Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Turn

As far back as I can remember, and even before my time, my dad loved to be by the water. He enjoyed fishing and even had an aluminum fishing boat for a while. He wasn't an avid fisherman though. I think he fished just for an excuse to be by the water. There were plenty of times when he would take me for a car ride to one of the parks along the Detroit River just to sit and watch the river flow. We never took a fishing pole.

When our family took a summer vacation, it was always "by the water". Dad wouldn't have it any other way. We usually vacationed in Kincardine, Ontario, but we'd also go to Thousand Islands, Niagara Falls, or Grand Bend. When my dad's sister had a cottage on Burt Lake in northern Michigan, we went there too.

Without a doubt my dad passed on his love of water to us kids. My mom was terrified of being in water over her head and never learned to swim so I know we didn't get our love of water from her. Both my brothers were on their high school swim teams and both actually held state titles in freestyle for a brief while. I'm a good swimmer and I enjoy being in the water but I never swam competitively.

When my brothers and I grew up we each found our own way to be "by the water". My oldest brother bought a very nice boat that he kept in a marina on the Detroit River. My other brother bought a house on a lake in nearby Oakland County, Michigan (he has a boat too). I bought a house with a backyard pool. Not as much fun as a boat on the river or a house on the lake, but we enjoyed the heck out it while we had it. Sadly, it died in 2000 and was not replaced.

Now it's my turn to be by the water again. The reason my blog as has been so quiet for the past month is because I've been busy looking for and negotiating to buy a condo "by the water". I'm happy to share with you that I found that condo by the water in St Joseph, Michigan. It's amazing how the world of blogging touches our lives. Before Cheryl wrote an article about the beautiful town of St Joseph where she lives, I'd never heard of the place. I took a day trip over to see the town and take some photos and I fell in love with its charm. That was back in the summer of 2007. Fast forward to New Year's Eve 2008... An idea popped into my head that I should invest in real estate and St Joseph came to mind. I did a quick search on the internet before we went out to dinner that night and that began my hunt for a condo.

The condo I'm buying is not right on Lake Michigan but it is less than a mile away, an easy walking distance. This isn't a rental/income unit, it will be our second home. :-)

I'll be closing on the condo shortly and then the fun begins. As the Realtor said, "this place needs some TLC". It is a bit dated and I plan to work on it as much as possible between now and Memorial Weekend when I hope to kick back and enjoy the pristine beaches, the Lake Michigan sunsets, the local wineries, and the multitude of local festivals that St Joseph has to offer.

Cheryl and I will be neighbors. And I'll be close enough to Becky and Thomas to get together with them for lunch one of these days :-)

So you can expect that this blog will have less frequent postings than has been the pattern for the last 3+ years. I'm actually seriously considering not getting dedicated internet access to the condo. There are cafes in town that have wifi access and I can access the internet from my phone when I'm at the condo. I think I'm going to give that a try for a while.

I've started a blog about discovering St Joseph but I'm keeping it private for now. It will have nothing to do with genealogy but will likely have restaurant and event reviews, some photography, and lots of reflections. If you're interested in reading it, let me know. I may make it public or by invitation some where down the road.

Be happy for me! :-D

15 comments:

  1. My cousins have a cottage on Lake Michigan in Stevensville, Michigan that I visit frequently in the summer. It has been in their family since the 1940's! You will love the St. Joseph area, it is beautiful and the summers are heavenly. You must visit South Haven, Michigan too. It's another great spot! Enjoy your new condo! Congratulations!

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  2. Yes! Now we can be even closer - and they said our genea-love would never be! LOL

    I have in-law relations from the St. Joe area and Berien County.

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  3. I am *very* happy for you! I've been to the St. Joseph area several times and it is indeed a beautiful area. I'd love to get together with you and our other genea-blogging buddies sometime. Actually, I'm not all that far from Detroit!

    Your idea of not getting internet access for the Condo is a good one. After all, the purpose of having a vacation home is to "get away from it all" isn't it?

    Congratulations and best wishes.

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  4. Greetings Jasia,
    I understand the 'being near the water' thing, as I have spent time at the parks on the Detroit Riverfront on this side of the border. St. Joseph sounds like a nice area. Congrats on the condo!
    Kathryn

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  5. Yipee! I'm so happy for you. If you wander over to Benton Harbor and the Bear Naked Beanery for your internet fix tell them the crazy genealogist from New York sent you. I know you're going to have fun fixing it up ;-)

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  7. "Bear Naked Beanery?" Apple, did you perchance wander into some nudist resort cafe on your last genealogy trip? Perhaps you overdid the genealogy happy dance?

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  8. I'm delighted to hear you've closed the deal. I know how much you'll enjoy the water - even the effort to make the place your own. We expect to see photos soon!

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  9. How wonderful and exciting for you, Jasia. Congratulations!

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  10. Thomas - You can not overdo the happy dance!

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  11. Oh, Jasia, the deal came through. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. And it is nice to read here about Stevensville (where my ancestors settled), St. Joseph (where I was born and live), Berrien County, Lake Michigan - all the areas outside my back (or front) door.

    You will love it here; there is so much to see and do and you will probably be able to see the 4th of July fireworks from your condo even. I know I can see them from my home.

    Welcome to the Sunset Coast!

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  12. So much excitement!!
    I dare not look into how wonderful this location is but I'm sure you will make the most of it. How far is it from 'home'?
    I'll still enjoy your blogs, however (in)frequent ;-)
    Bronwyn.

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  13. Congrats! Sounds wonderful, and I'm a big nest-maker and fan of the TLC, fix up process.

    I hope this decision brings you much joy and peace.

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  14. We were in South Haven for the afternoon last summer and it was really tempting to investigate renting a cottage. St. Joe's and surrounding area is wonderful, as you know with lots of beauty and wonders to explore. So happy for you, Jasia.

    Waleria

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  15. I could not be more pleased for you.

    Maybe more of your friends will just happen by,and blogging will become a fond memory. Replaced by the real world.

    Now wouldn't that be lovely!

    -fM

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