Wednesday, October 8, 2014

a terrible idea . . .


In the movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun",
Frances says to Katherine, "Well, I mean who wouldn't want to buy a villa in Tuscany.  But, the way my life's been going, that would be a terrible idea."

Katherine responds, "Terrible idea.  Mmm . . . don't you just love those?"


Well, 17 years ago today, Steve and I followed through on a terrible idea.


And it turned out to the best idea we ever had - and for our kids who tease about our use of hyperbole - yes, "THE BEST" idea.


It wasn't a villa in Tuscany, but on October 8, 1997, we moved into our little beach cottage.


The idea had been growing for a long time spurred on by two things.


First, in 1982, Steve and I participated in a retirement seminar through his company and one assignment was to close your eyes and picture yourself in retirement - we both had an image of the two of us walking on the beach.


The second impetus was KC, a competitive surfer at the time, who wanted to eliminate the 1 mile distance she had to travel to get to the water.


What made buying a beach house a terrible idea at the time was money and space
 - the house that we could afford was $100,000 more than our current home, but 1/3 of the size.


But, the terrible idea turned out to be a life changing move for us.


Our little 1928 beach cottage brought out Steve's muse and he picked up paint brushes for the first time in decades.


Steve's change from businessman to artist triggered the addition of a studio so he could paint at home.


We adapted to living in a smaller space


by carving out space in unlikely places.


We knocked down walls to open up the floor plan and created a welcoming vision from the street.


We made the house fit our lifestyle.


Or maybe, we adapted our lifestyle to fit the house!


Seriously, most of our family and friends thought our move to a little cottage was "a terrible idea".


But, I say, that's "for the birds".


There is no way that buying a beach house was a terrible idea.


But, this spot right here is what has kept me from writing posts or reading my favorite blogs - it is difficult to be indoors when the beach looks like this.

76 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

I love your story! Congratulations on the anniversary of your Terrible Idea. It looks awesome!

Lorrie said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing you dream and your "terrible idea" that turned out to be the BEST!

Leslie Harris said...

I love your story Carol and what a cool picture of KC!

Poppy said...

It's places such as your beach cottage that truly inspire creativity. I think both you and Steve have blossomed into talented artists!

Poppy

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

It is so good to read a success story like this one. You have to balance the pros and cons of a move that involves more expense and decreased square footage. Since I am now in the middle of my own terrible idea, I can see why everyone thought this was crazy. But I love the beach as well so I get it and I know exactly why this is the BEST idea and it is worth all you had to sacrifice to make it happen. When we don't have kids to support, we're moving to the beach next time! Congrats on your anniversary. I am glad you are truly happy.

jinxxxygirl said...

Sometimes you just KNOW.....Hubby and i are expecting some changes soon on the retirement front....thank you for the reminder that those leaps of faith can turn out for the better. Hugs!deb

kilnfiredart said...

You have a fabulous home in a beautiful place, and you are happy. What a terrible idea haha.
We moved to our dream house so we could walk in The Lakes and we met opposition from some people too
Jill

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

LOVED this post ! :)

Kim - Exquisitely Unremarkable said...

Looks wonderful Carol. When we bought our first home by the beach everyone had an opinion...none of them were good! ;) So glad we didn't listen, best terrible decision we ever made as well!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Carol, your prose branches out into a poem each step of the way toward the end. A great juxtaposition of terrible and great. Sometimes life is like that, but what is charming is when people take the unlikely or rather, a situation that most people would call terrible, and look for and create the GREAT. You did that, and it's refreshing to know you both did this on the cusp of retirement.

Though our cottage/château home is our retirement spot, I do hope that both of us will live long enough to enjoy a great retirement of creativity. Right now, it is extremely difficult for both of us (especially my husband) to carry through with our dream to write without ceasing. School (as you know) takes the energy out of you and the time out of your day. I am going to show him this post to encourage him that your husband was once a businessman and NOW, he is following his dream, in a tiny cottage.

FABULOUS POST

Stacey said...

There's no way that could have been the wrong thing for you and Steve to do. You seem so happily at home there. :)

Pamela Gordon said...

I really enjoyed reading your story of how you came to this beautiful cottage by the sea. Amazing! And how blessed you and Steve have been by taking that step. Blessings. Pam

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

It doesn't seem to me that you've had a single day where you regretted your decision to make the move. I'd like to be walking along a beach right now instead of battling bitterly cold winds!!

