Going down a few Texas country roads can bring a lot of peaceful thrills. Can thrills be peaceful? Yes, it sounds contradictory, but you can have peaceful thrills.
Deputy Dave and I passed by a few houses that we found appealing, so we do what any ordinary person would do...we pull over onto the side of the road so that Deputy Dave could jump into the truck bed and take some great photos. Or, I would stand on the truck's side rails to get more height so that I could have a turn at taking a few pictures.
We were the nutty people on the side of the road --- I'm sure the residents inside the homes that we were taking pictures of were loading their shotguns.
"Sorry to disturb you! We are simply a couple of crazy Houstonians!!"
That would pretty much explain our behavior.
But, we did get some nice shots of varying country homes near Dallas. The only difference with these houses that are closer to the Dallas area, well, it's a HUGE difference between land near Dallas and our acreage...is that our land is truly smack dab in the middle of a lush forest. The area where we were taking these recent photos is Texas land, but this land lacks trees.
Most of the houses in these shots are surrounded by flat land with sporadic trees. This is not what we picture for ourselves in our country setting...we will be surrounded by towering trees and paths of pine needles.
The picture below surprised us in this Dallas area. The home-owner had obviously planted a line of pines for their driveway, but the rest of the property was mostly barren of trees. The soil here is rocky and not nearly as fertile as the land of our acreage. On our acreage, there are tree saplings growing everywhere because the land is extremely fertile. We won't have to worry about planting trees, we will have to be concerned with constantly removing new growth in places we do not want it.
Just so it is clear, the picture below is of a nice home that is in desperate need of some landscaping around the house because the house appears to be in the middle of nowhere. We liked the old style of the two-story white house, but we do not want to live in another large, two-story home. We want a welcoming, rustic style home.
The one story with the expansive porches and the metal roof is appealing, however it's still not the architecture that I would like, yet it is definitely a nice-looking, practical country home. We did like the distance of the barn structure from the house. Close enough, but not too close.
The older looking home with the cedar siding is the house that stuck with me the longest. I do like the cedar siding, yet again, the architecture is not exactly what I would like --- I want the long front porch, preferably a wrap around porch, and I would like a metal roof. But, cedar siding is close enough to country for me!
My favorite house in the shot below has wood siding and stone ends. It does actually have the architecture I love, but the entire house was nearly hidden by greenery! I tried to get a good picture while we were pulled over onto the shoulder, but it was impossible. The huge trees surrounding the house were blocking the view. It struck me as comical...there are hardly any trees on this property, except for the trees planted directly around the perimeter of the house. At least these people understand the value of environmental shading for living beneath the Texas sun.
To top off our tour of homes, our future son-in-law, Henry, took us driving around to see a few houses that he and my daughter are attracted to. We discussed the different kinds of architecture that he is drawn to and I think he was surprised that he admires the English Tudor style...it is extra strange that the English Tudor design is one of my FAVORITE style homes, but not what I want to live in.
It was great to see these two young adults dreaming about the house that the two of them would love to own. I imagine that they'll one day build a Spanish/Italian style home. But, you never know. I would have never thought that I'd be so eager to live in a rustic country home tucked onto rural property.
For now, my daughter and her fiance are enjoying their three bedroom home in the suburbs. However, they are so young, just starting out in life together and it's sweet that they dream about having the "perfect" home right along with us and it's a good thing because ACTIVE dreamers are the ones who make those dreams a reality.
And I will take the simple home with big character. I pretty much know what it is that we will build. Deputy Dave is eager to get the official architectural drawings so that he can start mentally aligning himself with all the preparations.
As for the above picture, Deputy Dave liked the metal fence, but not the rusting...if it were painted, it would have been a beauty.
There is so much to do for us to prepare for moving to the country. We are checking out barns and large metal buildings so that we can have a place to store all of our household belongings and a place for Deputy Dave to have for all of his wood working needs. This structure will be the very first to be built. Without a wood-working shop, there will not be a cabin.
Then, we will buy an RV for our temporary housing. Since it's just the two of us, we are quite content to temporarily live in an RV as we are building our cabin in the woods. There's no rush for the house to be built over-night. Between the RV, the acreage, and the barn/workshop, we'll have plenty of room for us to stretch our legs and stay busy with building a new kind of life for ourselves.
There's no doubt that we will have plenty of bumps in the road to confront, but I am looking forward to these kinds of bumps!
For us, 2012 will be full of lifestyle changes. This coming year, we'll be living completely different and our day-to-day routines will be vastly changed.
This weekend, Deputy Dave and I were getting ready to drink our morning round of coffee and I said, "I'm about to head out to milk the cow."
Of course, we don't have a cow. We're living in city limits, in a neighborhood with restrictions, so he cracked up. Then, I said, "I thought I might as well start practicing the farm talk right now, even though we're still in Harris County."
Can we pretend that we can see the stars at night while living here in the city?
After having a weekend full of Christmas parties...it is abundantly clear that our family thinks we are weird for wanting to live in the country. They can't comprehend WHY we'd want to live in the middle of the forest, far away from the city. They laugh when we talk about raising swine and cattle and chickens...they don't understand our reasoning for wanting to process our own farm meat for our table instead of shopping for it in a grocery store.
Bring on the bumpy weirdness of country life!
I can smell the home-cooked, farm-raised bacon and slices of ham on the grill right now. And, who will be laughing then?
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!