The dirt that you see and the bricks in the foregroundI think Jan planted at least a 1000 trees over our 24 years there. We lost probably half of them to wildlife, winter and other weather elements over the years. Everywhere you look on that property you can see the gentle hand of Jan in those trees, the lilac bushes, the ginella maples and the arbor vitaes that are planted all over the property. We had this idea that we would eventually plant almost every tree that is native to Minnesota on our property. We also hoped to restore at least two acres to a native prairie. That was to be this fall’s project. It is funny how life turns in ways that you do not expect. That is certainly the case with the fire and us. We are moving forward now. We have made a decision that feels right for us.
are the remains of the house
are the remains of the house
After exploring many options, including rebuilding, we have made a decision to not rebuild on the property and that we will eventually, maybe next year, sell the property. As I wrote before on this blog, we were shocked at the cost to rebuild. Rebuilding something similar to what we had before would cost more than it would ever be worth in the Mankato market. At our age, we cannot take that kind of a risk. After our trip to the Netherlands, Jan and I began thinking about other options and started looking in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin for a lake type property. The recreational housing market has been hit hard by the down turn in the economy. For us, this means that there are many properties to choose from with acreage, woods, and various types of cabins.
We did a great deal of research on the geology, water quality, biomass, and population of both Northern Minnesota and North Western Wisconsin. After doing more research online of various properties, we narrowed our choices down to about 20 properties and went out to see all of those twenty properties over several long weekends. One place stood out for us above all the rest. After much thought and consideration we made an offer to purchase that place that stood out for us last week and our offer was accepted. We will close on August 12.
This place is situated on a small and quiet lake in the beautiful hilly countryside near Danbury, Wisconsin. This cabin is totally different than the farm. First of all it is in a coniferous/deciduous biome rather than the prairie/deciduous biome of Mankato. It will be a new place for our family to gather and to celebrate. I know that for certain. There are three bedrooms, all large so we can accommodate many people. It has a great room type kitchen, living and dining room combo with a large fireplace. Surrounding us are many hilly blacktop roads that will make for great biking for me as I continue to improve at cycling. Most of the furnishings were part of the deal, so we will not have to buy hardly anything. It is in a very, very quiet area of Northern Wisconsin. Did I say quiet???
Most of all, there is little maintenance to do on this property. This is a rest and recreation property that will finally allow my husband to do just that. I know he will fool around with trees and yes, we will plant some more, but there is little else that needs to be done. We can put in a garden and other things, but compared to our farm property: little effort.
We never would have looked for a lake property if the farm had not burned down. Of that we are also certain. Through the ashes of our farm came the vision for something very, very different for Jan and I and for our family. My DIL had an artist create a watercolor picture of our farmhouse. She gave it to me for mother’s day. It is beautiful. It will be the first thing we hang in the entryway. As we pass through the door of our new cabin we will always know what we passed through to get there. So, my friends that is what we have done. We are moving in a different direction than we ever thought possible. We both are planning for our retirements, too. We have a ways to go still, but it (retirement) is in sight. Enjoy a peek at our cabin location.
The lane down to our cabin