Vickie

podso said...

I loved reading your story of taking a risk and following your dream. What a wonderful life you lead. And I completely understand your distraction to blogging !

mzzbev said...

Lol! We are four months into our "terrible idea". Thank you for this post, it was most encouraging and much needed. Hubby is retired and I'm semi-retirued so we bought a bungalow eight blocks from Lake Michigan but we moved from central Virginia, leaving the kids and grandkids behind. I'm still adjusting and many days miss my kids and grandkids something awful. Will it ever get better? We love it here and look forward to many times (especially in the Summer) to having the kids and grandkids over, spending endless hours at the beach. Thanks again for this post, it came at the right time! -Bev

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Carol I love your home and loved hearing the story behind it!

chateau chic said...

Sounds like you made the best decision of your life, Carol! And you and Steve have turned your beach house into the most charming home that is so welcoming to family and friends. I'm sure the naysayers are just a little bit envious of your life now!
Mary Alice

ANNE said...

So inspiring!! I love your story. It's my dream to retire in a cottage by the sea... or at least near some body of water!

Terrible ideas, don't you just love those...

xo

Kathy said...

I say BRAVO to you for following your heart! Clearly it has turned out to be the perfect decision for you both.

Suzan Sweatman said...

I truly can't believe how anyone would have thought otherwise Carol - I'd give anything to be able to walk on a beach every day - and then to come back to your gorgeous home !
I think you have the best of both worlds
Just amazing to see !
xoxo

Kelly said...

I'd say that you did just the right thing. You have a lovely home and an incredible location! The location is what drove the house price up. You can always change your house, but not your location that easily. Since you both love the beach, you're exactly where you should be. My husband and I are in the dreaming stage right now of where we want to live in our old age.

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Carol,
Sometimes terrible ideas are the best ideas. This is proof positive of that. You have a beautiful little beach cottage that anyone would love to have. So happy you went with your hearts on this one.
Kris

Karen L. Bates said...

Lucky you! So glad you could make the change and the adjustment to a much smaller space. It is just so gorgeous,with all your changes. I would die to live on the beach...so perfect.

Tuula @ The Thrifty Rebel said...

What a wonderful post Carol! Sometimes we just have to follow our hearts, even when everyone else is telling us we're crazy. You've created a wonderful piece of heaven for yourselves. It's so inspiring!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

That is the BEST Terrible Idea ever! I love the beach and so you live my dream lifestyle! Great story!

My Little Home and Garden said...

I loved reading about your inspirational "terrible idea". I think I need to dream up one or two of my own!

Karen

Acorn to Oak said...

Such a great post and such a great story! I love all the photos and how you shared it. Sounds like it was the best idea and thing you could have done. We're struggling with a similar idea....moving down by San Diego to be closer to hubbies job and to downsize. Scary and expensive but we know it could be awesome. So many scary steps in between and figuring out if it's possible. Congratulations on taking that awesome leap! I can tell you are SO happy there and LOVE your little cottage by the sea! :-D

Scribbler said...

You lucky lucky woman.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Carol,
Oh how I relate to your beautiful new post. Inspirational dreams are what guides us to a destiny of happiness and fulfillment of ones soul. When others thinks it's a terrible idea I just say I think it's the right one for me. One should never make excuses for not following their heart, you and Steve listened and made a beautiful life for yourselves in your cheery cottage of Art and Sand.
Living in my Philly Row-home I ask - truly how much space does anyone really need to build their dream.
XO,
Vera

bobbie said...

All my terrible ideas should turn out so well!!

Hugs, and Happy Anniversary!

Rita C. said...

Following your gut and finding glory in the outcome - who wouldn't love this story?! Congratulations on stepping to the beat of a different drummer.
Rita

Nancy Reinke said...

What a wonderful life your terrible idea gave you and Steve, Carol. I find it "terribly" inspirational. :) I always like to come to your lovely blog and read and see what you're sharing. I hope those terrible ideas of yours just keep coming. Hugs, Nancy

Laurel Stephens said...

This post warmed my heart. I love a happy story!

Susan said...

The crazy thing would have been not to follow your heart.

Kris Anderson said...

heaven -- pure heaven..
I really like your home -- just my style.. small and charming..Ideal!

Hugs

Vicky Hunt said...

