It might be safe to say that everyone, at some point in their lives, has had a dream home. It’s that house that, for whatever reason, stands out in our minds as the perfect combination of walls, floors, ceilings, and roof. For some, it could be an apartment in a bustling city. For others, it could be a rustic cabin surrounded by trees and uninterrupted by another human being for 20 square miles.
I’ve had three dream homes throughout the course of my adult life.
The first was one that I would see whenever I made the drive from Bluefield to Roanoke, or vice versa. During those college years, I would often take the interstate route because it was slightly faster than the scenic back roads. Just off Interstate-81, somewhere in Pulaski County, stood a very old farmhouse.
I always assumed that the house had been built at some point in the 1800s. Judging by the look of the structure from the outside, I would say it was at least that old. I had no idea what the floor plan was like on the inside. I also had no desire to run a farm of any size. I assumed the fact that it was a farmhouse was incidental. The property line had to have bumped up against the highway. It was that close.
Sadly, I never got more than a passing glance at it on those drives to and from school. At some point in the mid-2000s, the house burned to the ground. For a long while, all that remained of it was a brick fireplace and chimney.
The next house that I desperately would have loved to own was one that I saw on my daily drive to work when I was a Day Treatment Counselor at Willis Elementary School in Floyd County. Making that drive to work on Alum Ridge Road, I would slow down when I saw this house coming up on my right side.
Set back against a wooded area, on the far side of a medium sized pond, was a gorgeous, modern-looking cabin. This house had enormous windows in the front. I’m sure that sunlight just had to have poured into the place throughout a good portion of the day. It was a beautiful home.
I was able to look this one up online because, much to my excited surprise, it was for sale. Images from the inside were just as impressive as the outside. Hardwood floors throughout. Three bedrooms. Two bathrooms. A large kitchen. All for the bargain price of $320,000. Yeah… I’d never be able to own that house.
Not that I would ever be able to own my current dream home. It sits on Preston Avenue here in Blacksburg. It’s definitely too much house for one person. But it’s kind of gorgeous. There isn’t a lot of yard. At least, not in the front. I haven’t yet attempted to scale the privacy fence to get a look at the backyard. I feel that would be unwise if I ever want to have a chance at owning it someday.
It has a very large front porch. The kind of porch I could see myself growing old on. The kind of porch where I could sit in a rocking chair and yell at the neighbor’s kids to stay off my tiny front lawn.
The house next door, by the way, appears to be inhabited by hobbits. That was my first thought when I saw the makeshift fence that surrounds the garden they have planted in their front yard. My opinion has changed about these people I’ve never met now. I assume they’re hippies. Like, old-school, original hippies. From the late 60s or early 70s. Why would I make that judgment about people I’ve never met? Well, they don’t have an old VW bus, but it’s a very similar sort of vehicle that’s parked in their driveway. And their roof is covered in solar panels.
I’m not knocking solar panels. And I hope calling them old-school hippies doesn’t come off as derogatory. Good for them for creating their own electricity. I bet they recycle, too.
That fence in their front yard, though. It’s like they found the most jacked up, tangled up, gnarly pieces of wood in existence and hobbled the thing together. It’s got to be stronger than it looks. But, honestly, it looks like a stiff breeze would knock the whole thing over.
But I could handle living next door to them. For that gigantic front porch and the detached garage in the back, yeah, I could live next to hobbit hippies.