I am writing to you on January 4th. I’m 22 weeks pregnant and sick with bronchitis, which I got from a recent trip to France. I can’t really complain. Anyone who ends a sentence about getting sick with “a recent trip to France” can’t complain, even though I did have to take a nine hour flight while sneezing and gasping and coughing and not being able to sleep. I got the illness from my adorable niece who had bronchitis all throughout Christmas.
Before, we left for France, we headed up to Story Road and put a giant tarp on our foundation. We met with our incredible contractor, Chris and talked about the next steps. Today, Chris will begin framing out house. He will begin to enclose this wild space into a domestic house: one piece of plywood at a time.
While we were in France, we did a home exchange at a little house in Chavanox, a tiny village about 30 minutes outside Lyon. If you haven’t heard of home exchange, well, let me tell you, you are missing out. Serious.
Home Exchange is a website where you can list your house so that other people from other parts of the world can stay in it and you can stay in theirs (a reciprocal exchange) or you can use points to stay somewhere else.
We’ve had eight exchanges so far. People from France and Hawaii have stayed in our home and we have stayed in Ithaca, NY, a little mountain village in France called Genestelle, and in Marseille, France. All of our exchanges have been lovely: each one different in their own way.
TO IKEA OR NOT TO IKEA
This most recent home exchange took us to a beautiful one story house with heated cement floors and lots of windows. I immediately fell in love. The house had a delightful mix of lamps and furniture from IKEA, mixed with beautiful artful pieces, like the olive green couch.
I spent each morning with an espresso and a macaron, sitting and looking out the window onto the backyard, which had these gorgeous clay bird statues. I was entirely comfortable and at home in this house, which is owned by two French people, one of whom is an interior designer. That makes sense.
AIRBNB or HOME EXCHANGE?
So, this trip inspired us to think about how we want Story Road to feel. I definitely want it to have an artistic vibe to it. We are thinking dark greens, dark blues and gold. We want the windows to feel expansive and bring in the the beautiful southern light from across the pond. I dream of a house that invites people from all over inside, take off their shoes, read one of our books, or write, or simply sit in the meditative silence of a warm and sunlit house. One board at a time: we are getting there.
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