openfrontdoor

Welcome to our house!

Excuse the mess; it’s still under construction.

But we are getting close.

We’ve owned two houses in twenty years, but in those houses Bill and I have finished basements, gutted a kitchen and bathroom, installed extensive hardscaping, and built pools and decks. This farmhouse is our first (and last?) experience in new construction.

Building the house wasn’t even on our radar a couple of years ago. We had finally emerged from an extensive to-the-studs renovation of the main floor of our house, and we were happy with most of the results.

At our horse farm, we had acquired a ten-acre tract that gave the farm its “natural boundaries” of Shoal Creek on two sides and roads on the other two. Included in the purchase were the two meth houses (actual meth houses, I wish I were kidding) on the property and the right to boot their tenants out. I like to say that Coweta County should have paid us to tear down those houses because everyone’s property values went up. Of course that didn’t happen, but we did have a more inviting farm when those neighbors left.

We were also seriously considering the purchase of a large tract of hunting land about half an hour from the farm.  We aren’t hunters. But where the previous owner saw deer, quail, and wood ducks, we saw beautiful woods and streams, a huge lake, and a very cute cabin. The only thing we were missing was time to enjoy it.

We thought and prayed and discussed and deliberated over that land. One day, as we were discussing the potential purchase, I got exasperated.

“I can’t have a house in Peachtree City, a farm in Sharpsburg, the kids in school in Fairburn, and a hunting camp in Moreland. That is the road to crazy.” (For reference, it’s all within about a 50 mile circle, but the back and forth was already getting to me.)

Bill and I were walking around the farm as we had this conversation, and then I said those fateful words.

“We should just build a house here.”

That statement hung in the air for a few seconds. Bill looked around the knoll we had reached, nodded, and said, “Okay.” It was probably the most expensive one-word sentence he’s ever uttered.

We never did buy that hunting camp, though.

Since we had our big idea, we’ve worked with architects, designers, builders, a brilliant landscape architect, and skilled craftsmen of all kinds. The work has been fun and an incredible creative outlet. If I had an unlimited time horizon, it would be a pleasure.

I am profoundly conscious of the fact that my horizon is not unlimited.

When we began the design process the kids were midway through their 10th, 9th, 7th and 5th grades. Now our oldest boys are going into 12th and 11th grade. The work drags on, and my boys’ days at home seem numbered, and it is so hard to see my house sit with no crew for days on end. I wonder if I have a prayer of our house feeling like home for my children before they leave.

I’m not starting a new series on my blog by introducing my house. I am thinking of it as a new focus, sharing a huge piece of how I’ve been spending my days.

At this point, with floors finished and touch-up paint going on, I think I see the end even though I don’t have a move-in date yet. But the beginning is still fresh, too, so I can share what the journey’s been like.

Next time I hope to share how we designed our home. I hope you will join me!