Scott is a professor at Purdue where he has been teaching organizational leadership for more than 20 years and is also a principal owner of Hutcheson Associates. Lisa is the vice president of prevention and policy and Mental Health America of Indiana and also a lobbyist, and has been working in the public health field for 25 years. Henry is the oldest son and will graduate from Purdue in 2023 and Oliver will graduate from high school in 2023.
We bought our first house after enjoying life for several years in a 3,000 square foot loft in Lebanon's downtown square ( great space for parties!). Though we didn’t know it at the time, we were already expecting our first child when we purchased our little blue house in 2000, which we diligently repaired and remodeled (think wood paneling, acoustical tiles hiding 10 foot ceilings, and brown shag carpeting). We loved our little blue house (which became our little brown house) and rearing our two rambunctious boys there (with their neighbor friends they once created a "Museum of Natural Nature" on our back porch which housed such treasures as a bird skeleton and a squirrel tail). But when the boys were around 7 and 10, we realized we had outgrown the house and though we loved it, it was time to find something larger (the boys were sharing a room and there was only one tiny bathroom).
We had driven through Ulen many times admiring the beautiful and unique homes and one day we noticed the Tudor for sale. I was immediately obsessed and loved everything about it! Scott, being the pragmatic realist, reminded me that I worked at a non-profit and he worked at a university so we would likely never be able to afford to live in that house, in that neighborhood. I humored him and half heatedly looked at other houses that were for sale but I could only think of the Tudor. I would dream about it! I literally drove or walked past it every day for months and through persistence (or annoyance) Scott finally agreed and we talked to a realtor about trying to purchase it.
I remember the day the family who owned the house was having an estate sale and I was very watchful as everyone was walking on "my lawn" and walking around in "my house" - I knew we had to buy it as soon as possible! I remember looking at the bird bath that was set far back into the overgrown trees and bushes and thinking how much I wanted that in the English garden that I would plant. But before I could bid on it, someone purchased it. It was a simple bird bath with female figure in the center and I couldn't stop think about how beautiful she would look among my flowers.
I don't know if you believe in manifest destination or not, but I truly believe this house was meant for us. With some creative and hard work on behalf of our realtor (thanks, Heather!), and a lot of patience (more than a year), we finally turned the key and opened the door. It was literally the house of my dreams! And that bird bath? She was meant to be mine because whomever bought her never came back to get her. She now sits proudly in the center of my flower garden.
It’s definitely not the most grand house in the neighborhood (about 2.500 square feet with the basement), our lawn doesn’t abut the beautiful greens of the golf course, and we don’t have a glass carriage house in which to park our cars (in fact, our garage is too small for even Scott's Honda!)…but to us, it is our grand Manor and we can't imagine living anywhere else.
Our neighborhood is a tranquil, peaceful place where our boys rode bikes and played soccer in the street, we can walk to the community park, and if we would ever want to play golf (which we don't) the golf course is across the street. Neighbors are friendly and we watch out for each other. We know utopia doesn’t exist, but maybe we have found a little of it here.