Life at Fishhawk Lake with Gayle Rich-Boxman

Living On a Lake: My Best Christmas Ever

Lake-Best Christmas ever photoRichmond Virginia, Christmas Eve 1968.  Mom and Dad stick my sister and I in our guest room, close the door and we  promise not to come out til Christmas morning for any reason. I remember several things: lots of noises, bumps, a bit of yelling or grousing from our parents on the other side of the door throughout the night. I also remember having a little television and of all things, watching Lawrence Welk (oh my) and The Miracle on 34th Street—a Christmas classic. In those days, we had only a few TV stations and it probably got late and we were either not tired or bored and Lawrence Welk was one of the few shows to choose from. For those of you who are old enough to remember, there was a lot of old-fashioned music, bad hair-dos and clothing (that haven’t come back into fashion thankfully) and BUBBLES! It was the first and last time I ever watched it, so I am still clueless as to the significance of the bubbles. 

Fast forward to Christmas morning…we woke our parents up early, and though they were quite bleary-eyed and utterly exhausted, they allowed us to drag them out of bed and were thrilled by our over-the-top reactions to what they had done for us for Christmas. In ONE NIGHT, they had completely transformed both of our bedrooms! I’m talking about furniture and everything!  Many small individually wrapped presents were discovered in the drawers of our new night stands beside our new beds.  For any of you who have staged a room or two, just think about MOVING EVERYTHING OUT AND MOVING NEW STUFF IN up a flight of stairs and arranging it all in less than twelve hours with just two people! I truly can’t imagine how they managed to not hurt themselves, or do it without blowing a head gasket!!

It was the best Christmas EVER. One of my fondest memories of those three days was actually the smell of incense. In that day, incense burners were the new craze. That was one of the little presents found in my night stand. The incense burner was made of brass in this East Indian sort of small configuration, with a flattish round bottom and a small center where you placed the cone of incense, along with a rather Mosquish-looking top with cut-out stars on the sides so that the incense could filter through in an aromatic drift of smoke. The day after Christmas we had a freak snow storm and lost power for three days.  Even though the temperatures upstairs were freezing, I spent hours up there in my newly refurnished room burning my incense and letting it waft around. I was in heaven!

As a neighborhood we all gathered together in whatever warmth and light we could find during the power outage and so, post-Christmas, we asked our neighbors over to sit around in our den near our only source of heat, our fireplace. It also had a piano, someone brought a guitar, we had the fireplace going and candles lit and we sang Christmas carols.  I recall my dad backing up into a candle and lighting his new Christmas sweater on fire!

Other than burning toast in the fireplace and Dad’s mishap, I have only fond memories of spending three days with no electricity right at Christmas. We all managed to stay warm no matter what the temperature because we were happy and truly embraced the feeling of Christmas in every way! The smell of incense still takes me immediately back to my youth and is a reminder of how incredibly generous our parents were.

This season is one to embrace generosity. Don’t forget those who are less fortunate and give freely…even if it’s just of your heart. That’s the best kind of gift – free, but priceless.

Living on a Lake: Selling a Home at Fishawk Lake with Furnishings

When buying a vacation or “2nd” home, especially at Fishhawk Lake which is in a remote area in Birkenfeld, quite often buyers want to make an offer that includes much if not all of the furniture. Now, that can mean several things to each buyer. It might mean just the big stuff: appliances (very commonly included in both primary home sales as well as 2nd homes) but also big furniture like couches, beds, etc. 

Let’s take it a step further. There are properties that are listed in marketing materials as being “turnkey.”  This essentially means that you can bring your jammies, your toothbrush, walk in and take over living in the house and not have to bring anything else. (After purchasing, of course!) That would include ALL things, like dishes, linens, artwork, everything that you saw when your first made an offer would go stay the home after closing.

What I like to tell my sellers is this: if you don’t want it included in a potential offer, either get it out of the home or make a list that you then give your realtor that clearly explains what will not be included with the home. There often are heirlooms that were handed down generations ago that you hold dear and you, as the seller, need to make sure you’ve got your bases covered right from the time the home goes on the market.   Read More

Living on a Lake: Fishhawk Lake Real Estate-Attending the Inspection, Valuable Lessons

I always attend my home inspections. There’s a fountain of information in those! I’ve had inspectors say, “Well, all the agents do is sit in their cars and talk on the phone”–not me! Not only do I want to be shown what’s wrong, but learn from an expert so that I can be better informed for the next client!

