Saturday, March 7, 2015


When I last wrote I mentioned that we had heard that some pipes had burst at our lakehouse in Michigan, about 100 miles from here.  At the time I knew it was bad, but I didn't want to jump to conclusions, especially when we knew so little.  Reality dawned when we arrived in Michigan in the very early hours of March 4.  

I have spent a good amount of time  deciding how I wanted to write this post...this has been a devastating experience in the lives of me and my husband.  I didn't want to present this to you, my friends, as something dramatic and in a "Pity Party"  sort of way...yet I want to be honest and real about what has happened at our home away from home...heck, HOME.  It's not pretty and I've just slowly got my head on straight.

I know it was a virtual shock for my neighbor, Susie, to walk in Tuesday morning and see what you are now looking at.  She has been a dear and incredibly selfless friend in looking after our little cottage, coming in periodically to make sure the windows are closed, lights are off, and to water our plants.  She had been on a short vacay and when she returned, she
 stumbled on this.  

  Spring, 1992  

We bought this place when Abby was just 6 months old.  She grew up, as all four our kids, escaping every weekend to the country.

  We watched rain fall when all we wanted to do was be out on our toys.  And The Husband and I rejoiced that the lovingly planted and tended to gardens were getting a natural drink of water...maybe we were the only ones!!

 I have to thank my good neighbors, Susie and Mike.  And I want to thank all of you ladies who felt it in your hearts and minds to send good wishes after my last post which just alluded to this's as if you knew me and what I was trying to hold back on.   

I truly hope you don't feel like I am being melodramatic with this post.  I felt so wrapped up in sadness when The Husband and I were there on Wednesday. I found this little corner of the Great Room where we always gathered to talk and look out at the bay, it was one of the only places that was dry.  The temp in the house was still at 55 but slowly heating up.  I crawled into a ball on the settee with my hood over my head and a small throw over me as The Husband worked with the insurance adjuster.  In a half dream I heard Susie's voice.  I sat up.  We huddled and talked.  She was shook up, too.  Later she brought over some snacks and a bottle of wine.  For about an hour it seemed okay as we sat in this one dry spot but I kept my back to the room.  The frozen bay was all I wanted to see.

Love and many thanks in advance.  I know all of you know what the lake means to me.  We have a long road ahead of us but we will be fine.  And I will keep you posted of that progress.

~~I live with regrets-the bittersweet loss of innocence-
the red track of the moon upon the lake-
the inability to return and do it again.

John Geddes
~A Familiar Rain

Jane  xxx


Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Oh Jane... tears are flowing down my face and I have no words to express my emotions right now. I will be back with a comment later. Just know how sorry I am that this pipe disaster occurred and I'm sending you my love.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Oh Jane, I know you're devastated. My heart truly goes out to you. Those pictures made me so sad for you. I know you all had such joyous times there and hopefully you will experience those happy times again. Sending you lots of love and hugs. Keep us posted on the clean up and progress.

Lynne said...


Hugs, and more hugs!

Oh how can I settle for words . . .
when I wish to offer elbow grease!

I wish that I could be there to help!
That's the hardest thing about being a far off friend.

You know that I am (we are) here to hold you and The Husband in our hearts and prayers as you deal with this.

Hail Marys ... and prayers to St Jude and Joseph. Please bring the "B's" fair estimates for a seamless rebuild!

Mary said...

Jane dear, Bob and I have just read your post and are so very, very sorry that you found so much damage at the lake house! I know it must have brought such a sick feeling to your stomachs when you and A walked in and faced such a huge disaster. Know you will all be sad for a while, however, I'm sure you'll rebuild and have a lovely vacation home for the family once again in the months to come - perhaps even in time for Summer.

You will certainly have a lot of decor projects ahead too - know eventually you'll have a fun time doing those!

Thankfully nobody was hurt, also nothing burned, so perhaps the good 'bones' of the house remain intact.

I know this is hindsight but just wondering - don't you 'winterize' and shut everything off up there? We always turn our water off at the main shutoff when we go away ever since we had a burst pipe and apparently flooded the entire street (until the city turned it off) for several days while we were cruising!! Fortunately the pipe was outside under the front lawn so no interior damage.

Anyway dears, we send our love and hope the adjuster is kind and pleasant to work with.

Big hugs, Mary xoxoxoxoxo

Susie said...

