While all the rest of the state of Texas is sweltering under oppressive temperatures, I am reaching for a blanket to snuggle under here at the Sheehan house. A gentle rain is falling and a cool breeze is gently wafting through the house. The temperature sits at a nearly chilly 69°. The thunder rumbles loudly ringing Fall with a BANG! Over an inch of rain has fallen and the draw beside the house is running. The waterfall beside the bridge is running as well and the sound is heavenly. It maybe time to get in the kitchen and make a batch of Ginger Snaps to complete the full feel of Fall. The joys of living in the “Alps” of Texas.
Today was sheer perfection!!! I thought. The windows here in the Sheehan House are wide open and have been day and night for the past bit. The sounds of the cool night breezes blowing through my grandmother’s wind chimes sooth my soul. The smell of freshly wet dirt fills my heart. Cooler temperatures make me happy. I haven’t been outside much during the middle of the day for the past few days as I have been doing laundry and cleaning house for several showings. We just returned from Marine basic graduation where my eldest son graduated, OOOH RAAAH!! So the laundry was piled high. I went up to my neighbors house today and realized that it was quite warm!! I had almost wanted for a blanket in the house before leaving. I love how efficient adobe walls are!! The house had retained its overnight cool and when I left around 3, I thought it was that it was around 70°. How wrong I was!! It was in the mid to high 80s!! Even my afternoon guests remarked on how cool the house was. On the hottest of West Texas days it is quite nice here and on the coldest of winter days, I am never cold! This house is amazing!!!
Have you ever been through a screaming hot day and think “Wow, Fall is so close I can almost touch it!”? That is where I have been this week. Some of the hottest days in Texas have been felt by so many over the past two weeks but I feel Fall! Football season is on us and the purple and gold is out in full force here in Alpine! GO BUCKS! The light in the evening has gotten longer and softer. There is a crispness first thing in the morning. All harbingers of Fall! This, this is my favorite time of year. The hot summer is nearly gone. Late summer rain storms pop up in the afternoons with a wildness that exciting. My kitchen, here in the Sheehan house beckons to me. Time for Ginger Snaps, pumpkin muffins, and chili! But this excitement can wait.
First to grab the paint! The front door of the Sheehan house needs a pick me up that falls in line with the season. I love how fresh coat of paint makes everything seem new and full of life again. With the help of a wonderful neighbor (ohhh how lucky the new owners of this house will be to inherit our amazing neighbors) we got to work. I am absolutely in love with the results. Nothing like red to welcome in Fall.
Yall come by and see. Slow down and open the wondows, you might catch a whiff of kitchen love. Stop by. Lets have some coffee and a Ginger Snap. Ohhh okay, lets have several.
When a house comes on the market it always makes me ask why. I know that’s a bit nosey but I want to know. Are there leaky pipes? Is it a bad neighborhood? Has that family out grown it? Are they leaving the area because its a bad community? Again, I know nosey of me but I want to know before I place my family in the middle of it all.
So I assume there has to be at least one person out there who wants to know why. Especially if they have read any of there other posts here about the love we have for the Sheehan house. And we do truly deeply love this house!! Its our place of respite. It is our home. It is part of us. It is our calm in a storm. So WHY have we decided to place it on the market?
Our family has been in ranching since before Texas was a state. Ranching is in our blood. It is our soul. When God moved us into town it was the hardest thing we have ever done. Our children have gone stir crazy as have we. We have missed wide open spaces and our animals. Late last year the doors opened up for us. A piece of land came available that was just right for us. A piece of land with views that most people dream of. Over the past year we have built a small house with our own hands with our children by our side for every step. Now for the hard part. Now to give up our house in town and hope that it blesses another family as much as it has us.
The view out our new kitchen window.
The view out our new front door.
So when the question of why comes up, now you know. Now you know there are no leaky pipes or bad neighbor issues, because let me tell you, we will miss our wonderful city water pressure and dear sweet neighbors that we will miss dearly. Now you know that its a great community, and one we are proud to be a part of generationally. Yes, maybe we have out grown this home that has been the balm to our souls but not because of its size but because of our need for wide open spaces. This house that I personally, will bawl like a baby to leave behind because its become a friend and a part of me.
