Now that construction has begun, we’re looking back over the past five years and all that’s transpired.

moving truckWe’ve lived in our current home for 25 years, and completed major remodeling, landscaping, new construction and pool reconstruction in that time. So we’ve been asked, “Why are you moving?”

The answer starts a dozen or so years ago, when Tom and I laid plans to retire in the vicinity of Chesapeake, Virginia, where my sister, her husband and their children, and my parents lived. We bought 35 acres on the Pasquotank River, southeast of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It comprises wetlands, swampy areas, forest, and former farmland. With nearly a quarter of a mile of riverfront, it’s quiet and idyllic. We built a snug, lovely cottage for immediate vacation use, and planned to build a larger home once we were ready to retire.

Life is, of course, unpredictable, however, and five years ago or so we found ourselves rethinking our retirement plans. Parents were aging fast, and our two adult sons were married and settled right here in Ann Arbor. We began to think we should stay in Ann Arbor, and find a vacation cottage closer to home.

Our vacation-spot search began in northern Michigan, and then drew ever closer to Ann Arbor. When we found 15 acres on Tessmer Road, a designated “natural beauty road,” we stopped searching and started planning cottage construction.

And the next logical step was to choose to sell our current house and move to our vacation home. The Tessmer Road site is exactly what we crave in a vacation setting: quiet, remote and rural. Who wouldn’t want to be permanently on vacation?

Building design had barely begun when we learned about the Living Building Challenge. Tom and I hold dearly our memories of time spent in nature in our growing up years, and we have always been drawn to living in concert with nature. We’d not implemented that attraction, at least not in any big way. LBC caught our attention as a method by which to build a home that adds to, rather than detracts from, the environment, and a metric by which we can measure our effectiveness in achieving that goal.

So for next time: more on our love for creation and our response to the challenge of building the greenest of green homes . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *