Our New Digs

You may remember me writing recently about our “other home.” See that tiny little cottage behind the plane?

Yes, that, my friends, is where we live.  We actually moved out there because it was way cheaper than our apartment in Oxford.  No, I’m not kidding.

This was the first grade-one listed manor, sort of the historical registry of homes in the US, that was granted permission to be turned into apartments.  At the time, there was no roof and the central parlor was used as a stable for pregnant sheep.

It was converted in the early seventies, and it has all the bad habits of an aging and mistake-riddled home–banging pipes, terrible plywood walls covering the old stone, man, they even chopped the biggest rooms in half lengthwise to make more apartments.  I’m not kidding.  Some of the parlors had ceilings thirty feet high, which means sure, the new rooms have fifteen foot ceilings, but the ceiling decorations are massive and hang like stalagmites over the beds.  Just silly stuff.

We live in what was originally the stable block.  It was completed in 1504, on foundations dating from a monastery erected around the year 800.  Our walls are three feet thick.  It’s just so cool.

I’ll conclude this post with a reply to one of my readers’ question. Her observation about God opening and closing doors is very timely for me and my wife as we continue our journey here at Oxford.

Linda writes:

I just finished reading Book of Dreams. Once I started reading I did not want to put it down. It made me think of your book The Presence (which I read a very long time ago), the way God moves in people’s lives, one door closes, so another can be opened, and the awesome power of prayer.  Your books always bring inspiration and renewed faith in God’s love and power to me.  I have learned that things happen in our lives that we don’t always understand, but are is all part of His plan for us.  We just have to trust and believe.  Thank you for helping me remember this.


Dear Linda,

Your beautiful note has made my day. Thank you so much for this heartfelt email on the power of prayer. I am honored that my story had this impact, and hope you have a wonderful and blessed day. 

Warmest personal regards,


6 Responses to “Our New Digs”

  1. Ronie says:

    That’s fantastic! That kind of temporary is drool-worthy!

  2. Gary says:

    You tell us how bad it is, then you finish with “It’s so cool!” Only a history buff could write such. And being a history buff myself, I know exactly what you mean. (I will not be jealous, I will not be jealous, I will not….)

  3. Love it! How can you write anything but brilliant surrounded by such history? And I’m quite glad they let you park a P40 on the lawn.

  4. Carolyn Johnson says:

    Everything done in a home with that much history is bound to be very good and special. Wow! You are very much blessed–and smart–to be living there. Any further comments about the building and living there–and maybe photos(?)–would be fantastic! Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Sandy says:

    Beyond cool! Not sure I would be able to sleep at night imagining each one of God’s children and creatures that have been under that roof over the centuries. . .and now you, too!
    Corrie Ten Boom had this quote in one of her books, that has followed me through life, “God’s timing is perfect!”

  6. Joy Gage says:

    Hi Davis,
    What an awesome little cottage behind that plane! Thanks for sharing this. Like all history lovers, my imagination runs wild at the sight of the manor house. Will certainly be checking out the magazine article. Many blessings. Joy Gage

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