Every time we pass by the house, I tell my husband, "That's my house, a dream home! We have to stop and take pictures!"
So, this past Friday, on our 27th Wedding Anniversary, my husband finds a spot to pull off so I can jump out in front of my dream home and take some quick snaps shots as he pulls the car down the road alongside the house for a turn-around.
Man...I was so happy to just get a few photos!
This house is an older Southern style home and the colors make it pop beneath the wooded grounds.
And, to shorten the story, the home-owners happened to be sitting under a few tall oaks in the backyard and as we were getting ready to leave, I decided to walk up to their back fence to ask about their paint colors. The woman kind of looked us up and down as I was telling her that I LOVED her house and confessed to hanging around the frontage to get a few shots.
She opened her back gate and said, "You two come on in and I'll take you on a tour."
Heart - Be - Still!
And so we spent about two hours with our new friends in our small town as we got a tour of EVERYTHING.
And it turns out that Shirley is an artist. She takes me on a tour of her studio in the house. This room has plenty of natural light and she pulled out a few canvases and drawings to show me her latest projects from photos she'd taken when on vacation in Florida. She's about to go to Alaska and will be taking more photos upon which to base her artwork.
Then, she shows me a wall of books. She's not only an artist, she's a published author of many books that provide instructions for painting some of her favorite things.
And there in her studio, I see a wall of books --- books that I've seen many times at stores such as Hobby Lobby, and I ask if I can buy a couple of them on the spot.
I buy the books. Of course, book is on how to draw roosters/chickens.
Then, we take more tours of her gardens and grounds to have a fascinating look at artwork Shirley's son produces out of old shovel heads, hoes, horseshoes, etc., Below is a bird made from an old shovel. Her gardens are a LOT of fun!
But, the house had me falling in love --- built in 1934, it is a beauty. I loved the red doors and red shutters with the white trim and picket fence.
Over the years, the house had gone through numerous additions, but the nine foot ceilings and open rooms with pocket doors and wide wood trim brought character into this house that you don't see in newer homes.
She has two homes on the property, but the house with the metal patchwork roof had been the garage --- many years ago, it had a one car garage with a small section set aside for living quarters, probably for a servant or grounds-keeper. It is now converted into a beautiful cottage.
And Shirley showed me her "Outhouse" that was never really an outhouse, but is a garden tool shed. The old license plates serve a double function, they add personality to the structure and cover the holes in the wood chewed out by squirrels.
And here we have another piece of shovel art --- a strange shovel critter with horse-shoe legs.
The walking path around the house is made up of all different kinds of stones and patio steps that she found or purchased through the years. Somehow, it all comes together to look WONDERFUL and welcoming.
Shirley let me know that a couple of people have stopped and told her to name her price for her place because they insisted on buying it. But, her home is not for sale. She loves it there and adores it.
And I get back to our own little home, which is now an RV as we prepare the land for our future home to live in until we are old, gray and full of happy wrinkles --- happy-smile-wrinkles.
I felt inspired.
Taking her books outside, I set them down on a chair and kept shooing the chickens away because they were interfering with me trying to get a good shot of the books. Finally, I realized that the chickens could not have posed any better, so I clicked and laughed at the coincidence. My chickens are looking at me looking at a book about how to draw chickens.
And since my field of study in the field of Humanities had been Visual Arts and Design, I realized that we "art-types" are often drawn to each other. I don't know how it happens, but creative people are built with some kind of mysterious magnetic that pulls us together. Perhaps since I wore my new hat during my outing that day to Shirley's house, she knew I was an artist by looking at me.
I had a wonderful day --- who would've thought a tour of a stranger's house would turn out to be such a beautiful experience? And I also got to look at her daughter's newly published children's book, a hardback book in a retro-style that made me crack-up.
And our anniversary lunch earlier that day had been enjoyable, but the local restaurant is off our list for future visits. There isn't much to choose from around here, so it is hard to mark one off, but usually for good reason. At least we had a great lunch that led to our outing at the Dream House!
Being married for 27 years is not an easy task, but we've come to the point to where we are in a great place --- in all areas. It's definitely a "feel-good" time of being happy and content and thrilled about our new direction.
I better start sketching some chickens so Shirley can get a few laughs of her own.
My dream home led us to make new friends. Bravery and graciousness combined to make for a beautiful 27th anniversary adventure.