Sold…

Dad’s house is sold…

I know, it was Mom and Dad’s house – but since November, 1988 (when Mom died), it has been Dad’s/Grandpa’s house.

It was Dad’s dream and he got it. Not bad for the son of Irish immigrants from Boston, who ended up in the Class of ’44 at West Point. They were also called the D-Day Class as that was their graduation day.

He told friends for years, all he wanted was to retire to a lake where he could fish. He lucked out finding Squam Lake, with thanks to friends they met while he was stationed in England.

He loved living on Squam Lake up here in New Hampshire (Yup, Golden Pond, the movie), called it “his” lake. Mom – maybe not so much… but she loved it because he did.

They bought it in the late 60’s and were appalled that an “unimproved” lot with a dirt road – no water – no sewer – would cost so much, but they bought it. They built their retirement home there and were surprised to find themselves living there with three children (two in college) beginning in 1974, when dad retired. (Uh, me – married and not living with them.)

Memories… there are tons, and I won’t submit you to too many of them.

The only summer we did not drive/fly there for a visit, was the summer Mom was diagnosed with cancer. She died that fall. We were there in November for her funeral and at West Point for her burial.

Our sons loved being there. Even loved the discipline that their retired general grandfather enforced. Loved even more the banana splits their grandmother would make for them after supper. They went fishing, they learned to water-ski, they learned to love classical music.

We loved spending time with them at the lake. The music, the fishing, the swimming and the lake made great vacations. The bourbon and the wine (and Moffett says the cigars) made it more fun.

So, the house is sold. In all likelihood, the buyers will be building a different/larger house on the lot. The neighbors have changed. And that’s what happens, life moves on.

We’ve spent the last couple of weekends cleaning out the stuff. Actually, the house was in pretty great shape since we rented it for a couple of summers. Most of Dad’s personal stuff is stored at our house. And now, most of the rest of the stuff is in our guest bedroom. This is not the summer to visit us cuz there’s no room at the inn. Kevin’s been helping along with Jack making trips back and forth from Massachusetts to help with the stuff.

This year, I’ve been on a kick to get rid of some of our stuff. And we’d been making some headway. Now we have more stuff. Oh well…

We won’t miss spending our summer weekends getting the house ready/clean for renters.

Moffett and Kevin will NOT miss cleaning up the snow over there during the winter.

Some “clean-up” photos…


I painted the upstairs bathroom in 1985 – this is under the sink.

Wooden stuff they collected –
along with the rooster Mom made in NJ at Ft. Hancock.

The shed is cleaned out – no small job. The garage is done.

We will all miss being at the house. I tried to win the lottery so I could keep the house, but, didn’t happen. We’ll enjoy our memories and life will go on.

I have two slideshows (I AM my father’s daughter…) of the house. One from 2006 and the other done for the realtor.

Thought we would get rid of Mom’s rooster but – – – found a place for him in the kitchen, next to Mom’s old cake pan. Guilt, a wondrous thing…

Thanks for the wonderful life,
and the memories, Mom & Dad!

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13 Responses to Sold…

  1. Betsy says:

    Wow! What wonderful memories!! We have a few from there too. I’ll break the news to Lucy. 🙂

  2. Michael & Julian says:

    Thanks, Colleen, for sharing, in such a wonderful way, a beautiful portion of your family’s life. What is so noteworthy are the happy faces throughout. Your photo essay is a lasting tribute to your Father’s dream and the fact that it came true so completely.

  3. Kay Berg says:

    Time and Change are two things in life we cannot stop….you have wonderful pictures and stories, all monuments to your Mom and Dad. Ernie and I are so glad we met your Dad and were able to see the cabin. Spend time with you. Treasured moments for us. Thank-you for all the sharing you have done regarding this little piece of heaven that was a dream come true for your Dad…not many people get to live their dream, so glad he did.
    Love,
    Kay and Ernie

  4. Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing your memories 🙂

  5. gab roberts says:

    I have no idea if this message will go anywhere but I’ll give it a try! Glad you were able to sell the house and I know you will miss it-there are also many things you won’t miss about it!!! Lovely pics of everyone-talk to you soon.

    GAB

    Now what?

  6. Ron Gheen says:

    We are glad for the stress relief this will bring you! But it is tugging at your hearts I know. On to new adventures! Take care. Becky and Ron

  7. Russ Raymoure says:

    Thanks Colleen. This is wonderful.

  8. Kathie says:

    Ah, Colleen, how beautiful. We never met your mom, but you know that your dad will always be intrinsically entwined with our memories of the lake. Some lucky family bought a happy house. Love to all, Kathie and Neil

  9. Vickie Carty says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom and dad and your family’s house on Squam! Your memories are indeed Golden!
    Vickie

  10. Stephen Rice says:

    Thank you for this wonderful retrospective; as you know I was forturnate to have had parents who knew yours, and so I had the unparalleled joy of visits with your dad on the deck, and canoe rides with my father around Squam…..I visited the cabin and canoe 6 weeks ago and went down memory lane……I hope, Colleen, that the lucky family that bought your family home on Squam will invest it with many years of golden memories….Love, Stephen Rice.

  11. Jo K says:

    I never got to go to Squam Lake, but both my parents did, and I do remember their impressions. My Dad seemed most impressed with the gardening and your Dad’s anti-varmint fortifications and armory (there was a great deal of Pa in our Dads). My Mom seemed to find taking boat to church to be particularly fun, which is strange since she didn’t swim and wasn’t much for beaches and/or water. Most of the memories, however, were of your parents, and as wonderful as the house and the lake were, it was Uncle John and Aunt Betty who made it a special place. And a quick note, I DO understand being the storage for things parent, and the agony of what to do with that special rooster, ashtray, afghan, etc.

  12. la peregrina says:

    “It was as if all of the happiness, all of the magic of this blissful hour had flowed together into these stirring, bittersweet tones and flowed away, becoming temporal and transitory once more. ”
    -Hermann Hesse

    Lovely videos, thank you for sharing them and your memories with us.

  13. Alice says:

    What a lovely commentary on your memories of this special place. I’m glad it’s sold and now you can move on. Btw, I don’t blame you for holding onto that rooster and the cake pan. Perfect place for them, too! 🙂

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