By Mark – April 19, 2019
Before we moved to Richmond, VA, I was still in the Army at Fort Drum, NY. We lived in this great little summer vacation town on Lake Ontario called Sackets Harbor. We found a beautiful Italianate house on almost an acre with apple trees, raspberry & blackberry vines, asparagus & strawberry beds, and well-tended perennial beds, located 3 blocks from downtown and 2 blocks from the lake. I was put off by it at first because it was 30 minutes from post, but when I saw there was a side apartment that was rented out I was all in.
We moved in during the middle of summer and to a boy raised in the south, upstate NY was a magical land that requires no A/C. I found myself talking about this fact constantly and everyone questioned if we would still love living so far north come February. Winter came and experiencing 3-4’ of snow was just as incredible as my 8 year old self thought it would be. Another difference to the south, when it snows in upstate NY, everything keeps moving right along as usual. The snowplows are out early and just about every road is drivable. We bought the right gear and walking downtown with wind chills in the negatives became no big deal. In fact, “suffering” the bitter walk down to Goodfellos to indulge in a brick oven pizza and a couple glasses of wine felt like a well-deserved treat.
Why am I writing about this? Erin and I are actually headed up to Sackets Harbor tomorrow to clean out the house. We have a contract on it and it closes May 10th. When we moved to Richmond, we decided to keep the property and rent the house and apartment. For 5 years, we have had army friends rotating through the house and we decided it was finally time to let it go. It is the last property that we are self-managing and we just don’t want to have to worry about it while we are on the trip. It is so sad to let it go, but we have great memories of friends and dinner parties, year round hikes and summertime gardening, brunch at Tin Pan Galley and dinner at Goodfellos…what an incredible setting it was for us as we started our marriage and family.