This morning I asked Don, for the dozenth time “did you read my blog post?”
“You posted something?”
I let out a big sigh. “Yes. On debris flows and other types of landslides. It’s posted on both my personal and business Facebook pages. You didn’t see it?”
He replied, “oh, sorry, I thought that was another news report and skimmed past it.”
Houston, we have a problem. I enjoy writing but it seems few people take the time to read what I have written. Don thinks it’s the topics. Every real estate agent that writes a blog writes about staging your home for sale, preparing for home inspections, and other well covered topics. He suggested a change of direction. Don and have decided to sell our home. This means me, a real estate broker, is about to become a home seller. Then a home buyer. Or more likely we will buy land then design and build our next home. Most likely we will be renting for a while. Or maybe living in an RV? Or maybe we will load the dogs in the van and camp out down by the river while we figure out the next step. Hmmm…….I like that idea. This could get interesting.
Let’s start this new direction with the story about how we came to buy this land. Don and I were living in the Riceville area, east of Asheville. He was convinced that he needed more than a few acres to keep him occupied once he retired. I liked the idea of living in the country. We loved the little town of Weaverville and since this would hopefully be our last move, we decided to settle north. Don suggested a little further north in Madison County since the property taxes are lower. I agreed with the caveat that we tried to find land as close to Buncombe County as we could. I was not yet in real estate so finding land was Don’s project. We looked at several parcels but none of them felt right. Then one day he called Bill Eckstat at New Horizons Realty in Mars Hill who directed him to a 9-1/2 acre tract on Bartlett Road, right on the county line. Everything started falling into place.
After Don had walked the property with Bill, he gathered me and the dogs up in the van and drove us out to this rolling pasture. It had once been a tobacco field but for many years it pastured horses and the wild raspberries were taking over. There was an old tobacco barn sitting under a cluster of massive oak trees on one of the knolls. We walked to this and sat, looking out over the fields while the dogs went exploring. I said this would work. Don wasn’t so sure and I asked why. He said he just couldn’t picture it.
The thing to know about Don and I is that we are both artists. In the late sixties, he briefly went to college to become an architect. College life wasn’t for him and eventually, he joined his dad’s construction business and started building and remodeling homes. In his free time, he drew portraits. Since retiring two years ago, he has rediscovered his art and has even painted a few commissions for clients. I have always been artistic and loved to draw but didn’t find my outlet until about 10 years ago when I took a stained glass class. I decided immediately that I would only work from my own imagination and never from someone else’s pattern. Since then I have created many commissioned portraits of different dogs in glass. For the two of us together, it means that we can describe ideas, plans, and house features to each other in a way that paints a picture that the other will understand. Not many couples can do this and it is a big part of why home building and remodeling is so stressful for so many people. For us, it’s our Zen place.
So as we sat on that knoll in the rolling pasture, looking out over the possibilities of a home here, I was a little surprised when Don said that he couldn’t picture it. He couldn’t get an image of what our home could look like on this piece of property. I suggested a little exercise in imagery. I told him to envision being on a long vacation and we were returning home. He is pulling in the driveway and what does he see? We sat there in silence for a while, listening to the birds and watching the dogs chase each other in the pasture. After a while, he said “I got it. This is the place.” We had found our next home.