Dreaming and keeping a faith in that dream (or dreams) remains essential to my integrity. I recently went back to visit Charleston. I walked and drove around downtown, James Island and Folly Beach intent on returning to the houses and gardens that inspired my dream house. I found it nearly impossible to snap a photo and link this porch column or window molding or narrow side yard brick pathway to the vision I slowly constructed in my mind over the last two decades. My influences start in Miami, that is undeniable. How could the mid-century modern tract houses houses not leave their own imprint? Add Coconut Grove and the Miami Vice era? Then I lived in Washington, DC and traipsed around Georgetown and Embassy Row and the northwest section between New Mexico Avenue and Connecticut. My grandmothers both lived in Mobile, Alabama. Granny’s house and especially her yard burst with azaleas, gloriosa lilies and bed thickly edged with monkey grass. Around the corner, Poppa and Mucka had a stately, grand, columned home that seemed like a mansion and was quintessentially southern. Take all that and applique it onto the low rolling hills in Alachua county resplendent under the big sky of north Florida and you have the perfect canvass upon which I am building my home. Yesterday the yet unpainted front doors finally received their glass inlays while the plastering proceeded on the interior. Each day feels like a whirlwind compared to the amount of time spent searching and seeking construction financing in this recent recession and era of banking stinginess. The gestation from conception to full term has felt elephantine. Suddenly, I feel as if I am having the precipitous delivery in the back of a taxi cab. In less than six weeks, this baby will be born and I will once again have a home. I will finally have the home of which I have dreamed for years. It is certainly the dream home that has captured my heart and soul for the last four years.