Blondie, I am so sorry to read this. I am sending you hugs. This was as much a home to your family as the main house. Fire or water are the worst enemies of our homes. Thinking of you and your family, xoxo,Susie

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry for your family. To have that happen to your lake house. Kathy

20 North Ora said...

Oh Jane - am so sorry for all of the devastion. How traumatic that is. No where to turn. Keep your chin up and just be grateful you had insurance, no one was hurt and it can be redone. Turn on your decorating mind and start planning on what you can do. Was your Hoosier cabinet ruined?

So, so sorry. You have every right to be so upset.


Melanie said...

OMG, heart is in my throat. This is awful. I am so sorry. I hope that your insurance adjustor gets things moving and that you guys can start putting your beautiful lake house back together again. {{hugs}}

sweetbriardreams said...

If only the virtual world could come and help you right now! All of your blogging buddies would be with you, dungarees, welly boots, cleaning up materials and all sorts of crafts to get your holiday home all sorted. Instead, we will be holding your hand through the weeks ahead, cheering you along the way as you tick off the boxes to full completion. Take care my lovely x

Anonymous said...

Oh, Janie! Oh, so so sorry to hear of this. I know it had to have broken your heart! Thank goodness for your neighbor to have come in when she did! Thank the Lord for insurance and maybe when you start the rebuilding, you'll make it even more beautiful! Oh, how I love your kitchen and that hoosier. I did enjoy seeing your old pictures and your family. Take care, sweet friend, and know you'll be in my prayers.
Shelia ;)

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Jane,
Just like everyone else who posted here, my heart breaks for you and your family. I know the devastation was more than overwhelming since we experienced water damage in a previous home. It's hard to believe just how much damage water can do! I cried for days after this happened to us and it took a long time for the house to feel like a home again. So I truly understand what you are going through. However, as bad as it seems everything will be repaired and made new again. The good times are not over for you and your family at your Lake Home and in time you'll be enjoying it again.
Sending you hugs and well wishes.


podso said...

Jane I am so sorry. I know you are totally in shock and it takes time to get used to what has happened. Take time to rest. Thinking of you.

Julie Marie said...

Oh Jane, I am at a loss for words... I know how very much your lakehouse means to you... I am not being pollyanna by any means... the devastation is terrible... but nothing can take your precious memories away... nothing... hold onto them dearly... breathe deep... cry... then and only then when you are ready, make your plans... my heart truly aches for you... and it may sound cliche, but thank goodness none of your family or pets were hurt... much love, and many prayers... xoxo... Julie Marie

Helen said...

Dear Jane,
If anyone in the world deserved a pity party, it is you! The destruction caused by all that water is unbelievably horrific! Please keep you pretty little chin up and do what has to be done now. I realize nothing can bring your precious lake home back to the way it was, but I am hoping something wonderful will take its place and that you and your family will continue making memories for years and years to come.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I am so sorry, Jane! How horrible! I know how much you loved this home (your hubby, too) and what wonderful memories you have had over the years there.

BUT - you will again with the next generation. I know you will be drawing on all your strength to get your home back to livable. You are certainly entitled to your sadness and "pity party", but I know that you will move on from that and get down to business! : )

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Jane, I am so very sorry for the damage at your Lake House. I am praying that everything thing can be fixed and now you can get it put back together the way you want. So glad that the kitchen was not damaged. I know how many wonderful meals you make in that kitchen - that is your command center.
Take care dear friend and maybe all the construction will be completed in time for summer and fun.

Stacey said...

That's just terrible, Jane! No you aren't melodramatic - that is your home away from home full of so many memories and love. We will all keep our fingers crossed for you and hope that it will be repaired to your liking soon.

Kathleen Grace said...

Jane, I am so, so sorry! I truly hope that it can be salvaged and that you will have many more wonderful memories to enjoy. I can't even imagine how devastating this must be. The pictures were horrible and I know it must have been 10 times worse to actually see it in person. Sending my love and prayers.

primrosesattic said...

I can not imagine how you both feel. What a terrible thing to face. So glad at least your kitchen was spared. Sending hugs Jane.

Unknown said...

So, so sorry for your distress. I know you are just sick over this! I hate it so much! I know how much you all love your retreat, and am praying that you will soon have everything repaired, and be able to enjoy it once again. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way!!

Bluebird49 said...

