Looking for a place in the country to retire, Mom and Dad examined many lake communities in Northwestern New Jersey, finding a choice lakefront lot at the then-new lake community, Crandon Lakes, in 1959. It was originally an onion farm that was dredged out to form a lake (and a smaller pond a half mile away). They built a home there the following year. In an extraordinary one-man effort, Dad over a period of 10 years cut down 200 trees and saplings, manually sifted 17 dumptruck loads of dirt, and scoured the countryside for unusual rocks (some of them weighting 300 pounds) for his Japanese rock garden (with some American and European overtones), and spending quite a bit on flowers and shurbs, gravel, river pebbles and concrete. Telephone poles were dumped in one end of the lake and towed by rowboat by Yours Truly to help him build a Japanese-style "torii" gate in the Shinto tradition.
The only problem with Dad's 10-year plan was that his wife died few months before everything was finished.