200 square feet larger), but on two and a half levels. Here's what I was thinking as Hubby and I scrolled through the photos:
Oooo, mint green!!
Awesome view, but not on a sheltered bay like we are, and Lake Superior can kick your ass, even in the summer. Too cold to enjoy if it's too open!! But look - that's the Sleeping Giant. Awwww.
A proper entryway! Think of the gorgeous credenza we could make . . . sigh. Our tiny "entrance" is so useless and awkward when we come home.
Great potential and lovely wood floors. We could paint the walls and beams white (of course), except for the stone. I'd paint it dark grey like I did ours - it would help the TV blend in. Is that the best place for it? A mid-century sectional sofa in teal tweed would be perfect for the shape of the room.
Gorgeous view from the dining room - and look! Is that light centred? Luxury.
Dead space between the living and dining . . .but the dining room is spacious. Room for a credenza? I love having one, don't think I could give that up.
The kitchen is so similar to ours. LOVE the additional windows and pot lights. What a bright space, day or night. We need more windows! I would swap the pendant lights for two small George Nelson cigar pendants. I'd paint the cupboards and not even tear out the uppers like we did. The counter is neutral and looks to be in great shape - how nice.
That tiny piece of counter is too funny.
The master bedroom wouldn't fit a king sized bed. Why does this house have so many weird angles and bump outs?
I would break a knee cap climbing into this.
Vanity, why are you so small and awkward??
Powder room, why are you so awkward too? Pretty tile backsplash, though.
A-ha!! This is where all the crazy angles from the lower two levels meet and collide. Insanity.
Is that garage aqua??? SOLD. It's got a guest space above, whereas our "guest house" (I use the term generously) is separate from the garage. Fewer buildings to maintain would be swell. Our yard is a jumble of sheds, a sauna/guesthouse and garage, plus carport. This seems tidier and more well planned.
Overall, it's lovely, right? What did you think of it? There are things I love about ours that I wouldn't want to trade, even for a better location: more open concept, giant bathroom vanity, one level, tall ceilings. But really, I could be happy here too. You know what makes this place so much less enticing? It's $200,000 more than our house was, and most definitely out of our budget!! We wouldn't have been able to afford to live here. Okay, so no regrets yet, but they're just beginning to list lake homes . . . shall we do this again?