Twenty years ago Hubby D and I, along with four of our five offspring plus spouses, bought a place at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. We christened it Casalago, the Italian version of Lake House, a name we had engraved on a rustic wooden sign visible from the road, prompting a few locals to refer to D and me as Mr. and Mrs. Casalago. Our new lakefront property was and still is considered prime real estate. Located in a quiet cove off the main channel, it stretched across105 feet of desirable deep water with plenty of ground on either side so as not to interfere with the neighbors. Nor them with us.
At the time of our purchase, this 4-bedroom, 3-bath house with upper deck and lower patio had been going through some basic updating when the sellers’ divorce interrupted its completion. Offspring #2, who has a background in architecture and construction, quickly came up with a not-so-simple plan to make it more compatible for our five families. “We’ll move the staircase to the other side of the living/dining area and re-arrange the downstairs rooms,” he said, prompting a shake of nine somewhat cautious heads. By the time Phase 1 of the remodel was finished, we had added another downstairs bedroom, a fourth bathroom, a more defined laundry area, and painted every room and every door in the entire house.
Mustn’t forget the dock and swim area, bringing the number of slips from two to three.
Several years later we closed in a rather shabby main entryway, creating instead a comfortable sunroom, complete with a tiled floor and pine walls. Life settled down for a few years until we enclosed the carport leading to the sunroom, making it one large living area—more painting and staining of pine walls and ceiling that, as Offspring #2 had assured us, in a matter of weeks would match the existing pine interior, which it did.
A few more years passed when I casually mentioned something about converting the small porch off of our galley kitchen into a pantry. Or whatever it would take to relieve the clutter on the kitchen counters when more than one family brought in grocery supplies. That mere suggestion resulted in a major add-on. As in a super-sized gourmet kitchen, second master bedroom with ensuite on the main level. Plus the lower level where we added a large bonus room, big enough for five single-over-double bunk beds and a walk-in closet.
Room to sleep twenty-six people. Room to comfortably seat that many people for meals, with an expandable dining table next to a counter area with six barstools and more counter space in the kitchen. Not just room for family but assorted friends on multiple occasions. Yes, the Giacoletto clan was growing by leaps and bounds as were offspring of our offspring that were growing up and moving on.
Moving on. That was the inevitable glitch. Moving on meant the offspring of offspring moving far away from Southern Illinois and the St. Louis area. And not coming home often enough nor long enough to spend sufficient time at Lake of the Ozarks. Time for the five families to move on the majority of owners decided, though not all of us were on board initially.
Nevertheless, we sold Casalago. Our place at the lake is no longer our place but now belongs to another family, one I feel confident will treat it with the same love and respect that our family did.
On the positive side, Offspring #2 and his talented wife had a different take about moving on. They bought their own place at the lake, a few miles from our original place and closer to the Bagnell Damn, its 1931 completion resulting in a reservoir that became Lake of the Ozarks. Though not as many square feet as the five families once shared, Offspring #2s’ new place boasts two decks, an equally generous lakefront with deep water and a wider cove. Also a dock they plan to replace with a larger one to accommodate their new bigger boat. Christening name still to be determined but I know a lot of thought will go into whatever they decide.
How about you? Any moving on stories you’d like to share?