I will miss these walls. A vast majority of the walls in the Sheehan house are the original adobe walls. 18 thick solid walls. It really rang home to me again today how amazing these walls are. There was a huge downpour today and I never had an idea until the kids all came in soaking wet. In most houses you hear storms outside but in the main parts of the Sheehan house behind the adobe things remain peaceful and calm.
These walls have seen more things than we could ever imagine. They have heard of the news of a new grandbaby to be born, this past Thanksgiving. They have heard the joy of sisters laughing at a special inside moment. They have seen the sun rise and set. They have seen my children grown. They have heard the laughs of family gatherings. Before our time they saw ball room dancing. They saw our community bind together during World Wars. They have seen the town pass by. After all of this they still stand straight, tall and solid. So solid and strong that you always feel safe and at peace in the Sheehan home.
The dog days of summer are here!! Waahooo!! Sounds crazy to be excited about the worst part of summer in an area of Texas where the real feel is over a hundred degrees everyday? No. Not with the nights chilly enough to make sure you want to snuggle up with your honey still. Not with the promise of Fall in front of us.
Sitting in the long beautiful backroom of The Sheehan house, with the cool air blowing, looking into the back yard it almost feels like Spring. The chickens are strolling across the yard. The big leaves on the Mulberry, Elm and Oak trees are gently swaying to the constant breeze that keep things cooler than you might think. The shadows play hide and seek with each other. Sitting here its hard to believe that you are smack dab in the middle of town with all the trees and green grass around.
Soon it will be Fall and the back yard will be in full display of its Fall finery. The Esperanza will be in full bloom soon. The Mulberry will fill your heart with Fall colors. Its a beautiful sight to see. This back room and its view are something that must be experienced.
The Sheehan house boasts a darling cottage in the back yard for your guests! 500 sq ft full of beautiful natural light ready to be soaked in. Being at the back of the house your quests will enjoy a secluded and quiet stay. It even boasts its own private patio area! In the one room of the cottage there is a refrigerator and stove. Plenty of space for a kitchen counter with the water connections and drain already installed. The bathroom is hidden behind a darling sliding barn door and boasts a beautiful rock shower. This casita is ready to be a quiet place for friends and family or an income producing B and B or rental.
There is often one room in the house that is or becomes the hub. In the Sheehan house, that room is the kitchen. It’s a place where folks gather. The long counter tops on either side invite the adopted Sul Ross college kids to sit and unload as a meal is prepared around them. Children run through laughing and giggling. The smells that emanate from this kitchen seem to pull people in. The big gas stove (there is even power to the back for an electric stove as well) seems to pump out food. The under the cabinet radio plays the soft sounds of the local station. The warmth that flows from this simple room fills belly, heart and soul.
The holiday seasons things seem to amp up. Cookies for neighbors. Fresh ground flour for homemade breads. Laughter and love seems to pour out from this room. Bing Cosby softly carols from the radio. Your whole being is wrapped in a warm blanket of spices from the ginger snaps and the earthy aroma of fresh bread. Vanilla seems to linger in the air. The room embodies Christmas!
You never know what you will see living along this creek here at the Sheehan house. Over the years we have had coons in the big elm trees along side the long drive. We have found Javalina chilling in the front yard as if they owned the place. The number of bird species, including fluttering humming birds, is amazing. But among our native guests, the deer are our favorite. They bed down in the side of the creek and graze there as well. The sight of them, walking along, unafraid during the day is always a happy one. This particular guy is like a neighbor to us. He is almost like a mob boss with the other deer. They all wait for him to give the coast is clear sign and then follow him everywhere. They watch his moves. He sets the pace. He is our friend.
Summer means something so very special at the Sheehan house. It means back yard living!!! It means BBQ with friends because nothing says summer like BBQ. It means the invigorating scent of fresh cut grass. In the large back yard at the Sheehan house, it means peace. A place to relax and unwind. A place to forget the cares of the world. A place to gather with family, friends and neighbors and project a movie late into the night. Then there are those special nights in this oasis where you can just sit with a fire pit blazing and listen to bands playing around town in the distance. The peacefulness is almost overwhelming. But the absolutely best part of the back yard in my opinion is a blanket laid on the cool grass, laid out flat staring up at the night skies. There is something about the skies in the Big Bend area that are haunting and peaceful all at the same time. You feel as if you are staring into eternity. As you lay there, a cool breeze reminds you of the here and now. The Mulberry trees flutter in an age old tune. A cricket chirps in the corner of the yard and all feels right with the world.