Sunday, September 29, 2013

Visiting Friends in the Piney Woods of Texas

We just got home, yesterday afternoon, from a few days up in the Piney Woods region of Texas, visiting our friends, Steve and Sharon. We knew them first in Juneau. They moved there and stayed for one year before deciding that their old life and home in East Texas was a better fit for them. It turned out to be a blessing that their house and property hadn't sold, because they were able to settle back in with a big sigh of relief.

Steve used to be a house framer and general contractor, and built many amazingly beautiful homes, some of them "mansion" sized. But more recently he has been concentrating on fine woodworking. I was really impressed with the cabinets, doors, furniture and decorative pieces he has designed and created. Much of his work incorporates complicated inlay work and hand carving.

Their home is out in the country, on a few acres of land with a continuously flowing stream and a pond. They harvest fresh vegetables from their garden and eggs from their chickens. It's really a peaceful, simple, rewarding life style, although it requires lots of hard work to maintain the property.

There's nothing pretentious about their house, but it is definitely full of charm.

This is the back side of their home, which overlooks the pond.

The pond at the center of the property.
This stone walkway runs along the side of the house, and there are several pots of flowers, now past their prime, decorating the retaining wall.

This dining table was where we were treated to Sharon's tasty breakfasts, which always featured eggs, fresh from the hens! 

Sharon's country kitchen. Some of her teapot collection is displayed above the cabinets.
The orchard

A place to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Steve and Sharon's house has only one bedroom, but just a short walk from the house is a guest cottage that Steve built, which was our home-away-from-home for three nights. It has two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen/living room, and a nice bathroom. There's even a stacked washer/dryer set for use by guests.

Sharon has hopes, for the near future, of offering this beautiful little guest house as a bed-and-breakfast rental. Who wouldn't want to spend a few nights in this peaceful cabin in the woods?

Through the door (notice the beautiful woodwork door frame and shelf) is the main bedroom, with a full-size antique bed and a spacious walk-in closet.

The bedroom seen through the door in the above photo.

This smaller bedroom has an antique twin bed.
Everywhere you look, in the little guest house, you will find beautiful details, like this doorknob and lock plate.
Steve and Sharon kept us busy while we were there. One of their favorite pass-times is hunting for and collecting antiques, so they let us tag along to several estate sales, garage sales and antique stores. We ate at their favorite Mexican restaurant and one of their favorite barbecue places.

We were only there two and a half days, but we felt like we'd gone on a relaxing week-long vacation! Thanks, Steve and Sharon.

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