Wendy Gimpel
Wendy Gimpel

The River House…How It Happened

This house will now be home to the Gimpel family. We will host gatherings, watch fireworks, and possibly walk the stairs, on occasion!

I have always wanted views of the river…possibly because I grew up on the St. Croix River in Lakeland and my memories are so strongly connected with the water, or possibly because just watching the river brings me peace.

Rick could take it or leave it, after the lake house remodel almost killed him. Too bad I wasn’t blogging then! As my mother would say, “we could have sold tickets to that fiasco.”

That “class,” as we will call it, almost killed us all. But it also led to many long-lasting relationships and a career that I love, so I have to look back on it with thankfulness. I spent that entire summer/fall with my parents and brothers, and my cousins basically raised Harry…it takes a village. However, both my father and I loved the river, and after he passed I promised myself I would get back to the river one way or anther.

As most of you know, I sell residential real estate and I would literally drive to Duluth to list a home or help a buyer. However, I prefer to work in my very own town of Stillwater. While I’ve been searching for “the one” I’ve been bugging all the local agents to see if they had anything coming on the market with river views. I narrowly missed one, but in hindsight it would not have been as good of a fit for my family. I think there was a master plan with how this home purchase transpired.

This house, which will be forever known as Dr. Murphy’s house, was built in 1968. It is a lovely, stately colonial home with great bones and it had been lovingly maintained and cared for over the years. I had my eye on it when it was first listed, but my mother had just been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and I knew it was not the right time for me to even consider any part of a move. So it sold. I was a bit sad knowing that those homes on the bluff don’t come on the market very often. Then, shockingly, it came back on the market in September! I went on day one, actually within hours of it being listed. I loved the views but knew I had to get the husband on board. He was not too excited about any of it but said he loved me and would live with me anywhere, as long as we were together. We have moved A LOT so he is used to my craziness at this point. But I didn’t want to move forward with him only partly on board and I was not getting that feeling from him…so I let it go. I did keep my eye on it and it dropped in price a bit, but not enough…so I figured my house was out there waiting for me still.

Then I got a phone call from a lovely couple asking if I would meet with them to list their home…not going to lie, that is one of my favorite phones calls EVER to get. So of course I said I would love to meet with them. The husband said, “I think you actually showed our home.” Oh? What’s your address? BAM. Yep, I’ll be right over.

So after our listing meeting (and I was hired), I mentioned that I had looked at the home for myself, and the wheels started turning for my sellers and we struck a deal. I just love that couple and we each felt like it was meant to be. Now all we had to do was convince Rick! It was not an easy task, but eventually he got on board.

We close in a few weeks now and my mind is working overdrive on Pinterest and Houzz. Oh, not to mention I have lots of new listings coming on! I love my crazy life.

More to follow…this will be a journey I will share with anyone (or possibly no one) but I find it therapeutic to write this out. Even if I am not very good at it, I am enjoying it. The act of writing became special to me while working on my parents’ CaringBridge site. It is so helpful to be connected to people in this way. It makes life fun and I love all the comments and look forward to sharing this journey with you.


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