At the picturesque lake home of Keith and Karla Murt perched high atop a hill overlooking Sledd Creek in Marshall County.
Purchased 15 years ago from Craig and Betty Riddle, a name familiar to lake dwellers and synonymous to local sailors, the Murts were thrilled to find this prime little piece of paradise.
According to Karla, the Riddles had two goals in mind when selecting the lakeside property. First of all, deepwater in the cove was a must for the sailboat owners. Secondly, the prospective buyers desired to build a home on the lot in which the lake could be seen from every room. Thankfully the goal was achieved and the deal was sealed. A balcony, a patio, and a long windowed porch found across the back of the house all offered scenic lake views.
“We knew some cosmetic interior changes would be necessary,” explained Murt. “After replacing the shag carpet, wallpaper, carport, and updating the bathrooms, the further modifications were decorative. We haunted antique shops and flea markets from Kentucky to Florida in search of nautical items for our new abode.”
“Instead of hiring a decorator, I feathered our nest my way. We find it comfortable. It’s our house with our things in it. Even though the galley kitchen was small, it was uniquely designed. We opted to make no changes and kept the wooden countertops constructed from recycled wood found in a bowling alley, door hinges functioning as drawer pulls, and the genuine port-hold window.”
“I can easily prepare a meal for 40 or more people in this kitchen. Our guests delight in choosing a spot to eat either on the porch, patio, or in the dining room. Our grandchildren use to be here constantly, but as they grew older and took up new interests their visits became less frequent. However, we still draw big crowds during family and holiday celebrations.”
“Two of our grandchildren are equestrians. They travel across the Midwest pursuing their hobbies. Conner, 15, shows horses in national competitions while Chloe, 11, rides jumpers.”
Lovingly known as Mim to her active grandchildren, Murt takes pleasure in being involved in their many pursuits even chaperoning a class field trip to Washington D.C.
An authentic boat ladder invites the young-at-heart to climb into the upper level sleeping loft and rumpus room full of favorite toys and games, a haven perfect for any adolescent. Does this area not remind you of the sleeping quarters inside a sailboat? Must be coincidental.
The master suite, rustic and relaxing, is found on the main level. Furnished with familiar pieces, framed family photos mounted on the walls, and possessions from their town residence say cozy and snug. The lower level of the dwelling provides additional bedrooms, large recreational room, and an enclosed sun porch. Flourishing landscaped beds frame the patio and walk ways leading down to the natural graveled beach and boat dock/sundeck.
When asked where she might be found on a day-to-day basis in this tranquil setting, Murt quickly answers either on the porch, boat dock, or swinging in the shade in her Grandmother’s old swing with her Nook in hand and Daisy Girl, one of the family pets, resting next to her.
“I tell myself I am only going to relax and read for an hour,” related Murt. “But before I realize it, a couple of hours have passed! The first five years we lived here I did all the yard mowing and plus went to town to work at Murtco.”
Industrious by nature and a voracious reader, Murt now has a lawn service allowing her time to fool with her flowerbeds. Retirement from Murtco presents even more free time. The two trips to town she use to make weekly have now been decreased to once on Sunday for church and perhaps one extra day during the week
“Lake living now offers us a return to a simpler way of life, a time to relax, and a break from the world of work. Each morning when I get up and look out our bedroom window, the placid lake water is like a mirror reflecting the serenity of this beautiful place.”
Is this story a fairy tale or not? Let’s give it a fairy tale ending. And they lived happily ever after.