My marriage survived the information omission and once I showed Michael all of the research on retreats in Texas he jumped on board...well...more like cautiously walked on board:)
"Take it to the studs!" was the battle cry. Strong feelings of being "in over my head" were a constant companion as contractors and helpers came and went over the next 9 months.
Slowly but surely over the weeks and months things began to take shape. I cannot remember how many trips were made to the city dump and building supply warehouses. I became a back up pro with a lowboy trailer:)
We completed the cottage in December 2009. Hallelujah, what a happy result! Taken to the studs and back again, Nellie's exuded all the cottage charm of my vision!
There were many moments of complete despair during those initial 9 months of renovation. Even 7 years later anxiety can surface when thinking about this project! There were a few miracles along the way, and I often felt the spirit of my grandparents spurring me on.
Nellie's Cottage has continued to evolve and expand. A new large project room was added on the back of Nellie's, and Flossy's (Nellie's sister) cottage was renovated for additional sleeping space.
I sometimes sit in the driveway carried away in the wonder of this journey. As the girl who wrote "I will never forget you", I could not have imagined it would be so literal...that I would be the proprietor and caretaker of their home.
Creative, kind and lovely women come from near and far to retreat at Nellie's Cottage. I always tell them the story of Nellie & Albert, about their courage and love. I end this story with a new poem...