In just a few weeks major repairs and minor renovations will begin at Sandhill. And, yes, I am going to be living in the house while all this is done. A previous repair/renovation was done in 2006 and I proved my mettle, i.e., ability to quell my OCD tendencies, when I spent an entire week with the contents of my closet spread out on the floor while painting was done. I'm ready.
Getting my heart right about the upcoming disarray started me thinking about the soul of Sandhill, how 29 years ago this summer I began the process of creating my home -- right in the middle of a peanut field!
I came home every day from work to inspect whatever progress had been made, make sure that my instructions had been followed, and dream about what it would be to actually live inside the four walls that were, at the time, nothing but studs. It was an exciting time.
It was long after dark the night I came home to find the subfloor had been installed. It was one big flat surface and my immediate thought was that it looked like the scene from "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" where the barn-raising turned into a dancing-free-for-all. I climbed up the temporary steps and began walking from room to room. The studs weren't up yet, but I'd practically memorized the floor plan and knew where every wall, every doorway would eventually be.
As I moved from room to room, I paused to whisper a prayer of dedication over each one -- a promise that I would be generous in opening my home to others and a petition that each of those who came would feel welcome and safe.
Over the years I have had confirmation after confirmation from visitors to Sandhill that that is exactly how this small house with a big heart makes them feel. And as I set out, again, to tend to its needs, that prayer remains the same.
I know that I am not unique in wanting my home to reflect me -- my priorities and preferences -- and because I've been asked by a lot of people how I made the construction and design decisions, both original and subsequent, I thought it might be useful to share that here in a series of blog posts.
And once I've covered that long-ago planning and decision making, it should be about time to chronicle the "new and improved" Sandhill. As I do, I intend to follow the mantra that always leads me back to my true self: "Beauty is everywhere. Simple is better. Quiet is a gift." Those are the overwhelming principles I used in building Sandhill all those years ago and they continue to reflect what I want for this place I call home.
*Note: The photo at the top of this post is me and my sweet Ginny, our first Christmas at Sandhill.