|Don't be sad Howdy, we will move to that place where you love to run|
and play, even where you sometimes hop like a rabbit.
So, last night I began to think creatively. Who to call? Who would have some reputable builder names handy? Handy? Handy? Oh yes...the handyman hardware store surely has personnel who are familiar with good builders in Livingston.
In Livingston, there's this incredible old-style mixed with modern kind of home building supply store with lumber and all kinds of fun things called the "Red Barn." And the store does indeed resemble a large red barn. Today, I phoned the store, let them know that we have shopped there for our needs for years and that we're trying to retire out there but we're having one heck of a time finding a builder to construct a shell home.
I got an old guy on the phone who knew his stuff. He's been around the block, but like Clark Kent in super-hero form, he came to my rescue and gave me exactly the information I had been trying to obtain. So, he was definitely my my hero for the day. I was thankful to be talking with him because he told me that he had about 3-4 names for me, builders who stay BUSY and would have 2-3 houses at any given time under construction that I could look at. In the end, he gave me six names and said that any one of them would be an excellent choice, but I got the lowdown on each one, such as, "This one is in semi-retirement and this one is really in demand and this one is...okay..." I was thrilled and took detailed notes. Who me? Detailed? Nawwww.
The old wise man from the Red Barn also told me that a few of those guys had already been in the store that day. That's a good sign. We want a builder who is busy and producing a good product for his clients.
Therefore, it looks like my day tomorrow will be spent trying to contact some of these builders. Deputy Dave and I first had a talk to confirm that we're on the same page with what we would like to have constructed...a country style home, probably with cedar siding from 1,300 to 1,500 square feet on pier and beam. We want the use of a few massive timbers to be used and preferably a couple of beams and overhead posts left exposed inside the home for a nice architectural element. Another definite wish-list item is to have a large front porch, wrap around would be great, but we at least need the front of the house to have a length-long porch and we can add on more later, if it is too expensive to start with.
|Deputy Dave & another project of his.|
|This is the view from our land looking out over the private|
spring fed lake at the back of our property.
But, here in the city, we have concrete sidewalks, a long concrete driveway and a detached two-car garage with a wood picket fenced in backyard. In the country, at the start of our living out there, we won't even be able to afford to have a garage!
In this suburb/city house, we have a new 30-year shingle roof and shiny surfaces throughout, but our house in the woods will be country designed. I am glad that my blog buddies have given me some good input, Rae at www.BlissfulintheBoonies.blogspot.com let me know that she LOVES her metal roof...I've always wanted a metal roof. I don't think you can claim to have a country house unless you have a metal roof or am I wrong? It seems like, here in the South, all of the old country homes have metal roofs. I'd actually love to hear the pitter patter of rain drops on a metal roof, but I'm not sure if you can hear it better than with regular composite shingles. If you know...Can you tell me?
Texan over at www.Texan.blogspot.com reminded me to make sure that I tell our contractor that we are going out of the box with our mindset for this country-rustic-themed house. She had an excellent point...it might be difficult for another person to grasp that we really do not want a sticks and bricks with mortar type home. We need to make it clear that we are not looking for a city slicker house to be tucked in the woods. We want to go C-O-U-N-T-R-Y for this build.
And as Mike over at www.OurLittleMeadow.blogspot.com knows, we are so thrilled about the prospect of not having neighborhood association fees! I think he'll be able to hear me tap dancing once we're moved.
Heck, you only live once. If you want to live in the country, in a old-fashioned kind of home, then you shouldn't be living in a condo on a city block. Make it happen. Sacrifice. Get there before life passes you by. Yes, we've had to be patient for this decision to start formulating into hard-core ACTION, but for ten years we've been dreaming and planning for this time in our lives. We bought this land over ten years ago and we've continually sacrificed in order to live there full-time one day. Determination mixed with patience is a good thing.
|Getting farther away from this kind of city life...|
I love socializing; we are those kind of people who hold major events at our home, but I sure like having my vegetable garden, a LOT, and I will really enjoy our farm animals...and I'll love having a front yard that never seems to end; that is my personal dream. Not everyone wants a big yard. I do. I want plenty of space to do whatever we would like to do through the years.
However, for my wilderness eye to be alert in all those acres of greenery, I'll probably always be in close touch with Linda at www.me-LindaG.blogspot.com because she is a mini-expert on poison oak, etc., which I believe is prevalent on our land. She has learned the hard way while visiting her own wild piece of land and those experiences are not easily forgotten. Linda is a blog buddy to whom I affectionately refer to as "Hermione" from Harry Potter because she is a gifted researcher...if you want an answer, she'll at least get you pointed in the right direction to find it, if she doesn't already have the info in hand. I love that about her...my beautiful mother had that kind of personality.
Most of all, I can picture Deputy Dave and I being grandparents on this land. There's so much to do right out the front door...farm animal fun, fishing, hiking, mud pies, bug safari and so on. A kid can really be a kid out there and that includes us "big" kids.
Most of all, I'll love the fresh air that the country life offers as the breeze blows through the towering trees instead of the putrid smell we get in surprise batches after a nearby chemical plant dumps a release into the air, it's especially a rotten experience when the wind is blowing our direction. I tell you, some days it's so bad that I could be sick to my stomach. There will be no more driving into this refinery town to come home and having to smell the chemicals heavy in the air and to see the deteriorating pipelines, rusting holding tanks and smoke stacks lining the horizon. I've lived seeing this for most of my life, but the rather short drive to Livingston which is located North of Houston is not so bad for everyone to traverse to see one another. I'm just happy about leaving the refineries behind and getting to finally drive to our home while passing forests on each side of the road.
Who knows, perhaps city life will one day catch up to us in our country house, but I think it will be a long way off from happening. Either way, we'll still be tucked in the woods and enjoying a completely new way of living. Yes, I'm nervous about it, but I'm not really afraid. I feel as if we can tackle whatever comes our way. After all I've been through in life, I feel pretty much capable of confronting whatever crosses my path. Having a rough time of it will do that to you...it will either freeze you in your shoes or send you running to live life to the fullest. I'm living life to the fullest and loving it.
Country life...we're almost there...almost. Bring on the builder selection process!