As I write this, I’m pulling together the final details for my latest “project”. I know many of my friends and neighbors have learned of my new venture, but as I’ve been cautious to share before I’ve signed on the dotted line, I’ve been concentrating on navigating the challenges of acquiring real estate, this time completely on my own.
Which brings us to why I’m writing in the middle of the week and prescheduling a post for Saturday. If all goes well, by this time Saturday morning, I’ll be sitting on the sofa of a log cabin looking at the lake beyond shimmering down at the end of my newly acquired property; waiting for the only wifi provider in the area to come and find me and connect me to the internet.
As I’d shared previously, about a week after returning from Camp Widow in San Diego, I felt compelled to strike out on somewhat of a new start. I’d been eyeing a region in central Florida through which I’d travelled many years ago with Rich venturing back and forth between Gainesville and coastal St. Augustine. For a time, Rich and I had viewed several homes and property in the area and considered a move there.
When most people think of Florida they envision beachfront areas like Miami, the Florida Keys and even Fort Meyers and Naples on the West Coast of the state. But many don’t realize that somewhat like my home state of New Jersey, you’ll find lakes and agricultural regions away from the shoreline.
So, on a very warm day in July, on a whim, I told Quint we were going for a ride and traveled two hours to Putnam County, Florida to what some refer to as “Old Florida”. I’d chosen three properties that appealed to me. I’d been “stalking” two in particular and on that day I decided it was time to have a look see. I was just exploring I told myself.
Heading down 95-South, it felt good to be doing just that. Away and alone for a bit. I’d told a few trusted companions where I’d be heading that day. I arrived at the first property earlier than the agent and took a preliminary look around. When the agent arrived, I stepped inside what I’d thought would be “The One”. But after spending time there, I had some concerns and it was on to House Number Two.
I really liked the second home. It had a really nice property and yard and a double fireplace. I saw its potential and it was a contender.
It was late in the afternoon and the realtor told me she had made an appointment for me to see my “wild card” house as it seemed out of my reach. But I’d come that far so I said I’d be happy to explore. I’d been watching that house daily for a few weeks, always hoping to see it marked as “Pending” so I’d stop looking!
I think it is all in the timing. A deal for the purchase of this house had recently fallen through and as I always say, houses like dogs, choose us, I believed “we” were meant to be. When I walked through the screened porch and through the front door I stopped to take it all in. I’d had the same feeling when Rich and I had purchased our log home together at the Jersey Shore in 1998. I knew that Rich would’ve fallen in love with this place. “How do we make this happen?” I asked the realtor.
I present these photos taken on my second visit to the house just before a written contract was signed. Of course I had a trusted partner by my side when I returned. But when that peaceful and tranquil feeling that is present upon one’s arrival was readily confirmed, I knew it was a special place indeed, perfect for inspiring creativity and relaxing – and if I take up fishing, it is a premier location for Bass Fishing and all kinds of aquatic activities.
I know it can seem like a risky venture; purchasing on a whim a log home in the middle of a rural region but I understand we don’t make “The Plans” we just follow our instinctual “Guidebook”. I have a vision for that place and I think that it had been just waiting for me to arrive asking, “What took you so long?” when I finally did.
At each step of the way, I felt the presence of Rich and the family members who now just grace my life in spirit. I feel their encouragement each and every day. So, let the “Cabin Chronicles” begin. I hope my story of striking out on one’s own inspires those who need it.