We purchased this particular property because it was ideal for two reasons. The first, Tom’s love for boats and yearning to live by the water, and second my love of land for animals and gardening. Along with getting to spend the rest of our lives together, we are both going to live our dream!
Our ideas for this fabulous property have been plentiful and everchanging. We decided to let the ideas flow and gather them all to evaluate and dream. It is also important for us to get a feel for local history, the people, the community and town. To experience all four seasons, live on the land and have it tell us its story.
Our marina is located off the Rocky Hock Creek in Chowan County. The area has a varied and interesting history. Once upon a time, Native American tribes inhabited the banks of Northeastern North Carolina. Indian artifacts have been discovered along the nearby shores and are a local source of pride. Locals have dabbled in archeology and made their own exciting discoveries. We have listened to many stories, including one of an Indian burial ground located on our property. Next to us, archeologists have performed digs for The Lost Colony and the Eleanor Dare stone. Magazine articles and even television shows feature the digs. This winter, we took a hike through our swamp and it gave me the desire to perform my own dig one day!
After a few months, Tom told me he envisioned wedding ceremonies in the field next to our 1 1/2 acre pond. He described newlyweds expressing their vows at the end of a small dock extending into the water. Its entrance enhanced by budding Cyprus trees. I picture families and guests at the water’s edge, all quiet and expecting. Slight breezes rippling the water, bird song in the air and every hue of green as a backdrop. Next to the pond, I see a white tent and white-clothed tables, flowery centerpieces and a dance floor. We may even consider renting America to newlyweds for a magical wedding night.
Once the ideas started, they rolled in. We imagined 50th anniversaries, family reunions, high school and college graduations, and birthday’s. The warmer Southern climate makes for an endless list of outdoor celebrations. I was on board instantly with Tom’s idea of hosting Christian retreats and revivals. How amazing would it be to have people accepting Gods salvation in HIS very own living room?? To witness that, would be forever inspiring.
Tom wants to craft four or five tiny cottages on wheels. We want to offer a place for peace, quiet and stillness in this busy and noisy world. Cozy “get-away from the grind” retreats, with old wood details and antique elements. I envision the cushy details. Metal queen sized beds piled high with pillows and feather puffs. Vintage quilts waiting for snuggling on rainy days or chilly evenings. Little reading nooks with real books, ones with dog eared pages and slight musty smells. Tiny white porcelain antique sinks with vintage embroidered hand towels. Each location would have a private screened porch overlooking the basin, outfitted with chippy painted rocking chairs. An ideal place to watch the sunrise as you enjoy your morning coffee.
Even more ideas……..
Tom loves a design challenge and building something unique. I love this next vision of his, a few restored boats sitting in the basin, tiny “abodes” on the water. Visualize vintage boats designed with his signature style. Each a little different with lots of creature comforts and old wood antique details. We have already purchased the first boat, a 70’s Weekend Cruiser, to make this a reality. He calls it his 2023 project. It’s an ethereal experience, falling asleep to the gentle rock of a passing breeze and the song of peepers. You must experience it at least once.
The house construction began last week. We are building a cozy 1,400 SF Southern country bungalow with stunning features. The interior walls will be horizontal skip sanded and painted ship lap. The floors will be antique pine from a barn Tom recently dismantled up the street. The second story beams will be exposed and accented with natural wood caps. Tom is designing a custom kitchen around an antique porcelain farmer’s sink and something I have always wanted….a window seat. The first floor will feature oversized windows, an 1880’s farmhouse double door and an old wood staircase. We haven’t decided on all the details, but are having the best time dreaming them up!
Tom has built a retaining wall (for the front of the house) using Maine granite we purchased here in Edenton. Remnants from a bridge dismantled years ago, that someone had the sense to store. He has begun landscaping our lower front yard and planted grass. The front yard veiw is of a smaller pond and a glimpse of the marina through a canopy of trees. Turtles, bunches of frogs and a water snake have already claimed this pond as home. We have planted peach and apple trees, blueberry bushes, and smaller vegetable gardens. Off the front porch, I have visions of herb and flower gardens intertwined. Giving a vast array of pollen options for the two bees colonies we have begun keeping. Here’s to hoping for our own honey this fall.
While waiting for the contractors to start the house, Tom began erecting his barn. He has made great progress, and the tin roof is being installing this week. Here, he will have his workshop and where our marina ideas will manifest. There will also be shelter for his beloved equipment. As always, it too will have its own antique characteristics. He has recently acquired a spectacular antique mercantile window (6’5″H x 8’L 63 panes) for the front visage. The timing is happening perfectly, soon the framers will have the house roughed in and Tom will start on the interior of our dreamhouse.
Behind the workshop will be my happy place. Tom has cleared a pasture for my future homestead paradise. Our bee apiary is located in this field. I see watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini and pumpkin patches. This is where my potting shed/ chicken coop will be for chickens galore…maybe a few ducks. I see a barn in the far left corner for my future bottle-fed baby calf, mischievous little goats and donkey. Of course, a donkey for protection from coyotes, fox and bear. Much larger gardens of green beans, tomatoes, peas, carrots, lettuce, peppers and cucumbers will be grown here. Plenty of fruit and veggies for freezing and canning. The options are endless. And oh…..think of how charming a little StillWater farm stand would be. One day, offering our own eggs and honey, fresh picked veggies, homemade jams and pickles, and freshly baked goodies.. Oh my heart flutters at the thought of it!
We can see it all……and the possibilities exhilarate us!