I want to start at the end, where it seems a bit more appropriate to begin with a project of this magnitude. By year’s end we want to be in our new home. Whether or not it happens is all up to the hands of fate (and architect, and contractors, and builders, and septic workers, and any number of other people who will make this possible for us), and of course the money will also have something to say about it before all is said and done.

This is our journey, from early planning, to the design phase, to stopping to catch our breath every now and again because our dream is finally becoming a reality. Well, I should say that my wife’s dream is becoming a reality, and I’m happily along for the ride. When I was a kid I never dreamt of owning my own home because no one I knew owned their own home. We lived in a rented house in the ghetto streets of Philadelphia, and it was all we ever hoped to know. To me the country was someplace only rich people went, so why should I dream about it?

But to my wife the country was her life from day one. She lived, slept, and breathed the country from sun up until sun down every single day. For her owning a home was as basic as breathing, as essential as walking each day. Yet, building a home still wasn’t on her list, not then, but I’ll let her tell you all about that as we share our journey with you. Suffice it to say, when she finally began to buckle down and started entertaining the idea for real the possibilities just opened up.

This is the story of how we arrived here, at this point, to the edge of something beautiful. We know there are going to be bumps and bruises along the way, but this is what we ultimately want, and we will make it happen. Today: the architects and blueprints. At some point in the near future: the banks and loans. Eventually: our new home, with that new home smell, and the culmination of dreams, even if they are a bit removed from those ghetto rentals in Southwest Philly.

Sam McManus


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