Home. Where is home? Up until last year it was the farm on the hi-line in northern Montana. Even after leaving for college, getting married, following my husband to Europe and Asia for his work – the farm was home. A breath I never even realized I was holding would always release anytime I drove into the yard. Since the death of my brother I’m not sure I can say the same. I ache whenever I visit now. My “home” is no longer there. Randy was what continued to make the farm home. Oddly enough a few days ago my son asked me where home would be when he was grown and came to visit. I told him that his dad and I would be here, at the lake. Something in that statement suddenly made things become very clear. Home is our summer house on Flathead Lake.
In 1985, when I was a brand new four year old, my parents bought a tiny yellow cabin on the shore of Flathead. I spent all summer up until harvest at the lake. When my dad passed away lake house became mine. At the time I didn’t truly appreciate the gift he had given me. I didn’t enjoy being at the house anymore. It hurt because everything reminded me of dad. The lake house was his fun project. He spent years adding on and remodeling, so everywhere I looked I saw my dad. There is not one single room or even closet that is 100% finished. The basement bathroom has been under construction for literally 30 years. 30 years of a swan shower curtain for a door!
Time has helped and I’ve picked up where he left off slowly finishing the house. That bathroom is being completely gutted and is now my winter project.
My progress so far. The ceiling is down, all the walls are down and the white closets on the far right of the picture are the next step. Those should come out this week.
I’ve had a new furnace installed so we don’t freeze this winter or burn the place down with space heaters.
I’m putting my mark on my family home making it mine. Ours.
Thankfully my husband understands what the place means to me now. And the money pit that it is. It’s taken the better part of a decade for my husband to truly fall in love with the idea of retiring here. That was our deal. I’d follow him around the world while he was in the military if he’d retire to Montana. He’s a city boy and this is pretty, well, local – but the lake is even home for him now. Years of this view have certainly helped.
I took this last photo the other evening as I was raking leaves. The place is really stunning. We are very blessed to call this home.