Home, Sweet Home

  1. mcf
  2. September 30, 2012 7:44 am

our cottage

Our cottage on a summer day

I trace my love affair with all things cottage to the purchase of a charming two-bedroom home in need of some serious TLC. Our cottage is not at a lake or in the mountains. Not in a coastal area or vacation destination. It’s located in a town the census labels “semi-rural,” an hour-plus west of Boston.

We bought the antique cape (c. 1732) shortly after my husband and I married. The old cottage, located on a quiet country road, faces south–as do many houses of the period–to gather up the meager solar rays available to warm it during our long, harsh New England winters. Good thing too as the plank-walled main structure is uninsulated. The little insulation that does exist is found in the one-room addition built by previous owners (now our dining room) and in the attic where my husband installed rigid fiberglass in the rafters.

When we first viewed the property with the realtor, its windows rattled in a light wind. Heavy footsteps in the attic caused bits of the plaster ceiling below to fall. Floors and doors sloped. The furnace coughed and sputtered. “It’s not everyone’s cup of tea,” commented the realtor.

For us, it was love at first sight.

Full of character, the old house has solid bones with sturdy chestnut and oak beams overhead and planked walls sheathed in boards, some measuring 20 inches or more in width.

Over the years we’ve made repairs and maintained the structure as best we can. It’s an ongoing work in progress and labor of love.

It’s not without its stresses, but our cottage life has given us something priceless in return. The cottage is our safe harbor in what is an often-turbulent modern life.


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