And that is exactly the impression the Thompsons want to give. The explosion of color on walls, in braided rugs, and on furniture, tells you that this is the place to have fun with family and friends. The bright turquoise living room walls and the gold and lime on bedroom walls are bold and exciting and provide a colorful canvas for the family memorabilia displayed on them. On the living room walls are Pam’s father’s old fishing rod, his bait net and fishing lures. Bringing up memories of her childhood is an oak dining table in a corner of the room.
“We sat around it growing up,” she recalled.
Pam, in fact, grew up in the Moor’s Camp subdivision, where her family lived for 47 years. She recalls the first day of school, when she boarded the bus to the Gilbertsville school. The family home, which she shared with a brother and two sisters, is now a rental house.
Childhood memories of living around Kentucky Lake have reinforced Pam’s love of the area. The Thompson’s primary residence is a larger, more formal home on Sledd Creek.
“It’s not kid-indusive,” she explained. “We thought we’d have one spot where everybody can congregate.” The family-friendly house the couple envisioned would be relaxing and carefree. Make that “care-free.”
In furnishings, she said, “we didn’t want anything that couldn’t be replaced.” And so she shopped yard sales, consignment stores and junk shops for items that could be freshened up with paint. A chest of drawers in the living room was found on a throwaway trash heap. It is now a whimsical but practical piece of furniture with each drawer painted a different primary color and accented with decorative knobs found at Hobby Lobby.
Another find was a coffee table discovered in a junk store, which has been cleaned up and topped with glass. It has been placed in front of a white slipcovered sofa that Pam pointed out is practical because kids’ spills and stains can be easily cleaned.
She pointed out various items in the living room.
“I pretty much had everything bought when we started building,” she explained.
Pam and her uncle, Louie Doom, completed finishing touches. And while Mitchell was away on a fishing trip, she and Doom completed the trim work. Together they installed a stairway to a loft, using cherry wood rails Doom had located in Livingston County.
As you climb the stairs, you notice the risers on which Pam has painted fish. Heavy rope outlines the steps — another Pam innovation.
“I’m pretty handy,” she admitted.
And so is her uncle. He also built a wooden Adirondack “fish chair” for the living room.
The loft at the top of the stairs is a children’s haven. Up to twelve youngsters can sleep here. The walls are lime green; the twin beds (originally installed in an Army hospital) are painted bright yellow. And yes, the colors work beautifully together. The coverlets and shams are from Target; the chair at the foot of the beds came from the old Gilbertsville school. It is a happy haven for the Thompson’s seven grandchildren, aged 18 months to 12 years, and for their four great nieces and nephews.
Pam is quick to point out nothing in this room can be damaged or broken, but if it is, it can be easily replaced.
“It uplifts you when you come in,” she said. “It screams ‘Relax! Have fun! Enjoy!’”
Mitchell is a retired school administrator and Pam is the owner of six Kids Kare child care centers located in Paducah, Kevil and Marshall County. With so much on her plate, one wonders how she finds time for her creative projects. They include table toppers using natural materials, such as found driftwood and shells. A cup rack in the kitchen area is one of her artistic creations. Her talent for creative recycling can be seen in a yellow-walled bedroom, which features a bed found at a yard sale and repainted lime green. It is covered by a quilt made from colorful printed table runners that were used at her daughter’s wedding reception. A wicker chair in this room was bought at a yard sale in Florida.
Lime green is the wall color in a second bedroom, which is another example of Pam’s creativity. In here, a wall hanging from Hobby Lobby serves as a headboard for the bed. It is spread with a quilt made by Pam’s grandmother. Of particular interest are a pegged clothes rack that Pam made, a “yard sale” desk painted barn red, and a multi colored rag rug on the hardwood floor.
In case you haven’t become aware of the hospitality of the house and its lakeside environment, there are mottos to remind you. The words, “A house at the lake, where life slows down and friends stay longer.” are inscribed on the pegged rack in a bedroom. On another wall, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away” reminds us to enjoy special moments. And finally, in the the kitchen is a reminder to be a good guest — “This is a self-cleaning kitchen. Clean up after yourself.”
Pam is not afraid of bright colors, as noted in the multi-hued Amish-made porch furniture. This is a restful place to relax in the Adirondack chairs and enjoy the view of the lake.
Pam’s description of the children’s loft aptly describes the charming house.
“It lifts you up when you come in. It screams ‘Relax! Have fun! Enjoy!’”
I could not have said it better.