Published: Jun 01, 2012 01:49 PM
Modified: Jun 02, 2012 09:36 PM
Kyla: We like the freedom of the country because you can spread out and do what you want. We garden, and we have chickens, and we love animals. We like to have people come over and sit by the fire and let the kids play. Theres a creek that you can explore. You can run around in your pajamas all day if you want. [Laughs.]You dont have to worry about the neighbors. We go hunting in the woods. Weve found deer bones and turtles and all sorts of stuff. And we can sit out at night and hear the owls longing for our chickens. And well hear coyotes up on the hill and running through the woods. And well watch the deer graze in our circle.
[The house is] spacious and allows for the kids to be very individual. They can have their rooms, and we can be together or we can have time on our own too. When we were trying to design it, we wanted the outside to feel Craftsman. But when we started getting the rooms and the things we wanted, it didnt turn out that way. [Laughs.] When you design a house with two people, you tend to have to piece together what you want and make compromises. This is not the kitchen that we wanted, but its the way it turned out to get the elements we wanted. But its turned out fine for me. You cant cover it up when its dirty though. Everyone sees it.
How We Chose
Kyla: We were living in Durham, and my sister was living in Raleigh and my parents were still living in Florida. My sister threw out the idea that they needed to move up and get property, property that she could put a house on and have us all together. Mom came up and started looking at property, just kind of playing with it because my dad wasnt sold on leaving Florida. Then Glenn and I started thinking about, Well, what are the property choices out there? We thought, That would be great to live in the country and not have homeowners association dues and neighbors that argue with you about fence lines and all that silly stuff. And so we saw this property. It was completely wooded, so we were having to use our imagination. We thought, Lets just get it. But before we did, we showed my parents. They even went with us to the Realtors office to sign the documents. While in there, my dad said, Its a shame they dont have another piece available. Of course, this was in the Realtors earshot. He said, Well, you know, lets see. And they had one that was touching our property. Glenn thought that was a great idea, surprisingly. I said, You do realize these are your in-laws. [Laughs.] We managed to get property that was touching, and its been a good thing. Glenn talked about how the kids could run from one house to the other, and goodness knows they do that.
Kyla: The advantages are the fact that we are so close to my parents. The kids are growing up knowing one set of grandparents. Even though the other set is in Southern Pines, they still dont get to see them as much as you think. They get to see my parents every day. But still we have our privacy; they have theirs.
We feel like we can do what we want without having to feel like were infringing on someone elses quality of life. We could have our rooster and not feel like were bothering the neighbors. Goodness knows the guineas are loud. When Hayden gets older and wants to experiment with a trebuchet, we could build one and it wouldnt hurt anyone.
[Other advantages are] being able to have the garden, and the kids can see broccoli grow and catch tadpoles in the creek and dig for worms and have a campout and literally feel like youre camping out while having the safety of home. Those are really unique things out here.
Kyla: Id say the only drawback is it definitely takes time to get anywhere. You have to plan your errand running and grocery shopping along with another trip. You dont just pop down and pop back. Its a 10-minute drive at least to do any grocery shopping.
The only thing that we do miss a little is the advantage of having a neighborhood of children because you just dont have a kid next door to run and play with. You have to plan and organize playdates.
Kyla: We feel like the community is kind of the country community where we know the Dodsons and the people down the road closer to the farm. Were familiar with the Nutters, and they farm the field right next door. We know everyone on the road, but it feels like its definitely a community vs. a neighborhood. We look out for each other. We take care of each other, but its definitely more of a country feel. Your land is your business too.
How We Made Our House a Home
Kyla: I think its just a continual project just the kids changing their rooms to make it suit what theyre excited about currently. Lily went from a really soft blue to really hot pink walls. So we can have their input and their individuality expressed. Thats why we have so many animals and adventures. And I dont think theres anywhere in this house that is the classic sitting room where youre not allowed in. Lily loves the big yellow chair [in the keeping room]. My favorite spot is the swing on the front porch. Im from Florida originally, so I enjoy the seasons because I didnt grow up with them. So thats my favorite spot to ascertain seasons deciding when the leaves are going to change color; are my coneflowers going to bloom yet; what are the guineas doing. When Glenn and Hayden play catch, I can watch. And when the girls play with chalk on the driveway, I can sit and watch and listen.
When Hayden changes his interests, or when McKenzie wants to do ballet dancing, and when Lily wants to cook, we have the space to do it and the comfort to do it in.
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