Thursday, July 9, 2009

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW


Not long after we bought our house, a couple from California bought two run-down buildings just across the highway from us. One was a little adobe building, which they moved into temporarily while they fixed up the other one. In a matter of months they had transformed it from a nondescript rectangle into something straight out of an old western movie set, and the sign on the front read "Heartland Antiques." I was all atwitter, and couldn't wait for it to open.

When the day finally came, I rushed right over, eager to meet my new neighbors and have a friendly chat (though DH would probably describe it more as "pumping them for information"). What I discovered was that they were actually native Texans, but had lived in California all this time because the husband was in the movie-making business, and he was the visionary behind the creative transformation of the building. I also discovered that they were in the process of building themselves a home on a beautiful piece of property fronting Lone Man Creek, just down the road from us. Once it was completed, they planned to move out of the adobe building, and were looking for someone who might be interested in opening a restaurant there. They already had a bakery lined up to go in a space on one end of the building their shop was in, and the final touch would be, hopefully, to find a great little garden art and accessories shop to go in on the other side. Wow. When these people make retirement plans, they plan big, huh? And here we just stumbled across a strange little house in a place we loved, and decided to see what unfolded from there!

It must have been another year before their home was finally complete, but when it was, it was really something to behold! Another scene straight out of a movie set - perhaps one titled "Heidi Meets Bonanza"? By then the bakery had already come and gone, no garden shop had materialized, and business at the antiques shop was really slowing down. The problem for me was that it was filled with massive pieces of furniture that I no longer had need of, beautiful as they were, and very little of the smaller knick-knacks that might keep me coming back on a regular basis. Then the owners came up with another idea: open their own little coffee shop in the former bakery site, complete with drive-through window, to nab all those Austin commuters. Brilliant! Or at least, I thought so. Finally I had a place that made delicious chai lattes, in walking distance from my home!

Alas, that didn't work out too well either. They eventually shut both businesses down, and put their new house up for sale as well, though I'm not sure if they ever sold it. They did finally find a buyer for the little adobe house, but the antiques shop has been sitting empty and forlorn for a couple of years now. It puts me in a funk each time I see it, because I can't help but remember the light in the owner's eyes the day I met her, at the thought of all her dreams finally coming true.

But wait, what is this? Some equipment has been showing up in their parking lot, bit by bit. Now some workers are over there doing something. In fact, I do believe they are actually adding on to the building! Did they finally sell it, or did they keep it and decide to open a different kind of business? What's it going to be? Some might think I'm nosy, but I prefer to think of it as professional curiosity. All I know is, it's making me nuts, that I can't find any answers!

Woohoo, lookie what I found! No, I didn't get any answers, but I did find their daughter's website (she's a realtor in Austin). Well, I guess I got the answer to one question - both their house and business have sold. But if you go to this site quickly, you can enjoy a virtual tour of both buildings, and you just gotta see this house! (the house is the second featured property, the business is the third)

P.S. Many thanks to hillcountrysunset.com for the above image.

4 comments:

musingegret said...

That house is **gorgeous** as are the furnishings, but that is such a sad story; I wonder if they stayed in Texas. On another subject though, when would the creek have had that much water in it?

Hill Country Hippie said...

Their section of the creek is above a dam I think, so it may still have a bit of water in it.

Teri in CO said...

Holy cow! What a GREAT house!

Hill Country Hippie said...

Yep, it is - but can you imagine spending over a million bucks for a 2,500 sq.ft. house? Of course, it does come with 30 acres and a great creek, but still!