After you read, be sure to check out the link at the bottom to see the article inside the magazine!
I am not sure if I ever told you about how Willowbrook Farm came to be our "labor of love." If you have heard this story before, than please forgive me as I give you a brief synopsis. We were living in the best neighborhood ever, (don't we all?) where our five children could run to and from the neighbors and their friend's houses without accompaniment. They were growing up almost as close as siblings with those friends and we were all having the times of our lives "growing up"in this fashion. We had one snafu with that scenario and that was our oldest son and his education in regards to his learning differences. He was not making progress nor reaching his potential at our public school, even with his IEP so after much searching, we found what we felt was a better alternative for his needs. The only problem being, that it was at least a forty five minute commute each way, with no busing. We traversed that distance for three years while we looked at houses that would move us closer or at least close enough to get transportation. We were heartsick with the decision to even begin looking, for we truly loved our neighborhood and our friends who had become as close as family. We decided that in order to make that move and tear our family out from the roots that we all had become entangled in, the new place would have to be pretty special. As our oldest was going through Middle school in his new environment at Hill Top Prep we realized two things. The first being that Hill Top would be the place that he would most likely stay through Graduation, and that with his unique perspective on life and the way he was wired, he was not going to traverse the neighborhood social scene quite like the other kids or at least, not as he did as a little kid. What did he love that he could embroil himself in on a daily basis that might take the place of some of that social existence that is so integral in a teenager's life? Nature and the outdoors.
This was a kid who could eat, sleep and breathe for the Natural Audubon Field Guides. Okay, let's add a place where he could eat, sleep and breathe nature AND get us closer to his school, that all of us could thrive and grow in. While we were at it, we decided to bring something back into our lives, or at least my life, that had been missing for awhile from our neighborhood track home.. history and the old! As a confirmed lover of both and having spent many years of my teenage years living in an old farmhouse, maybe we could find something akin to that? You know who I drove around Chester and Montgomery Counties with for three long years to try and find just that? My partner in Life's Patina, Chris Stoner, who happened to be a real estate agent. Funny how things work out...hmmm? I will never forget after looking at five houses earlier that day that as we were driving to the last one, she said, "This is the last one and it is something called the Vassar Show House? Have you ever heard of that?" Heard of that??????
I had gone on that tour almost every year and my next door neighbor and best friend had just given me tickets to go on the tour with her for my Birthday! I said, "Chris are you crazy? These homes are always outdated elephants that while architecturally beautiful and old, they usually have no working or updated modern necessities...like indoor plumbing, heat or electricity that might not burn the house down...small details. She said, "Come on, I already bought us tickets." We had to buy tickets to see the house?
Bought tickets we did, and as I walked in the front door, I remember vividly thinking to myself...who needs heat, electricity or plumbing? We were pleasantly surprised that all three were not in bad shape. As we walked outside, I remember calling my husband and saying, "Honey, this place speaks to me." That was a joke that we always used after I looked at places. We were adamant that the home we were moving to had to speak to our soul. This one was practically screaming at me. So the rest is "history." We fell in love with a house that keeps us up at night, in many respects, has caused us to work harder than we ever have, in many respects and has fulfilled many a dream.
We would love to share it with you on this years' Chester County Day House Tour on Saturday, October 4th. We were thrilled to be a featured house in the Chester County Lines Magazine this month and even more excited for Willowbrook Farm to make the cover!
Check out the article for more information
Get your tickets soon, for it sure to be a wonderful tour this year filled with homes and properties that beautify the Chester County landscape.The Life's Patina Barn at Willowbrook Farm will also be open during the tour as well!
Thank you for reading!