Friday, October 29, 2010

I Have Found The Family Compound And It Is Sweet

All right. First go


Watch the little slide show.

Now. Let me tell you a story.
When I was a little girl and lived in Roseland, there was a couple that my grandparents knew who lived in the house at the very end of the road we lived on. They were named Frank and Kay Baisden. He was an artist and art professor. She was his wife and wore long colorful skirts and silver bangles because they spent part of the year in Mexico City where Frank taught art at the university there sometimes. They were sort of Bohemian, I guess, looking back now, and I adored Kay and was fascinated and a bit frightened by Frank.
They took tea every afternoon and sometimes we were invited. I remember the tea pot and the cream and sugar cubes and lemon, if you'd rather have lemon, and Kay would read our tea leaves and they lived in one of the most awesome houses in the world (or so it seemed to me).
I have always been as fascinated by that house as I have been of this little cottage with the pool and oh yes, by the way, they're practically adjoining properties.

So. Mr. Moon and I were taking the back road to the beach this morning and we passed this sign:

"Turn around! Go back!" I said and Mr. Moon did and we pulled up into the driveway and this is where it ended:

The other side of the Baisden House.

For a moment I could not speak. Then I could only whisper.
I called the number. Mr. Jamar answered. I recovered my voice and asked about the property.
"Oh, that's a very special property," he said.
"I know. What are they asking?"
And if I thought Garnet Hanshaw's house was out of my league, well...
"How many acres?"
"About five."
And that was really all I needed to know so I thanked him and hung up.

Mr. Moon said we should go look at it just for fun. So I called back and we met him at four and oh Lord. Well. The original small house is still there. Here's the living room fireplace. The whole thing is old pine. It looked exactly as it had when I took tea there with Frank (who did not like children) and Kay, who had always wanted children.

And the little front porch where a dog bit me. He didn't mean to. It was okay.

But they've added a whole other part to the house, made of an old store that was down the road in Wabasso and it is beautiful too. Florida, Florida, Florida.
I took pictures but they suck.

I would be perfectly content to own that house with its two bedrooms and funky kitchen and front porch. But no. There's more. An old train depot has been moved onto the property and that's where the current owners actually live. It's nice but not nearly as nice as the old house. I love the way it's all been decorated though.


And there are two other buildings on the property, one set up as an apartment, one barebones but darling on the outside.
And...there's a boardwalk through the jungle to the river. Palms, bamboo, ferns, you name it.
Florida, Florida, Florida.


So kids- hey! If you ALL moved to Roseland with us, we could do this thing. There's a place for everyone to live. The family compound. You know you've always wanted to do that! There's a medical complex right down the road where Jessie could work and there's a Publix right down the road where Lily and Jason could work and May and Hank- y'all could find something! We'll start a business! Yes! We will! And we'll all live on the Baisden property in the compound and we'll fish and canoe and eat citrus and mangoes and avocados and plant a big ass garden and flowers everywhere and build a giant cement pool with mermaids at the corners and turn old outbuildings into studios and tool sheds and potting sheds and work rooms and GOD DAMN! IT'LL BE AWESOME! There's an elementary school nearby for Owen when he's ready.
And, and, and...
A girl can dream, right?
Are you with me kids? Are you playing the lottery?

Can't you just see it?

We could have chickens!

Breathe, Mary. Just breathe.

But still- can't you just see it?

I can.

Think about it, kids. Get back to me.

Love...Your mama who wants us all to live in Roseland by the river in the old Baisden house.

P.S. There is room for more than just the immediate family. Kathleen? Williamsons? Lunsfords? You in?


  1. It sure beats living in A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
    Wonderful story--what a visit, being bale to see that home, and all the other places you've seen too.

  2. Fuck Yes. I get the cottage!!!!!!

  3. but... but... may!..i wanted the cottage!!!!!!!!

  4. One of my fantasies has always been to live in a sort of compound/commune with people I love. If you do it, can I come too?

  5. Oh my god. Just Do It. Do it!

    How far away is it from where you are?

  6. What an amazing place! The slide show is gorgeous! If I go in on it with you, will you adopt me into your family???

  7. I get the cottage with May!!!

    (I'm sure that's exactly what she was thinking. Right, May?)

  8. That is a dream property. And you have actual childhood memories of the place! I love the boardwalk to the river most of all, I think. I would like to be adopted so I can live on the compound too! Thanks for sharing more wonderful Florida with us.

  9. Michele R- Whoa! It REALLY beats living in a van down by the river. Which, you know, I could do.

    Nola- Well come on then.

    Stephanie- You can grow our grapes.

    May- You may want the apartment. But...whatever you want, babycakes. Whatever you want.

    Danielle- Duke it out with May.

    Elizabeth- Oh, hell yes.

    Jo- Where I am in Lloyd? About five and a half hours. From where I am in Roseland? About a stone's throw. Maybe.

    DTG- Are you kidding? I've never sen so many lizards.

    Dianne- Why not?

    SJ- You guys and the cottage.

    Mel- It makes me happy to be able to show people what Florida really does look like. Some places, anyway. Where it hasn't been screwed up completely.

  10. Can we move in? Kevin could totally do the finances. He's good with numbers and saving money and stretching every dollar right down to the very last penny. And he's good at investing too. And I could totally be a home school teacher if that's what Owen's parents want for him. (Right now Isabella is the smartest kid in her classroom, quite possibly the whole kindergarten in her school)

  11. Oh and the fireplaces down in Roseland Florida....what's up with that? If I lived in Roseland, I'm sure I would totally be wearing t-shirts and blue jeans in January and February......Florida winters are the most awesome (except last year when you guys got lots of freezing weather) Our freezing weather just started and will continue until March at least.

  12. Well, since there's acreage we could still build on it, right? Cause I want a cottage, too.

  13. Hell yes, a girl can dream!!!

    Wow, this is incredible; the slideshow is making me drool! Oh, the porches, the telephone on the kitchen counter, the painting in the hallway, the walkway to the river, the jungle acreage, it all screams OLD FLORIDA: Keep me, love me, make me yours!

    What a beautiful Moon compound this would be ~ oh, I dare to dream it can happen!

  14. You have to dream it to do it! So go ahead and dream. What a wonderful, wonderful dream.

  15. Mama, I'm serious, I would definitely live there! Put me in one of those houses, give me a fishing pole and an avacado, and I'm a happy girl. :)

  16. I'm so glad you got to look around. LOVED these pics and the tour link and your excitement. Could you really leave your dream house though for this dream spot?

  17. A good compound is hard to find.

  18. Wowsa. Now that's a compound! Can't see a damn thing wrong with it, except the mannequin. That shit gives me the creeps. That bitch would have to go! I wouldn't be able to come and visit until her ass went. I would be afraid to go to sleep. I have serious mannequin issues.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.