What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, June 12, 2017

vacation part 2

Gary (Matt's dad) bought a pontoon boat last fall so that the whole family would be able to boat together and one of the purposes of this vacation was to do just that.  A maiden voyage or at least, maiden to us!

It just so happened to be that our trip was planned a year in advance and it turns out, right smack dab in the middle of a state of emergency crisis where substantial high waters were flooding areas, homes and businesses and submerging docks all over the place.  We didn't even know if we'd be able to get the boat in the water.  We had to travel to a nearby town to do it but we found a place.

Day one was too cold, windy and choppy to go out.  Day two was less choppy but still very cold.  It was now or never...

When we were about to put the boat in an excited woman rushed over to us and warned us not to go out.  She said that the waters were filled with debri, broken floating docks, logs, barrels, etc.  and that she had heard stories of boats capsizing, boaters flying head over heels into the water after hitting something, boats being ruined or stranded.

Talk about stressful.  Here we were with more children than adults, going out into freezing waters with a warning like that!  I didn't want to go, I'll be honest.  I was scared!

But my father in law told us we'd be fine-we'd take it slow....  We'd all be spotters for floating debri....  We were a pontoon boat- not a speed boat.... 

and he was right. 

All was well.  (Thank the Lord!)

This is right on the water.  Not on a street.

Secluded in my own little world every day it is easy to forget that some people live entirely different lives than my own.

The huge mansions and estates we passed by, summer homes for the rich, made me feel very small indeed.

I actually felt a bit like rabble.

It's amazing the great wealth that some people have.  Overwhelming, really.  I wonder how many of them find their wealth to be a gift from God?  I wonder how many of them would consider people like me rabble?  I wonder how many of them truly enjoy their wealth?  I wondered what life would be like if I had lions guarding my estate and too many rooms to count and had my own little private island.   I wondered how such wealth could be used for God's glory?

I admit, I imagined how many orphans would be able to live and thrive in some of these homes.

And it was a lot.

One of the destinations of the boat trip was Boldt castle.  Due to docks being under water, we couldn't dock and stay but Gary was able to drop us off and drive around the island while we got a brief tour of the place.  I could have stayed all day.

The story goes: George Boldt, who began as a dishwasher at a motel and worked his way up to the millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC decided to build a castle as a monument of love for his wife.  In 1900, he bought "Hart Island" (the previous owner being a Hart) and reconstructed the island to be in the shape of a heart.  He renamed it "Heart Island" and began construction on the 300 room castle.  Everywhere, token of his love were etched into walls and formed into glass and built into crevices.

And then, just four years later,  his wife died.  Heartbroken, he abandoned the project and never returned to the island again.   The castle was never actually completed, the workers just stopped work and left the place abandoned and unfinished.

Years later, and after much vandalism and deterioration had marred the place, it was sold for $1.00 under the obligation to restore it to the original condition it was left in.  Instead, the Thousand Islands bridge commission decided to finish the construction as Boldt had originally intended.

The billiard room

the dining room

The kitchen.  Oh, the kitchen!!!

Such a nice picture if it weren't for sourpuss Adele.  

oooh- I love a good stone tunnel.

the power house

People wed here- and a wedding was taking place during our visit.
The round area under where they are standing is the pool house.  

the entrance gate
the boat house

This was the childrens' playhouse/tower.  SERIOUSLY?!?  

This was also where the family lived during the construction years.  

The playhouse even had an underground bowling alley!

Saint Lawrence, of whom the river is named.  He was burned alive on a grid iron, martyred for his faith during the reign of Emperor Valerian.  He was ordered to turn over the wealth of the church to Rome.  He asked for three days to gather it all and instead gave it to widows, orphans, poor and indigent.  When he showed up to hand over the money to the court, he instead presented the indigent, the crippled the blind and outcasts saying that these were the true treasures of the church. "The Church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor." he said.

For this defiance, he was burned alive on a gridiron.  After enduring the painful torture for a long time he cheerfully said "I'm well done!  Turn me over!"

What an interesting juxtaposition between Saint Lawrence and the river St. Lawrences' self-named "Millionaire's Row".

And that was our trip.  Our wonderful, restful, and fun adventure.

May it not be our last!


Terri said...

We live on Lake Ontario, a bit south of where you were, but my stepfather's construction company worked on the boathouse at Boldt castle. It's one of my favorite places to visit. I always have the same reaction you did to the homes there. Imagine what all that money could do!

Your vacation looked wonderful.

Christina Gomez said...

So glad you got to go on a vacation! What a blessing!