I have learned about carpenter ants, venting issues, electrical mishaps, flashing, dry rot, and much much more. It offers me the chance to better understand our area, so when I’m taking a buyer out to look at property and they happen to see a small dead critter on the floor (aka carpenter ant, but NEVER a termite!) I can explain it away and ease their worries….for heaven’s sake, we live in the WOODS with trees surrounding us! I can also recommend seasonal pest exterminators. I had a recent buyer swear he saw a termite, but I stood my ground, because I’ve been going to inspections for seven and a half years now and we just don’t HAVE termites out in our neck of the woods. Wood boring beetles, maybe, but not a termite in sight!  Read More

Living on a Lake in the Country: A Formula For Serenity

Lake-webDiscovering a secret haven for serenity that no one else really knows about takes some doing. Sometimes it’s found by divine intervention, sometimes by diligent research.  Finding this place that’s still open, quiet and not overrun with humans is hard to come by, let alone accessible and reasonably priced in a resort vacation community.

This formula for serenity is found in a place called Fishhawk Lake, a private lake community nestled in the coastal range of Oregon, hidden away from every part of urban living.

Poems have been written about this lake. People play piano, harp and guitar while visiting here. A local writer had a heron die in his arms and his life was forever changed because of it. People live long and thrive here.

Neighbors really know each other. It’s like a throwback to the 50’s, when things were simpler, families spent quality time together and the true essence of community was alive and well. That’s what it’s still like at Fishhawk Lake. People wave at each other, regardless of whether they know you or not. You’ll see folks taking walks around the lake who will stop and chat with someone gardening or puttering around their yard. Everything moves at a slower pace. People will just pop in to say hello.  There is a feeling of camaraderie.  Whether it’s a spontaneous dinner, card game, or getting a group together to hike in the woods, it’s all a welcome part of living on this lake in the country.

It is a destination to share with your immediate family to create a lifetime of memories and place a deep foundation of consideration for Mother Earth and Mother Nature early in a child’s life that they will treasure forever.

There is such a deep quiet, that you can step outside and literally hear NOTHING. But it can awaken all of your senses to your surroundings that city living can’t offer.

I went on an early morning walk one day and counted nine different birdcalls. You can hear the liquid sounds of a fish jumping in the first daylight hours as well as at twilight. The nights can be so dark that you will often have the pleasure of seeing shooting stars regularly.Lake-buck in the leaves-web

Hearing the repetitive hoot of a late night owl coming through your open window or the crunching sounds of an otter enjoying his fresh catch of fish under your dock is a common part of lake life. Elk and deer cross your path regularly throughout the seasons. Hearing the prehistoric sound of a great blue heron squawking as it takes flight over the lake or watching a bald eagle stand still in the lake waters while hunting for fish offer great photo opportunities. It is an escape, a retreat from the hectic world, a soul-surrendering safe place to let go of the world’s angst and indulge in all of the joys that nature offers.

One of the nicest qualities of quiet lake living is that you won’t hear the buzz of motorboats. Because Fishhawk Lake is also our water source, we welcome kayaking, canoeing, pedal boats, rowboats and electric powered pontoons only. You get the pleasure of gliding along the water while enjoying the sounds that a lake like this offers—the trickle of water dripping from a paddle, the laughter of someone across the lake, the splash of people playing at the water’s edge or swimming over by the clubhouse. One of the best moments is to see someone gracefully slipping across the top of the water in the breaking dawn, rowing gently by as if the lake belonged completely to them. These are magical moments that some people go their whole lives never experiencing. We have these simple pleasures presented to us every day at Fishhawk Lake. Just take your cup of coffee and step out onto your back deck to watch the mist rise over the lake and take in the peace of a morning in your own slice of paradise. From the glassy mirrored surfaces of the placid morning waters to the watercolor sunsets, you will find that this place quells your spirit. Lake-rowing on the lake-web

So, put your feet up, sit a spell and enjoy the crisp clean coastal air, take a deep breath, embrace being in the moment and let your senses soar!


If you’re in the market to purchase real estate at Fishhawk Lake contact Gayle Rich-Boxman at 503-755-2905.