June 25, 2016

Shy and Outgoing By Vickie Stam

I've always claimed to be one of those people sitting on the fence, somewhere between shy and outgoing. My husband, Tony is an extrovert through and through. At times I need a little help from him; an introduction to break the ice or an arm around my shoulder that lets me know he's there. Sometimes I'm not shy at all. 

Most days I want nothing more than to be surrounded by people, call some friends together and gather at the lake for good food and fellowship. Planning a dinner menu, playing games or just sitting around talking reveals the outgoing side of me. And then there are times when I want to just sit by the lake and observe the vast expanse of water and its ever changing patterns. I want to listen to the chatter among the birds, hear the sound of the waves lapping against the shore and embrace the freedom to just relax and be alone.    

A year ago Tony and I sold our cottage of seven years and purchased another one....right on the shores of Lake Erie. Some say, "The view is to die for!" I absolutely agree. It was all part of our retirement plan. We finished raising pigs last November and decided the lake was calling us. But there's work to be done. The old cottage is coming down and a new one is to go up. A place that will become our "forever home." It's all very exciting yet overwhelming too. 

We're now in constant decision making mode. 'Choices' seems to be the operative word these days and I keep hearing that familiar phrase, "The sky's the limit." I often wonder, just what their sky looks like. The number of people being added to this project is growing and some days I feel them stretching the capacity of my introverted limits. Too much information and opinions.       

Builders, planners, a drafting team, a demolition crew, excavation crew, site inspectors, county authorities, Long Point Conservation authorities and so on. It's really the beginning stages to receiving our permit. Deciding the pitch of the roof is not my forte. Thank goodness, Tony finds these task masters less daunting than I do. After a long day of discussions and choices I can't wait to sink my toes into the sand once again and not hear a peep from anyone.

It's true, our little cottage is an old three season structure that's small and the lack of proper insulation doesn't allow for us to live there over the winter. The pink carpet throughout is dated, marked by years of another family's summer fun and if a marble was rolled it would most certainly end up in a corner of the kitchen. A well defined slope has invaded the floor that was once level. Nothing about the place meets code.   

Still, in the midst of all this chaos, the thought of decorating the new place excites me. In-fact, I love it! It's sort of like putting a puzzle together without seeing the picture on the box. On the flip side, Tony finds this task rather daunting. Here's where he gets to lean on me. I can't wait to get started. I see a splash of colour on the walls, family photos in the living room and of course art work and various knick-knacks that will only enhance the feeling of living on the lake. Clearly it's the breath taking view that drew us to this place.    

I've been told on more than one occasion that I should be an interior decorator. What a wonderful compliment! Picking out things that tell a story, treasures found in antique stores and mixing the old with the new is truly fun for me. It's one of those things where I feel confident and content doing it on my own or taking a friend along. I love the end result when everything comes together just like that puzzle.          

This summer is going to keep us busy as we carve out our new beginning. Our love will have us drawing from the proverbial pots of introvert and extrovert all the while leaning on one another the way God fully intended us to.


  1. Sounds like a match made in heaven! All the best as you move forward in this project.

  2. Dear Vickie, it sounds both daunting and delightful. Wishing you the best as you plan, dream, build and design. I do hope you have a lot of fun with it and continue to take time to dip your toes in the sand and the water!

  3. What a lovely story, Vickie. Isn't it interesting and beautiful how a couple of loving people can bring out the best in each other. I loved this part of your story. Your project sounds amazing--the view, the improvements you plan, making the foundation straight and solid, and then the decorating. That's the icing on the cake. I like your image of this all coming together like a puzzle. What excitement, and what an opportunity for you to exhibit another one of your talents. All the best in completing this big puzzle with all its parts and pieces.


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