You knew what you wanted...and needed and your "terrible idea" turned out beautifully! October 8th is a special day for me as well...my wedding anniversayry. Yesterday made 26 years! Have a lovely Friday.....Vicky

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I couldn't picture you living any place but the beach. It suites your life style so much. What a lovely home you have made.
Have a great weekend.
Mary

cynthia lee designs said...

I think you did what was right for you both. So glad you followed your heart. What a beautiful place to wake up to everyday.
hugs,
Cindy

Susan ~ Southern Fascinations said...

Oh my Carol... Your beautiful beach and charming cottage... What a wonderfully terrible idea!! Enjoy, enjoy..each and every day! Thanks for sharing your beach life with us! Susan
PS... Frances Mayes grew up in our small town.. Delighted that our little Southern town produced such a great writer!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Your story is so inspiring! I guess you've figured out that it really doesn't matter what others think about your decisions. By the way, if you haven't read Under the Tuscan Sun, do so.

Patricia @ Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Wow!
You just don't know what this means to me to read this right now...today.
I'm getting some Terrible Ideas myself...just having read it. ;)
Just think... had you not acted upon it, would there be an "ART & Sand" to neglect as you sit there neglecting life? ..er, uh, relaxing.
I mean... "Retired Business Folk" ...just doesn't have the same ring to it really.

The Junque Seeker said...

I loved reading your story! Congrats on going for what you wanted and making it work.

Rhondi said...

How could such an amazing place to live be a terrible idea? I LOVE where you live. Looks like heaven to me!

Marcia Pilar said...

A terrible idea is a dream being birthed. Happy for you. Now, go and have some chicken pot pie...it's about time! ;)
xoxo

Dawn said...

It was a brilliant idea for sure. I love this post :)

Daytona Damsel said...

Always follow your heart. Mine has always been at the beach. Our family and friends have always thought my husband and I had crazy ideas, but we followed them anyway. We lived in a two room tent one summer and had a ball. We lived in a sailboat, backpacked and had many other adventures, all while working full time jobs. I do not have a single regret because just before I retired my husband was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Three years were spent battling the cancer before he passed away on Good Friday morning 2014. I am so happy we followed our dreams instead of waiting for retirement because now I have all those great memories. I have continued to follow my dream and bought a condo (more like a small cottage than a condo) close to the beach shortly after my husband passed away. Much to my families dismay. I am slowly fixing it up as a beach cottage. Congratulations on following your dream and thanks for sharing it with us.
Debbie

Art @ Home said...

VERY inspiring post….I must needs think of a terrible idea!!!

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Carol, what an inspiring story of a step well made. Your beach cottage is a dream home. It is wonderful to get to this point knowing what might have been a huge step turned out to be the best part of your life for you and your hubby.
Best wishes always in your lovely beach cottage.
Hugs for a great weekend.
That bench on the beach looks so inviting.
XO

Cynthia said...

What a great story you shared. Your terrible idea turned into absolute paradise. You have a gem with beautiful surroundings. Sorry I've been MIA. Been busy with the new house. Take a look so far.

Cindy

Helen Philipps said...

What a wonderful story! I really love your beach cottage, and it all sounds like the perfect outcome for you and your husband! I can see why the beautiful surroundings have so inspired you both.
Happy weekend.
Helen xox

Connie said...

Carol, I find it hard to see how you get time for blogging . . . and especially with the Ocean calling your name . . . and I know it does. I don't know how you do it, but I certainly am glad that you do, and my life is richer because you do. I have received so many ideas from your blog and so much encouragement from our correspondence. It would be a very sad day for me, if you ever surrendered to the ocean's call and quit blogging.
What a Terribly Wonderful idea: Spend more money, live in smaller quarters . . . and enjoy life!
Great post!
Connie :)

Lisa said...

I love reading success stories. Thanks for the inspiration!

Nan Smith said...

What an inspiring story! I'm so impressed that you followed your heart despite all the naysayers. God knows that's very difficult. Years ago I also followed through on a terrible idea and it was life changing for my whole family. Some good and some bad but I would have always regretted not doing it. Now I have no regrets and my life is completely different than I could have imagined back then. such an adventure this life is!
Thank you for sharing and may it continue as wonderful for you forever.

Patty Antle said...

I love terrible ideas like this. What an inspiring story.

Melanie said...

I can't tell you how much I love this story. It just goes to show you - always follow your intuition and your heart.

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

This sounds like the BEST idea ever! Downsizing was nothing compared to all the joy your cottage has brought you for so many years. I'll take small and cozy over a big house any day. Thanks for sharing this story Carol.

