Life Ashore

Presenting my parents new house

By August 24, 2014 15 Comments

The driveway & houseThe great roomTrain room5 car garage

Well after over a year of the wandering gypsy lifestyle my parent decided to build a new house on land that use to be apart of the farm my dad grew up on.  It is right on I35 an hour north of Kansas City.  What they did was carve a section out of the field of beans and had a prefabricated Morton metal barn build and then finished out three quarters of it. Of course, they had to deal with all the typical pests that are found in a field and called in a company like to deal with the issue.

Now that I have started my off season I am able to come visit and see it for the first time.  I so want to leave the doors open, so when my dad yells “do you think we live in a barn” I can answer yes and be done with it!!!

This whole week will be dedicated to showing their new house off, but I want to point out some of the biggest features.  As you can see from the first photo, they have a very long driveway and they also got an expert locksmith from nyc locksmith to fix all the locks in the house so is also secure.  In fact my dad says it cost almost as much as their entire first house 40 years ago.

The best feature of the house is a common trait in newer homes…the great room (see 2nd photo).  They have a wonderful kitchen (I hope to try out some new tasty dishes here) with a giant counter sticking out (of course a benefit my mom did not anticipate is it a great place to write from, work on projects, repair things, and apparently lay down on when putting drops in your ear).  The large room is responsible for producing lots of household tasks keeping everyone busy, it also holds the dinning room, living room, and my mom’s office (she is using the desk I refinished in Colorado).

In the third photo you can see my dad’s train room.  He is able to display many of his train and date nail collections here and around the ceiling you can see a shelf where he is finally going to get to have a model train going around the room (this has been talked about since my middle brother was tiny).

I am amazed at how well they were able to take the belongings from a 3300 foot house and squeeze them so nicely into only 2000 feet.  Of course the one place they upsized is the garage in the forth photo.  They went from a two car garage, they had not been able to park into for over three decades, to a five car one.  The funny thing is that with my dad’s collection, new tractor & attachments, and his new mower he does not think he will be able to park his truck in the garage.  Go figure.  🙂

So what do you think of the place?  Why don’t you leave them a comment below?  Also come back each day this week to see more of their house with a photo on Mon, Wed, and Fri; another short blog on Tue and Thur; and ending with a video on Sat.  Enjoy the week!


  • Sheila Grant says:

    Bill and Dee, What a terrific house. Unique and practical at the same time. I wish your entire family many years of happy gatherings in your lovely home.

    I am preparing to move as well. Wanted to move to Florida since my first visit there in 1966. Tried to get transferred there, interviewed for jobs there numerous times and it just never seemed to work out. Now that I’m retired, decided I could live wherever I wanted to. Expect to be moved before Christmas. Several really close friends from my airline days have already retired there. I’m not building a new house but purchased one very close to my dream home. Still have to get the yard fenced and a pool built before moving. (gotta have a pool when you live in Florida). LOL.

    Shane, I sent links to your website to some family and friends of mine who love cruises and diving of all sorts. Your boat is absolutely beautiful. Don’t be surprised if you hear from them, especially my oldest son and his wife. That is just their kind of vacation.
    Regards and Blessings to all.

  • Joe and Adriane Young says:

    Love what you’ve done with the place. Can’t wait to visit. That is such a nice garage, we’ll sleep there. Well, I will.

  • Marlene and Terry says:

    Shane, Bill and Dee
    How many years have we talked about your house on the farm in Missouri? And now it is a reality!! It looks great and so practical. Do those metal buildings stay cool in summer and warm in winter? We hope the Lord blesses you with many happy years in this new place.

  • Sarah Bennet Brauer "old" college roomate says:

    Dee and Bill So glad you are in your new home. It looks GREAT! Its so neat that Shane is doing this narrative and pictures .

