In August of 2013…WOW! almost 5 years ago!….My husband, Steve, and I took a trip with my brother, Trey, to look for our retirement town. We all were tired of big city living and wanted to find some space and peace in a small town. Steve and I wanted to look in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma and Trey wanted to look in Texas. The three of us set out from DFW airport in a little rental car for a 10-day drive from Dallas north to Fort Smith, Arkansas, back south again to Paris, Texas, then making a wide loop around Dallas – Fort Worth through, Sulphur Springs, Nacogdoches, Corsicana, Glen Rose, Hico, Mineral Wells, and back to DFW. We didn’t know what we were looking for, but we knew we’d know the right town when we saw it. We stopped in more little towns than I can remember, passing through three, four, five a day. Sulphur Springs was tops on our list until we stopped in Hico and we only stopped there because I had to use the bathroom. Turned out this small bladder was a blessing. We went in a store called the Blue Star Trading Company, where we met Gale, a co-owner of the shop. Gale talked to us like we had been neighbors all our lives. We spent an hour chatting and listening to Gale tell us all about life in Hico. We felt like we’d fallen through a worm hole right into Mayberry and Walton Mountain all rolled into one. Gale suggested we stop in at Jersey Lilly’s for lunch, then head over to the Koffee Kup for a slice of pie before we left town. We took Gale’s advise which explains why I’m now addicted to the Doctor’s Office Pie from the Koffee Kup. When we returned from our trip, Steve and I had narrowed down our choices to two towns, Sulphur Springs and Hico. It was a tough decision to make but the image of Mayberry Part II Gale painted made Hico irresistible.
In March of 2014, we bought a piece of property in a little town called Iredell, just east of Hico – little town as in population 313 according to the sign at the city limits. There’s one gas station, one cafe, a post office, and a flashing yellow light. That’s a small town. September 15, 2015, we broke ground building what we thought would be our forever home when Steve retires at the end of 2018. July of 2017, we put the house on the market. God was taking us in another direction. We had no idea where we were going, but we followed along. As much as I knew selling was the right thing to do, I still cried on the porch as our realtor said a prayer for God to bring us the right buyer. Man, there were so many good memories made on that land and I will write more on that later, but at the moment we need to keeping moving into the amazing future God has planned for us. September 15, 2017, exactly two years to the day when we started construction, we closed on the sale. The very first couple who looked at the house bought it with cash. God heard those porch prayers.
Last month, we bought a piece of land right outside of Hico with our son, Steven, and our future daughter-in-law, Melissa. For months, I’ve been working on a house plan for our next forever home. Steve retires at the end of this year, so we are in a time crunch. Floor planning and design is a favorite pastime for me. I remember when I was 8 years old I would draw floor plans with chalk on our driveway and draw in the furniture, as well. Day after day, I never tired of it. But I wasn’t feeling the joy in the process this time. I felt like we were rushing unnecessarily. Last week, Steven and Melissa came to visit us. Over the course of the week and through lots of conversations about house building (they’re planning their house, too!), someone suggested the idea of buying a small house in town so we’d have a place to land when Steve retires. Hhhmmm. That would take the pressure off, for sure. I got online and found two houses for sale that had the character that I wanted – The House on Avenue B (THOAB) was one of the two. A couple of weeks ago, our son, Tyler, forwarded an Instagram post of THOAB to us. I’d like to say that’s a sign! I contacted our realtor, Jessica, who helped us with the purchase of the land last month, and asked her to swing by THOAB. Wednesday at 9:00 am Jessica was walking through the house, talking to me on the phone and texting me pictures. At 1:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, we were in contract to buy it. It’s now Friday as I write this and we have a signed contract at the title company, the loan packet is at the bank, I’ve spoken to the roof repair man, and am arranging for bids from the electrician and the plumber. I know there will be days ahead of great joy and days when I wonder what the heck I was doing when we bought this house sight unseen. I do not have words to convey how happy I am that we are beginning this journey. This is a dream come true!