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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fixer Upper Fixed Up!

This cottage in Maine, or Camp as we call it in Maine, is my favorite place in the world.  There's a lot of family history here.  OK, not the part of family history that goes back to Queen Victoria's cousin, but the good stuff, since 1941. 
My Great-grandfather built this in 1941 on a pie-shaped piece of land he bought in 1940 for $100.00.  (Incidentally, $100.00 doesn't even pay a MONTH of taxes on this place now.  Don't get me started on my opinion of that.)  

We got to stay here for about six weeks this year when we went to Maine for the birth of our first grandchild, Clarity.  I was lying in bed early, early one morning, listening to the loons on the lake and feeling thankful and blessed.  (Usually when we're in the States, we're on the go the whole time.)  It was so special to be there, with my Mom downstairs, and my sister and her husband there too.  Family is precious. 
The ceiling over my head was beautiful light pine, and I had to contrast that with the way it looked a few years ago.  My great-grandfather Walter Earl Campbell,  had built the camp himself, as he could gather the boards.  It didn't exactly have a foundation.  See how you can see right through those slats, and see light out the other side?  And the upstairs was just open boards, rather uneven, and dark with 70 years of smoke stains and what not.  It was cobweb heaven.

Now it's white pine, covered in polyurethane, not a cobweb in sight.  We've been renovated! 




No, it wasn't Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame who renovated the Camp.  It was my Mom.  Check out the differences:



First of all, they added a foundation.  I think I was off in Peru during that one, which means it happened around 1989.  That one was to save the camp I think. My grandmother still owned it at the time, and my parents had to do some serious work to pay for that foundation.  




See the ramp at the back?  That was added after my brother in law Rick got paralyzed in 1997. Soon after came an enlarged bathroom to accommodate him.

When my great-grandfather built the camp, it had one downstairs room, one upstairs room, and a porch that wrapped around three sides.  The outhouse was up the hill.
Grampa made the sink extra low inside to accommodate my Great Grandmother Ada Augusta Marange Purington Campbell.  Later he added indoor plumbing for Grammy's sake, and turned the back corner of the camp into a bedroom for her so she wouldn't have to climb stairs to that big upstairs room.  That room has remained a prized room for privacy even until now.  It got bigger when a few feet were added on to make the bathroom bigger for Rick.

So we lost most of the back porch then.  Later we lost a chunk of the side porch when my Mom had it made into a room for my Dad as he was needing a place to escape the hubbub of the camp.  It's a cute little room, with a desk, and built in shelves for his favorite things:  books.

For Paul, Mom put in recessed lighting after he took out two light bulbs in one day with his head.

Then again for him, and his two tall sons, she had the whole inside gutted and torn down to the studs, and the rafters that he kept hitting his head on, removed! 

 

She had the porch closed in so we could use it all the time, instead of only when the weather was tolerable. 
The porch has been the scene of our family and friends bigger summer celebrations.  

When the kitchen was gutted, she moved a cupboard that was knocking Rick's knuckles when he rolled by, and widened a door. 
Are you getting the picture here?  Most of our renovations have been to help someone in the family. I like that!  It's a camp for people, and it's very structure has changed for the people it serves.  
( I don't think there have been any specifically for me, but I am GRATEFUL for the shower that was added when I was in my 20's.  We made it that far with "spit baths" and swimming in the lake, but I'm thankful now we have a hot shower when we need one.)
I'm grateful this camp has been our go-to place for fun and family my whole life.  It's beside still waters, sometimes, and it's the place I go to in my mind and in my memory for tranquility. 
So as I lay there musing, I determined to compile at least this partial list of the place that my Mom has fixed up for our family.  Proverbs 31:27-28 says, "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.  Her children arise up and call her blessed."

I call my Mom blessed!  






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