  • Elaine Mattingly says:

    Dear Dee (my “twin”) and Bill,
    I am so happy that you finally have a place to call “home” once again! Thanks to Shane for the photographic visit to see how much you all have accomplished and now you can enjoy the fruits of your labors! You know that I have so many precious memories of years past when my daughter and your sons were like a 2nd family and the many times you included her in your family outings when Bill was her “Big Brother”. You can never know how much that meant to me at that time in our lives. Now, I pray that the Lord will grant you many wonderful years in your new home. Many blessings to you and the boys.!!

  • Shane says:

    Thank you for the kind comments on the writing and about them being in their new house.


  • Jan Langaston says:

    Bill & Dee,

    So happy to hear that you are now into your new home!!! I know it was all worth the time and effort to bring you where you are now — into your new home, near your family and old friends. Love the open concept of the living room/dining and kitchen being combined. You two thought of everything. The garage looks like a good place for a square dance event! You can never have too much space for storing things and parking vehicles.

    We miss you soooooo much but are happy that you are happy to be settled into your new home. May God continue to bless you and your family in all that you do.

    Love to you, Jan and Leroy

  • Shane says:


    You will totally enjoy St John. LMK if you need an ideas of where to go. Of course you could always charter the Guiding light for a week and we could sail around St John for a week. I have had several people do this and love it. Plus I would love to have guys back aboard!!!! I don’t normally do day sails, but I would for you guys if I am available.


  • Faye Lenox says:

    Bill and Dee,

    WOW! Your dream finally came true! May you have many happy years ahead with family and friends in your lovely home.

    Lots of love,
    Faye & Pete

  • Larry & Marlys Melton says:

    WOW! We love your new Kansas home. You’ve been busy. Thanks, Shane, for the fantastic update. Blessings to you in your new farm home!

  • Mom and Dad says:

    We are really enjoying our new home. After living in motel rooms for 18 months, it seems quite spacious even though we did downsize. We are amazed that we kept things that worked beautifully in the new house. When we sold our Dallas home and had an estate sale to let someone else enjoy some of our “stuff”, we were not sure what we were going to do in the future. In fact, Bill was in and out of the hospital and we were not even able to leave Dallas for 5 months after the house sold. God’s hand was in all of the move by giving us the foresight to know what to keep and putting wonderful people in our lives to help with the transition. If you need a realtor in the Dallas area, contact Faye Lenox with Keller Williams. For a estate sale, get in touch with Jack and Rhonda Melton. A group of firefighters have a moving business and were a tremendous help along with two of our sons in getting our stuff packed up to bring to Missouri to put in storage. Once we got to Missouri, Lanny Wright with Morton Buildings helped us from start to finish in getting our building up and ready for our carpenter, Randy Gibler, to take over and finish out the inside. The hard part about giving credit is that you always miss someone. Just let me say, that there were people all along the way who went out of their way to make our transition from Dallas to Missouri much easier than we would have ever imagined.

  • Marilyn Woicik says:

    Dear Dee & Bill,
    I love seeing your dreams come true and doing the things
    you have always desired to do.
    Our God is faithful to hear our hearts and give us the desires of our heart.
    May He continue to bless you as you enjoy the fruits of your labor.
    Love the house & can’t wait to see more pics when the train is up & running!

    Marilyn 1stAPS

  • Nancy Beebe says:

    Love his description of the house, it certainly looks and sounds nice. If he ever decides to give up his sea legs, he could become an author.

  • Janice Tilma says:

    Look I get to see it completed . The last time I saw the “barn” it had no interior walls nor garage doors. Looks great.

  • Victor B says:

    I was born and raised in Kansas (Hutchinson). I now live on the central coast of California six blocks from the ocean. I can appreciate the expanse of your parent’s home. Land is “cheap” inland and they have a lovely home. In comparison, our home started at 1,000 sq ft and we were able to expand to 1,400, which doesn’t include converting the garage to a rec room w/o permits to provide a teenager’s hangout! Kansas is a beautiful area. Did they sell their Texas house? Much colder in KC than Dallas.

    BTW, planning a trip to STJ in November; do you do day or overnight charter’s if not already booked?

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