Oh, my friend---I see now some of what you meant. (I know there's even more you haven't shown us!) I see it's going to take months...there will be much cleaning, much insurance adjusting and estimating, more tears and much planning.
And one day, walls and stairs will rise, floors will be renewed. You and Emily will duck into shops and flea markets, huddle over magazines, search favorite online shops---deciding how your the new bedroom and bath, and the rest will be decorated.

And, no, this isn't going to be a quick won't be "a party"--but I do know you're a strong one--stronger than you even know. You've weathered many a storm. You and your dear family will weather many more, but you will look back one day with a smile and say to the little one on your lap,
"Wow--I remember when I thought the lake house was such a disaster we'd never vacation here again. But thanks to a lot of hard work, a lot of good wishes and dreams and very sore muscles---look at it now! Look, Elsie--see how pretty it is--just like you!" Then you can show her the picture you've shown us and she'll know how magical the lake house was and is.

And you'll cook more superb meals, stir pitchers of drinks in the kitchen. "Someone" will grill, there'll be picnics out on the patio. You will plant more plats of colorful flowers. Hubby will keep enough wood cut to last a lifetime.;) You'll thank the stars above your beautiful Hoosier cabinet is still there.
Finally, you'll sit in the cool house---reading and glancing out the windows while the "grown-up children" and their children boat and dive off the docks!
It will take a lot time. There will be more frustrations and more tears, I know... (I'm no Pollyanna, either.)...but it will happen.

xxx Trudy

Primitive Stars said...

Oh Jane, I feel so bad for you both. I know how much you loved the lake house and spent your summers there.Hope all will work out.Hugs Francine.

Betsy Brock said...

Oh very sad! I'm so sorry! Ugh. Hope you get the best possible news from the adjuster!

Junkchiccottage said...

I am so sorry this has happened. Just remember the water from the broken pipes can not wash away your wonderful memories in your sweet summer house. You will always have those and in time you will have new walls and floors and life and relaxation and even more wonderful memories can begin again. Hugs.

Kathy@ Gone North said...

Oh, I am so absolutely devastating...The damage looks awful & I am sure mush worse in person...Wishing that I could help. We have had pipes burst at our lake home also, because the furnace quit. But my husband (who works in the public water industry & has seen this many, many times) always insists that we turn the pump off when we leave & drain the downstairs faucets so if something happens, we won't have too much damage. (it takes just a few minutes when we leave each weekend... just for your future reference )
You will get thru this, but again... so very sorry... so overwhelming.... keep us posted
Hugs!!! K.

Donna said...

Oh Jane, I am so sorry to hear about your lakehouse. What an awful thing to discover. And no, you are not having a pity party by any means. I am glad at least your beautiful kitchen and your Hoosier cabinet was spared. I do hope that you get good news from your insurance company. My heart goes out to you. Try and focus on the happy times you and your family have had there. I know it's got to be so hard and sad, but also try and think of the good times that the future will bring there for you, too. Big hugs, keep us posted!

Shirley said...

Jane, I am sorry about your lake house. You aren't having a pity party at all. I just think about all the bad weather you have had and this just added to it. You just need to wait on the insurance company, Remember all of the good times that you have had with family and friends. I can see a lot of help coming your way from them. I know grandma enjoyed seeing her precious granddaughter. Your baking looked yummy. Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend Shirley

Sarah said...

Jane, your news saddens me and makes my heart ache for you. I do know what this home means to you. I hope that the insurance will cover the loss and that you can rebuild your lake home. It will take time and energy, but perhaps you can take a positive approach that in the end you will have a new place so to speak. Sending you hugs and comforting thoughts. ~ Sarah

Debbie said...

What a horrible mess!! Just remember it can all be rebuilt. The insides are damaged but the bones are strong and intact. Saying a prayer that you'll get good news from your insurance company!

Kit said...

Oh my! I am so sorry! I am thinking of you. Our homes are such an extension of ourselves that I know you are feeling horrible. Hang in there! It will get better. :) Kit

Ginene said...

How discouraging this turn of events is for all of you. The same thing happened to the empty building next door to me. The owners received a 5,000.00 city sewer and water bill on top of it, adding insult to injury. I'm assuming that you have a well at your place. I am so sorry that this catastrophe happened.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Water can take away your walls, your ceilings and even your floors, but it can never take away your memories of the wonderful times your family experienced while in this lovely home, which will indeed be lovely again.

I know you're devastated, as you have every right to be, but in the end this is a bump in the road of life. It will slow you down, but it can't stop you.


Pondside said...

