dream home

Dreams Create Reality – I’m a Believer

One day…in a text…it appeared…the latest rendition of my dream come true!

I’d been considering options for several years: dreaming about a home…one with no steps (compared to our present home with 74 steps…from the bottom of our driveway to our kitchen…34 steps if we drove to the top of our driveway).

When I was young, I dreamed of living in a tree house. When we were young, my brothers helped me build one in an old apple tree in our back yard. It was even carpeted! Amazing how dreams we carry with us come true.

When Tim and I married, his brother paid him back a loan by giving him a lot in Beverly Shores…a place he’d seen and marveled at when he was just 16 and was rowing a boat as a life guard for the first swimmer to ever swim from Chicago to Michigan City. “Could we possibly build a home here,” we wondered. We were able to locate the owner of the unbuildable lot next to the lot Tim had been given. When we put them together we had enough property to build. We couldn’t see Lake Michigan from these lots, but it was just around the corner…perfect for my man who loved everything water…swimming, sailing, surf-boarding, wind-surfing, and eventually water-gardening. And so we began.

We worked with Larry Booth who designed our dream house: 1200 square feet of enclosed space, and 900 square feet of porches. We found a builder who said he could do it…on the side of a very steep hill. When our builder began with the foundation, he told us we’d be able to see Lake Michigan and maybe even Chicago in the winter, if we added another 4 feet of height to the bottom level instead of leaving it as a crawl space. “Yes!” we both said in a heartbeat. Slowly but surely we saw our dreams of long ago take shape. That was 45 years ago.

Now…another dream is coming true…a dream of having a small home again surrounded by trees and nature. And best of all, it’s in the middle of a nearby small midwestern town also along the shores of Lake Michigan: Michigan City, Indiana. My brothers aren’t building it, but our children helped us find and create it.

One recent Sunday morning, my son sent me a text: “Have you seen this?” It was a small home with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a large living room, kitchen and dining area…and…a “bonus” room I could use as an office. It was exactly what I was looking for. It had been built in what had been a forest in the middle of the town, and the builder had carefully preserved all the trees possible. Of the 69 homes, no one has grass lawns. Everything is natural…my kind of place: once again, a tree house…just on solid ground…with no steps.

Our children came for Mother’s Day and identified opportunities and created plans for some changes. We were underway, and I began…car load by car load…to move things…and to give away what I do not require going forward. Slowly but surely a home that reflects a new generation of my original tree house dream…my morphing tree house reality is coming into being…along with a nod to the loft we lived in in Chicago…by eliminating all walls between the kitchen, dining area, and living room.

We are truly blessed, and looking forward to our next chapter…stay tuned!

Things to Mention in posting:

The Depot – Second Friday Opening: July 15 5 – 7 PM
– In the Museum: Architecture Highlights in Beverly Shores
– The Gallery: If You Build it They Will Come – Artistic Depictions of Beverly Shores Architecture
• Film Fest at the Crossroads – a collaboration with Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso – Thursday, August 10 6 PM – 3 films about Northwest Indiana…with commentary by the film-makers and local experts – tickets available: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=180869

• Public speaking (for example):
• Greening My Life – How I Created the Life I’d Always Wished For
• Memoir Using 17 Syllables – Discovering Who We Really Are
• Or a topic of your choosing
• Creating From the Heart: The Artistry of Living – found at suzyvance.com or on Youtube

• The Caring Place – Art with Heart Event August 11
• Singing Sands Toastmasters – meets 1st and 3rd Monday night of every month at the Senior Health and Wellness Center at Wabash and Homer Streets (the former St. Anthony Hospital – Meeting Room) – a safe place to find your voice and learn how to present to and inform others.