About twenty years ago my mother died after a long illness. My father took care of her and I helped a lot. Five months after she passed away my father had a stroke and died, right out of the blue. All of a sudden, I inherited a lot of money and a lot of furniture and our life changed. At the time we were living in a little rental house in Durham. It was time to buy a house of our own. I was forty-five and I had never bought a house and didn’t know how to buy one which made me quite nervous.
One night I was having dinner with a good friend of my parents and a good friend of mine. She was the mother of my best friend and has been important to me for my whole life. I was lamenting the fact that I had to buy a house and she looked at me and said, “What is your dream house?” And immediately I said, “We would love to Chatham County on a piece of land big enough to have large gardens and it would be really cool to live on the Haw River.” We had friends out that way and had already met a lot of people who lived in Chatham.
Two days later she called me and said, “I have this friend who has this brother selling a house in Chatham County and it is on the Haw River. You should check it out.” I contacted this guy and we came out to take a look. It took us a couple of months to get out here. When we finally did, it was so drop dead gorgeous that we couldn’t believe it. Even though we had been to a financial planner and had a budget and this house was beyond that budget, we said, “Why not? We have all this money.” It felt like playing Monopoly. We bought it and we never even looked at another house. It just felt like this house was coming right to us.
Our daughter Katie has been able to grow up here, wild and free. She turned nine when we moved here. Her birthday is in May and it was really warm so we did a Floating on the Haw River Birthday Party. We had all these little girls floating on inner tubes going down our little rapids. It was darling.
Debra Wuliger, figurative artist working with color, texture and pattern to celebrate life.
Image silhouetted with story. Ready for hanging.