Couple enjoys life aboard condo


January 23, 1994|By Adriane B. Miller | Adriane B. Miller,Contributing Writer

Ann and Dick Golden find it easy to forget that they live in a small second-floor Joppatowne condominium, not on a yacht.

From their floor-to-ceiling windows, the Goldens can watch red and green lights from boats cruising by, see birds diving for fish and listen to the water lapping below them. They can see where the Gunpowder River meets the Bird River and where both rivers empty into the Chesapeake Bay.

Their waterfront home is built on the edge of a marina on the Gunpowder River. From a vantage point in the Goldens' dining room, acres of water appear to flow under their building. "When we're here, I can pretend I'm on a ship," Mrs. Golden says.

For the Goldens -- he's 60, she's 58 -- having the water so near and time to enjoy it are dreams they never thought they would realize. They have been married nearly 38 years and have spent most of that time maintaining a house and a yard. Now, a few years before they plan to retire, they have jettisoned the responsibilities of a home to play a little more and work a little less.

"No lawn to cut, no leaves to rake, none of that to worry about," Mrs. Golden says with a smile, still high from the move they made in November.

The Goldens, both originally from Baltimore County, lived in a small Middle River rancher they had built in 1962. Inside, it had little room and no dishwasher. Outside, the half-acre around the house demanded more attention than they wanted to give.

Mrs. Golden is a secretary with Goucher College, and Mr. Golden operates a tractor-trailer. Neither has much time during the week to fix leaks in the plumbing or prune wild hedges.

What they did want was more time to spend on their boat, an 18-foot runabout they call Golden Owl.

"We found out all we were doing was working," Mrs. Golden said. "We've been going 40 years full time and just decided: It's time to relax."

On a jaunt up the Gunpowder River from Middle River on their boat, the Goldens first saw the private condominium community near Mariner Point Park.

After several visits, they saw one of the condominiums go up for sale. They sold their home in Middle River and bought the condo for $107,000.

The condo's interior is painted a cool mint color. The furnishings are covered in tropical pastels. Sliding glass doors extend most of the length of one wall and face a patio and the water. Drapes are installed, but Mrs. Golden said she never closes them. She doesn't want to miss any of the view.

The small kitchen is separated from the dining area by a breakfast bar, yet it still has a full view of the water. Two bedrooms and two baths down the hall provide plenty of room for the Goldens and their occasional guests. The house also has a loft built into the attic by the condo's previous owner.

Most of the boats in the Gunpowder Cove marina are in dry storage for the winter. But as soon as spring returns, the Goldens look forward to twilight cruises and Sunday morning coffee aboard the Golden Owl, which will be tied up in a private slip below their windows.

"I hope it's the last home we own," she said. "I wouldn't want to live anywhere else."

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