So, I thought I’d share some photos of our Donner Lake house, since I’ve mentioned it a few times. Our friend Eddie, a general contractor, kept saying, “Let me build you a house.” I found a picture of the lot in one of those property magazines—it was heavily wooded on a steep slope on the north side of the lake, only 50x100ft. It had been on the market for over a year; no one wanted it. Eddie looked at and said it would work. Brad climbed a tree and said that he could see the lake. We made a low offer and they accepted right away.

The fun part is the design, which we did together. Working out the kitchen floor plan and the general layout is a chance to dream and make a reality of those dreams. I am so grateful to have had that experience. When I would get frustrated, Brad would tell Eddie, "Just keep saying 'French doors' to her."

The house is upside down and backwards. The top floor is the main floor, with the living room and kitchen. The “front” door and garage are at the back of the house on a one lane road up there. The middle floor is four bedrooms. The bottom floor is the office and family room.

Eddie put it together, start to finish, in six months. Construction phase is odd because it goes incredibly slow, then incredibly fast, then slow again. But it was done shortly after Christmas and we moved in. I loved the fireplace, the view from my bed in the morning, and the decks, especially the decks. We lived there for seven years. It went by so quickly.

We grew disenchanted with the little road to the house; it was deteriorating and no one would take responsibility for it. The endless winter snow gets old. The noise from Donner Pass Road and the boats were a constant annoyance in the summer. The housing market in the whole Tahoe area skyrocketed out of control. It was the right time to sell.

I have absolutely no regrets about building it or leaving it. We never intended to live there forever. It was a wonderful process, and beautiful experience, and a good investment vehicle. I am never sad when I think about leaving it. We had our life there and now we are here, which, honestly, I like more.

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