Canadian Chickadee said...

Your house and surroundings look wonderful. Good for you for articulating your dream and acting on it! You are to be commended on your talent, bravery, and ultimately, your good sense, in spite of what your detractors said at the time. Enjoy a walk on the beach for me.

BTW - my name is also Carol! No "e", one "r", just like yours. xoxo :)

cathy@my1929charmer said...

Sometimes terrible ideas are more in someone else mind than our own. Congrats that everything turned out for the best and for your anniversary. I, like you, would have a very hard time time leaving the water.. Heck I can't leave my tiny pond!

Patricia Krank said...

I adore your house, your yard, and your neighborhood of beach buddies! I'll bet you are so happy now that you didn't listen to the nay sayers!
Blessings,
Patti

Debbiedoos said...

Carol what a fabulous turn of events! Not a bad idea at all. Life looks great for you and your hubby. So happy he pursued his passions and hobbies. Your cottage is one of the prettiest most charming places I have seen!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Carol,
I just love reading this journey of your life-every detail is filled with
passion and vitality!
Your home by the sea is truly a slice of paradise!

Sarah said...

I love reading about how you two followed your hearts and your dream. Retirement is a special time in our lives, and you two have obviously made the right decision.
Would love to join you on that beach for a morning or evening walk.

Debby said...

I think your terrible idea turned out to be something we all think was a great idea. I thought your husband was always an artist. Well he was but only works as one. He does such wonderful art. You are so creative and busy. Must be that fresh ocean air. We hope to be living in a smaller space as soon as we can sell this house. We are getting discouraged.

must love junk said...

I love that you and Steve followed your dreams instead of listening to the 'naysayers'! I adore your cottage and am envious of your lifestyle! :)
Susan

corners of my life said...

Somewhere with sand in my toes is my favorite place to be. Such a perfect terrible idea.

Cheryl said...

I love, love, love your terrible idea! Your home is beautiful and I applaud you for following your retirement dream and making it work. With views like that it's a wonder you find time to blog at all (but I'm glad you do)! I really enjoyed this post...thanks for sharing your home with us.
Cheryl

Julie Corbisiero said...

Hi and wow I love that you and your husband followed your dreams and moved into a cottage by the water. I LOVE the beach too! Thanks too for stopping by to visit me on Instagram today. Take care.
Julie @ Julie's Lifestyle

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Afternoon Carol, It always pays to listen to what your heart is saying and not what everyone else is saying. You know what is right for you and look at you both now. You are two very talented, creative people.
The size of a house does not matter. I have lived in large houses and I have lived in small houses and we have settled into each and everyone and made them a home.
The weather is beautiful in your part of the world and all I see is sunshine when I visit your blog... as warm and sunny is how you make me feel.
Congratulations on being brave enough to take the decision to live by the sea.... it certainly paid off for you both.
With warmest wishes.
Daphne

Michelle Mortensen said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. You live in a lovely spot and you have made your cottage extremely charming. Two years ago, we moved from the California Wine Country down to the beach in Santa Barbara. We, too, live in a cottage and lost a lot of square footage. My family of five is happier than we have ever been. We love the ocean breezes and the sounds of seagulls.

Down by the sea said...

Just like "Under the Tuscany sun", your idea sounded such a good one. Your home and lifestyle are wonderful. I hope our new life by the sea will be equally as rewarding. Sarah x

sweetvintageofmine said...

What a beautiful true story~~~I'm so happy you are living your dream! Blessings~~~Roxie

Debra Howard said...

What a great story! We followed through with a terrible idea when we were still very young...we left a $65,0000. (a lot back then) oilfield job for a $10 an hour paramedic job. We struggled with the difference in pay but this job was his dream. He was so much happier and it eventually led to him going to medical school to become a physician's assistant. He absolutely loves it!

Jen Ham said...

Yes, it was the best terrible idea! You have created such an amazing home...cozy, lovable and inviting! Just like you dearie! xoxo Jen

Mimi Sue said...

I love this terrible idea! Also love the white walls in your dining room. I have yellow walls in my living area but now I'm doing some thinking...Mimi

Renee said...

I think your terrible idea was a great one for you. You are living in a beautiful cottage with amazing scenery so close by.

JoAnne said...

Thank you for this wonderful tour of your home, Carol. To have an adorable cottage that you love as well as the incredible location is the best. It looks like this move was inspirational for both of you!