Thursday, April 17, 2014

won't you be my neighbor?...

Cue the drum roll....  finally!  The house reveal!

It all goes back to 1851, (yes, you read that right... 1851!) when a classic colonial red brick home was built for a pastor and his family.  The First Christian Church of Lynchburg got its start meeting in the home.

Years and years later, during the riverboat era in Lynchburg, the home was transformed... but this time, into a brothel!

Later, during Prohibition, it was a neighborhood speak-easy.

This home has been alot of things to alot of people over the years.  (with lots of rebelliousness included...)  ;)

And now, in just a few months.....

It's going to be HOME to us.  

To a minister and his family again.  

Like coming full circle.   (hey, I'm sure there'll still be a little rebelliousness in there, too...)

It's an antebellum house in front with a large modern addition (2004) in the back.

Dining Room
Inside, just about everything has been gutted and redone beautifully, while still maintaining touches of its history.  

Living Room

The house is about the same size in square footage as our current house, except that we'll have two less bedrooms.  So we'll be in the business of downsizing and enjoying life with less STUFF.

Of course we love all the new and modern...

Original staircase and bannister

...along with the charm of the old.  

The subtle bricks mark the transition where the antebellum house ended and the new addition began.

You can feel the history as you ride down the street.

Who has a slate roof anymore??

Our children's rooms will still have the original wood floors from 1851!  (Oh yes, and fireplaces, too...but they are just for looks.)  

On front of house

The old...

and the new!  

Upstairs porch

A downside to this house is that there is unfortunately no garage, so we'll be bringing a nice-sized shed onto the property for outdoor storage.

From our backyard, you can see the view to downtown three short blocks away.  When you walk down the sidewalk from our front door, you hit the Blackwater Creek Trails, a series of twelve MILES of paved bike/walking trails that take you through downtown and along the James River.  

We will have miles of recreation and tons more culture including the downtown farmer's market at our fingertips.  Not to mention, there's an amazing children's museum just a five minutes' WALK away.  Caroline is most excited about that!

This little park is across the street
The house is great, 
the access to downtown is great, 
but we think the neighborhood is great, too.  

It's an integrated neighborhood-- black, white, poor, wealthy.  It's not necessarily a neighborhood that white suburbanites would flock towards.  (give it 10 years with all the revitalization happening downtown...)   But for us, the communal and cultural diversity aspect of the city is appealing to us and precisely what we wanted for our family.  

Would ya believe, we met and TALKED TO our street's MAIL MAN!  (I know, right?!  Funny me, I thought a mailman was the guy that drives down your street, dumps some envelopes in your box each day, maaaybe waves at you if you're out in the yard, and quickly drives off.)  But Roy is our guy!  He walks from house to house to deliver the mail.  And he's awesome.  

Also, directly across the street from us, there is an interracial Christian family about our age.  We met them the other day and instantly loved them-- white husband, black wife, with two adorable little boys, the oldest being ALMOST TWO.  

Y'all!  My little Jameson already has a little buddy with brown skin waiting for him across the street. 

My kids will see with their own eyes what we tell them already... that families don't have to match.

Thank you, thank you God.  

Just a few short weeks ago, we had NO idea we'd be packing up and moving downtown to the very house we'd admired from afar for years.

I'm not naive to think there won't be challenges ahead.  
(Y'all will hear about it, I'm sure.)

But right now we're excited about what God is doing in our lives and 
working hard to start this crazy new chapter in our story.

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