Homes and Gardens of the Northwest
At a colorful family getaway in the gorge, fun and function work together
Lucy and Joe Field’s vacation home has proved just the place to snag a commodity many busy families are finding in short supply: time with the kids.
“Kids are so overscheduled these days. We really want that family time on the weekends,” says Lucy, the mother of three: Tilly, 15, Flora, 12, and Robin, 9.
“It has to be good for kids not to have the rush, rush, rush – here, there, everywhere.”
Tucked away in the tiny unincorporated community of Rowena just a few miles east of Hood River, the Fields’ waterfront retreat has become even more appealing of late with a fresh renovation that has filled the home with lively colors – more on the “Pepto-Bismol” kitchen later – and Lucy’s casually elegant style.
SECOND HOMES: TRENDING UP
The Fields are among the growing ranks of American families who have taken the plunge into second-home ownership. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of vacation homes climbed nearly 5 percent last year to a record 1.07 million and now account for 14 percent of all home sales.
Baby boomers are fueling the trend, largely because they have the desire and – given that they are in their peak earning years – the means to purchase a vacation place or future retirement home.
The fields came to their second home in reverse order from most. Joe purchased the modified ranch two decades ago when he was single. Soon after, he invited the British-born Lucy, whom he had dated in London, to visit.
Lucy recalls Joe asking her to come and make some curtains, “which I still have never been paid for, by the way,” she says with a grin.
The two married, lived there full time and frequently hosted groups of windsurfers from all over the world in their two guesthouses. Several years after starting a family, the Fields decided to move to Portland and retain their place in the Columbia River Gorge for weekends and summers.