Once we moved in June, things did not slow down a bit. Julianne, my youngest of 4, graduated HS and she started her summer job right away. I was constantly moving between my now 2 houses when summer short-term rental season peaks and I do the majority of the cleaning, maintenance, planting and plucking. Why have a daily workout when you can sweat it out for 4 hours in a hot house any given day of the summer in 80% humidity?
Fall quickly came and so started my weekend experiment- I was quite curious as to how a weekend rental would do in the Catskills so close to ski-resorts- 2 within 15 minute drives and 2 more within 30. September was quiet but then once October came, I was booked at least 2 weekends out of the month. The holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah) booked up quickly and before I knew it- December - March was booked nearly every weekend of the month. It made the weeks of school and prepping the house always busy- it seemed like we were back to living as gypsy's- always loading the car with bags, unload and then turn right around and do it again 3 days later. We did not mind...we always came home to a clean house and the bills paid!
Then this things called COVID-19 happened. It hit really fast and before I could blink, schools were being shut down, executive orders to stay home were written and my head was spinning. I had not intention to rent my house out full time but as I always have done...when opportunities present themselves, I often give them a try. I was contacted by some people in NYC asking if I might be interested in renting for a week...at this point, school was scheduled to move to remote for 2 weeks so why not. After that week, I had another family ask if I might be interested in renting for a month. It was a gamble as we were due to be back in school in a week and I just figured I would commute for 3 weeks- the rental fee would far exceed the inconvenience so I agreed. This became my first experience with actually how scared people were of COVID-19. NYC was the epic center at this point and people were fleeing downstate as fast as they could and the family that rented, did not want to have any contact with people for the month- myself included. I tried to go work on the yard a bit and they told me to go away. No joke. After the month passed, I was approached by one of the families renting and asked if they might be able to stay on longer. At this point, it was obvious schools were to be closed and teaching remote for a while so I thought...why not? The husband was an asst. principal and the wife, a state attorney both were working remote and had no desire to take either of their young daughters back to NYC. They ended up staying until mid August- 5 months in total. What a blessing they became for our family. The good news was this allowed the financing of some important outside work to be done on the house- more work than I had originally planned for the house but the funds were there so we jumped right in once the snow cleared! Down came 4 trees, the driveway was cleared and stoned, a new back patio was created, concrete work was done, stones were moved for the fire pit, new side gate and privacy fence panels installed, chain-link fence was secured and the old landscaping was pulled and cleared. So much works was done, it still catches me off guard and I often don't recognize my house at first glance.
Since so many cancellations came in for the Cobleskill house summer rentals, we spent the majority of our summer there, which was also a great blessing. We worked diligently to catch up on all of those projects that often get pushed aside when the summer rentals come in. We were able to add a glass tile back splash in the kitchen, clear out more closets, work more on landscaping, added new outside stairs in the front and side porches, repaired a lot of the tedious finishing work and secured the spiral stairs railing. Rentals started to pick back up again...this time mainly on the weekends as people were trying to have a short "stay-cation". It worked out really nicely and we loved being back "home" for a bit!
So, now that we are back in Margaretville- it means the school year is about ready to start and our summer is coming to a close. It equally feels as good to be back in Margaretville- the luxury of living in both of our homes in the last 5 months has been wonderful!
Catskill Simple Living
Started by a Family and Consumer Science teacher with an interest in housing and interior design, Catskill Simple Living started as a way for her combine her interests and share them with new friends.