If any of y’all have ever built a house from the ground up, you KNOW it is a process. You pay lots and lots of money for things you don’t even see – foundations, encapsulation, ductwork, bracing, cinderblocks that you’re just going to cover with brick... but… you’ve got to have these things before you can have your Georgia pine board and batten siding, your antique bricks (and their expensive mortar mind you), your “tin” roof and your shutters. Ahhh, shutters. Those will probably be a post in and of themselves.


To build from the ground up or renovate or whatever your house’s project may be, you must have a great team. Thankfully, I have such a team. Every morning, they see me bouncing out of my suburban (clad in plaid and some sort of loafer), and they know that I’ll scale any scaffolding, race across any roof, load up any ladder or meet them wherever their working to investigate the progress. Pester – maybe – but that has such a negative connotation. I prefer “check in” for that allows me to “check out” and let them finish their task at hand. If I didn’t “check out” and head back to JFI, then I’d probably stay all day on the job site and rearrange the kitchen layout a dozen times, move the steps at least once and start painting. I am terrific at starting a paint job – finishing one is NOT my strong suit. I am good with color, so maybe I should stick with selection rather than application.



I’ve known several of the guys building Farmdale Cottage since we were kids. Most all of them have worked with me on clients’ homes around Middle Georgia, and I find that very comforting. There is a trust factor and comradery almost with these guys, for we’ve moved furniture and walls together, transformed outdated bathrooms and kitchens together and now, we’re building Farmdale together.

My sister Maggie captured all these action shots and some construction details. I don’t covet the guys from Wall 2 Wall Construction working in this summer heat, but I do appreciate them doing so. The brick foundation is almost complete, the roof is starting this week, windows and doors arrived and some are even being installed. I’m still a good ways away from planning my first dinner party (which I’m afraid will probably be delivery pizza and paper plates until I get all moved and settled in), but I cannot wait nonetheless. Big Napp had a slogan when our church was moving from the old sanctuary to the new one – “joy of the journey.” It is a journey – amen to that right? But the joy comes in the little things – the little steps – that all slowly but surely come together and create the journey proper. The journey is the story.




So, from the Georgia Red Clay piles of Farmdale to you, thanks y’all for letting me share some of my joy on this journey.