I'm so sorry to read this, Jane. I know what the lake house means to you and your family and I've enjoyed all your lake posts. In the end you and your husband will regroup and make your house whole again - a wonderful place for building more memories for the children and grandchildren.

Penelope P. said...

Hi Jane, this is the first time I've read your blog, I clicked on a link on "Wildflowers". I don't think you're being at all melodramatic, it's evident from your post that your family life through the years has been woven at this house. I know things could have been worse, no one was hurt etc, but that doesn't stop it being devastating for you all. I'm sending you much love from the UK. Penny Lxxxxxx

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my word, this is so sad, such horrible devastation. God Bless.

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I am SO sorry. They must have burst in the bitter cold. Unbelievable devastation! I expected to see that a leak had perhaps ruined one small area....this is just awful. So sad. What a lot of work is going to be needed there...keep us posted.

NanaDiana said...

Oh! Jane, I am so so so sorry. I know what your vacation home meant to you. It is a horrible thing to go through...HORRIBLE.

However, when all is done it will be as good as new...and NOW is the time to make any changes you might have thought about making and never did. You will relove that home and it will be better than ever. You can hold on to the old memories but will make wonderful new ones with grandbabies and celebrations.

God bless you as you deal with the aftermath of the mess. xo Diana

Debbie said...

Oh Jane...I am so sorry.
No words will make this better.
I must agree with Diana...You will make new memories with your family...especially with your new baby there at your "home".
As the winter passes, so will the time needed to heal from this whole mess.
Much love.

2 Dogs said...

Jane I'm so very sorry. Take care of yourself during this time. Big hugs to you. Keep us posted. Love Pat

susan said...

Oh, Jane, I'm so sorry for the devastation! A relative of mine went through the same thing last year. They traveled to Europe for a few weeks and came home to water everywhere! Today, everything has been taken care of and their home looks more beautiful than ever. Please know that, at some point you too will have your beautiful home back too. xo

Carla from The River said...

Dear Jane,
I am so sorry. Just looking at the photos makes my tummy hurt. I feel so bad for you. I have felt devastation with home repairs before, so I do know.
xx oo I am sending you hugs. xx oo

Beth said...

Jane, I am so sorry for the damage in your beautiful home. I know you are devastated as this place of peace and joy will need help to recover. My parents had a lake home, just a cottage, really, that they bought when I was in college. I remember, too, the lazy days on the lake and on the porch. Good times. You will have many more good times, and make more precious memories at your lake house.
xo, Beth

Marigene said...

Oh my goodness, Jane...I can't even pretend to imagine what devastation you and your family are going through. I can only send you lots of hugs and hope you are able to find something good from this horrible experience.

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Jane, what a horrendous thing to go through especially when you love that place so much. However, that is what insurance is for and think about how beautiful it will be once repaired and renovated!!!...:)JP

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Soooo sorry Jane, what a disaster but as one said "no one was hurt" and I think I would focus on that for a while. Hope everything works out for you both!
Hugs to you,

xinex said...

Oh Janie, I am so terribly sorry but always think of the positive. Hopefully the insurance covers all the damage and it will be all be looking brand new in no time. Thank God your kitchen and living room were spared cause they look so pretty. It will be a lot of work at first but it will be fun redecorating afterwards. I know cause I have been through it too when my mom's toilet overflowed and she never told us until we felt the water in the hallway. But it is all behind us now and someday, it will all be behind you too. You take care and don't be sad, ok?...Christine


Anonymous said...

Jane, I am very sorry to read of your loss. You must be beyond devastated.
I am glad you got in a crew to take care of things. My sister and her husband (multimillionaires with four homes) had a similar situation in one of their houses. To save money, they decided to clean the mess themselves. He is now battling severe illness caused by exposure to mold.
Best wishes and big hugs

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, Jane... I am SO sorry for all of the damage to your home away from home:( I helped my Sister restore her home after a flood and it was a huge job. I pray that you get your home restored and that it will be even more beautiful! Sending HUGS and PRAYERS your way!

Gypsy Heart said...

There aren't words for this...I am just so sorry! I think fire and floods are so devastating and do so much damage ~ physically and emotionally.

Sending you huge hugs!

Babs said...

Oh, Jane! How awful and I'm so sorry you had so much damage to your lake home. Sending lots of hugs your way.
xo Babs

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

Jane. I can't tell you how sorry I am! The photos made me so sad for you. I agree with what some said, now's the time to make changes. I guess it's a new season for the Lakehouse. Hugs to you!

