One of the dreams that’s kept me going is the Eleuthera, Bahamas house that my friend Lynn Larson and I are building as our winter retreat. We began the project a year and a half ago when we vacationed in the Bahamas and played a little game of “What if?” which turned into a game of “Why can’t we?”, and which soon became “Let’s!”.
While this was going to be a joint venture, my joint refused to cooperate, and so Lynn has spent the better part of the time since doing this alone–general contracting, designing, clearing brush, and painting. The latest photos show a pretty advanced stage of completion–at last! And I (at last) am in the final stages of getting down there to visit the project.
There have been earlier photos on this blog, but here are some from Lynn’s most recent trip–and a little more of the story.
The first photo is of the original house, in the little town of Tarpum Bay. Mr. Culmer was a fisherman, and his home was among the first in the town. The property was purchased by an artist/educator who lived in Tarpum Bay and whose descendants still own property there–MacMillan Hughes. He was a bit of an eccentric, and left his mark on the town–not only did he have a family compound on the beach, but he also built a castle for his mistress:
The ruins of the castle are still in the town, and the property is owned by the son. MacMillan Hughes next turned his attention to acquiring and renovating the Culmer House as an artist’s studio, and began the project by filling in the basement with cement and rocks, and beginning construction of the house and walled property.
This is what Lynn and I bought–the ultimate fixer-upper. But remember, this is the Bahamas, and the walls are a foot thick, and we are in town, so there’s water and electricity. Plus, the view of the Caribbean is spectacular!
After a false start when our first choice contractor got distracted by his son’s arrest for murder, we found a wonderful builder who’s last name is–Culmer! and who is delighted to be working close to home and on his great grandfather’s cottage. Kervin has done wonderful work, and completed the cottage in record time. These are some of the latest photos and you can see how far he’s come.
This photo is taken from behind the house, looking out toward the ocean. You can imagine what the view is like from the second story….
This is the view from the inside of Lynn’s bedroom–my room is on the left and that’s my storm shutter you see through the window. You can see the church on the main street (Queen’s Highway) and the ocean just beyond. There’s a door from each bedroom out onto a second story deck, just for watching sunsets!
And here’s Lynn, after a hard day’s work paining the interior.
Now here’s the trick: this is a dream come true for both of us. It’s the result of a lot of hard work over our lifetimes, and a commitment to making a reality of a dream. For me it’s also a result of lot of support from my friends–the OC folks who decorated my room and kept my spirits up, my friends from the real estate world who gave me a rocking chair for my deck and a huge supply of love and encouragement, my former staff members (still my friends), and my coach Debby.
The only hurdle that remains for me is getting there, and every day brings me a little closer!