Friday, February 9, 2024

An Addition For Our House In East Texas

How is everyone?
I hope you are well.

When we bought our East Texas house three and a half years ago, it jump started our talk of retirement and what we wanted to do and where we would want to live. We kept referring to our country experience  as our five year plan. Five years seemed a long way off. In no time at all we find ourselves 18 months out from Bill's retirement and decision time is nearing. There have been ups and downs in the last 3.5 years. 

We are a little split on the issue of retiring to the country. 
Bill is all set to live in East Texas. I'm a little unsure for several reasons. 
I've been dealing with back issues for about two years. Where I'd thought I was a bit invincible, I'm now a bit more reticent about my abilities to do all that I will able to do to maintain our house and property. 
What about doctors? They are further away but there is good medical care near by. 

I worried about making friends in a new community. We need a new church. I'm pretty shy and it takes me a while to form deep relationships. Is it wise to leave our family and friends? 

There are other concerns too but for this post's sake, I'll hop to the last reason. We have quite a few things that we've collected over the years and this house simply won't fit them all no matter how I try to mentally figure it out. 
Bill decided late last summer that we needed to add on to this house in order for me to overcome the downsizing hurdle. Thus began the process of figuring out what we need, what we want, and how to gain those things in this house and in a manner that looks authentic to the house.  
We called in a friend of ours who has a house plan business.  

Our extreme heat from last summer, caused me to realize that our darling screened in porch is just not practical. We need a room that works for all four seasons, not just 2.5. The ceiling is not insulated so the porch felt like an oven first thing in the morning until late in the evening. Bill was going to have to tear our the ceiling in order to insulate. Even though I love the space, it was the tipping point for me. I was ready to say that we should convert it to a four season room. We began to chat about enclosing the carport as well in order to have a larger room for more seating and another dining area. 

In September our friends came out to have a look so that they could begin drawing up some plans. Bill felt very strongly that we needed a bigger bathroom. The primary bath is basically a hallway. He also wanted another closet so that we don't have to share. I wanted a storage room for craft supplies and decor. 
Bill thought we should move the laundry to an addition so that we could convert the existing laundry room into a butler's pantry for my plethora of dishes. 

We got the first set of plans late last fall and immediately noticed that the new bathroom and closet were bigger than the current primary bedroom. By tearing out the existing closet and shower we could make our bedroom a little bit bigger so that it's in proportion to the bathroom. We can use the new area for a dressing area or a little reading nook with bookshelves. 

We sent those changes back and waited for plans that included the electrical and outside elevation. 
We received those plans two weeks ago. It seemed like there were too many windows so I decided to measure all of our furniture so that Bill could make little cutouts to scale. We had fun placing our favorites in various spots. It helped decide which windows needed to be removed in order to fit our larger case goods. 

 Currently, we are waiting for final plans that will include the electrical, elevation, and plumbing. 

Our next door neighbor does concrete. He has already given us a preliminary bid for the work. 
We also have our plumber, roofer, electrician and HVAC guy. We will need to have our flooring guy figure out the floors as well. While these vinyl plank floors are great for a weekend home, they do look a little fake. We need a framer and drywall guy and a painter to do the texture. 

 I've gone back and forth about whether this is the right thing to do given some of the reasons that I've stated above. I'm not really looking forward the building process. 
We've been praying about all of  this. 
 A few weeks ago, Bill decided to step across the street because he heard them building their house. 
He met two couples, they invited us to church which is 1/4 mile away. We've hit it off and
we also love the church. It seems that all the doors are opening and God is leading us to a place we can call home. 

Embarking on retirement feels a little like becoming engaged and waiting on the wedding or waiting for the arrival of a child. 
It's a happy time but it can also be stressful. Once I realized that it is a major life change, I've given myself permission to be uncertain of what the future holds but trusting that the Lord has directed our path so faithfully that He will direct our path now. 
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. 
Have a great day. Thanks for sticking around. 
There will be more about this as we have new information and pictures. 


  1. Katie
    It’s seems like you are finding your way and trusting in the lord to lead you. The doors will open to show you the way. One day at a time works the best. When we downsized we couldn’t take most of our possessions, but they are only things not what really makes a home. We have each other and family and friends we are so blessed.

  2. I appreciate your perspective on retirement and moving. It is a huge transition! But I love to read about your trusting God and especially the verse from Jeremiah. Blessings to you as you navigate this move.