Barbara F. said...

Jane, I can't find the words......but I know you will have that lake house back to all its glory......keeping you and your hubby in my prayers tonight. Thank you for sharing this. You write so well, as always, I felt as if I was sitting next you and conversing. This was a wickedly cold winter. Glad to see it slowing leaving us.

Linda said...

I have no words for you....
So sad....
Let me know how you make out...

Lori said...

My heart goes out to you guys ~ water damage and fire are 2 of my biggest fears ~ thankfully things can be fixed but it still sucks. It will take some hard work but you will be laughing and making more memories at the lake ~ your next generation needs to hear all the good stories. xoxo

Elaine said...

Feeling so sad for you. What devastation! And you surely deserve a pity party if you want to.

I hope all those wonderful memories will carry you through the days ahead of you as you get ready for the Summer season.

I will keep you in my prayers.

RURAL said...

Oh sweetie, I'm heartbroken for you. This is devastating, and that's by no means overreacting or dramatizing it.

The damage, the ....oh I am so very sorry.


Sending you the gentlest of hugs.


Stonecropsister said...

Hi Jane,
No words to describe the "Oh No" feeling that overcame me when I saw these pictures. Girl, I'll say a little prayer for you tonight. xx Nancy

Maria Elena said...

Jane, I am so sorry to hear how bad the damage was. I know you love your lake home and it has so many good memories made over the years. I pray this soon will be only a bad memory and you can start enjoying it again! xxx Maria

Penny said...

Oh Jane, I am so sorry you and Al have to go through this. I know how much the lake house means to you and it always makes me feel good that I know exactly where you are when you are there since it is near my hometown. Stay strong and my sincere wishes that all will be put back together again.

Love, Penny

Unknown said...

Jane, I am so sorry to hear about the lake house. You and your husband must be devastated. My heart and prayers go out to you. As my Grandma would say "this too shall pass". Stay strong.

Jenny S. said...

Jane ...Bless your heart, honey. It is so hard for any of us to see something that frankly " we worked our BUTT off " for to be destroyed. Some might say it was only material things.And I agree. But I know you take alot of pride in your family's special place. So get in there and fix it up again. We out here want to follow you on this journey. So you don't hold back anything.

Traci said...

Melodramatic??? Jane, I would think it was weird if you weren't horribly upset. I am so so sorry that this happened & you're having to deal with it. I hope being able to focus on all of the wonderful memories that have been made at that house will help get you through the repairs.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh Jane, I am so sorry to hear about this. It's something we worry about all the time with our lakehome, too. Even with people watching never know if the power will go out and pipes will freeze. Our furnace went out once, and we just happened to go down there that day...we had to unfreeze pipes, replace some kitchen plumbing and faucet, and replace the furnace that day. But it could have ended up just like yours. I am just so sorry for what you are going through. It's such a family place and it's so sad to see the damage. I hope you have insurance to help with the costs and that you can bring your home back to your happy family place as soon as possible. Love to you...xo

Rue said...

Oh Jane.... I'm so sorry.... My little waterfall was nothing compared to this. I'm so glad your kitchen was saved at the very least. No one could possibly think you were being a baby. I would have crawled into a ball too and drank a whole lot more than that bottle of wine.

I hope in the posts I need to catch up on that you have updates about the damage that aren't as bad as it looks and sounds.

Hugs my friend.


Vee said...

Oh I had to read back to see what rotten thing had happened. I am so sorry for all the damage and loss of personal things.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for such devastation to your lovely retreat. I've read some of your newer posts and see you are in the process of rebuilding. I wish you much luck. -Joanne

Doris said...

I stopped in to visit with you today because I love your decorating style. Kept going back through your posts for more and I came across this one. Does it ever bring back some memories for me. Last winter my son and his wife were getting ready to rent their home (because it wouldn't sell). My son stopped in on the way home from work one afternoon to find a broken water pipe flooding their kitchen and running down the basement was a huge mess and 3 weeks before the renters were moving in. I know that awful feeling if despair. God bless you as you work to put your home back together again. One day at a time!

Lori E said...

OH MY GOSH. I didn't know about this and scrolled down and down to see what you alluded to in your recent post.
What a kick in the gut. You know about my recent broken pipe and what was involved with that but for gosh sakes it was nothing compared to this.
You have posted a very touching story and wisely have filled it with the good memories. I know you will create more wonderful memories with your family going forward.