What If?

As we drove down Henry Clay Boulevard one day not too long ago, my father pointed to a house and said, "My parents looked at that house before they eventually bought the house on Cooper Drive. I have always wondered how my life would be different if they had bought it instead."


I once read a Kurt Vonnegut story about a man who traveled back in time to see the dinosaurs. The guide warned him not to step off the path, which, of course, he did, crushing a butterfly in the process. When he returned from the past he discovered a present that was subtly but undeniably different because he had crushed one butterfly thousands of years before.

My mind reeled with the possible lives my father could have led which would, now that you mention it, have made my life quite different. His best friend as a child, Tom (who lived around the corner from Cooper on Scoville), introduced my parents when they were all in college and eventually became my father's business partner. If Tom hadn't grown up with my father, known him well enough to introduce him to his wife's friend and then set them up on a blind date, I would not exist. I'd like to think that my parents were destined to meet one way or another but if they hadn't, my father would be married to an entirely different woman and have a completely different set of kids.

A person could easily become paralyzed when realizing that every single decision has such potential to affect a life.

I spent a week playing the "What If" game. What if I had not gone to New York the weekend I met and fell in love with my husband? Which calls to mind all of the "what ifs" involved in even taking the trip. What if the crazy girl from California hadn't been staying with me? What if she hadn't called the police on my crazy former boyfriend because he might or might not have "verbally abused" her? What if he hadn't ended up in jail with a DUI because she did? Would he have still let me, a mere ex-girlfriend, drive his car to New York if he weren't in jail? Would we have gone on the trip at all without his large car to drive? And suddenly I realize that my fate and my husband's fate depended upon an argument between two crazy people about the song on the radio.

When I was 16, my parents decided that our family of seven could no longer reasonably fit in the house where we had lived for most of my life. They spent months searching for the perfect house and narrowed it down to three houses, which they took us to see. The house they eventually bought felt perfect to all of us the second we stepped through the doors. We all connected with the house. I thought then and still do that my parents were very cool to listen to a bunch of kids about which house to buy. We also looked at a farmhouse way out Tates Creek Road which we rejected because a.) green indoor/outdoor carpeting covered all the floors and b.) the bedrooms lined up in a row so you had to go through one to get to the next; we were all dying for a little privacy so we quickly vetoed that house. The only thing I remembered about the third house was its lot. It sat on Tates Creek Road, just past New Circle on a tiny farm.

Now, many years later, that house is on the market again.

The house, the original farmhouse of Gainsway Farm (which became the Gainsway subdivision), sits on about 4 and a half acres. The stone house with its green tile roof hides behind ancient shrubs along Tates Creek and mature trees sit near it. Owner Shaun Adams believes the house was built in the 1920s.

Each end of the long formal living room opens to generously proportioned and light-filled sunrooms. One overlooks the front lawn and a two-story guest house and vine covered stone out-building while the other boasts luminescent blue, green and yellow tiles that have the look of Rookwood, and overlooks the brick patio surrounding the kidney shaped pool that was built when kidney shaped pools were the latest thing. Low stone walls on the patio provide dimension and seating.

The house has a wonderful open feel but a den with its grasscloth walls and built-in bookshelves provides a warm and cozy counterpoint to the rest of the house. Upstairs, the bedrooms with their spacious closets share two large bathrooms.

We moved into our new house the day I turned 17. I could and did drive myself everywhere I wanted to go. I continued to attend Henry Clay and then I went away to college after living in that house for one year, which, I imagine, is exactly what I would have done had we moved into the house on Tates Creek. Or maybe not. I tried playing the "what if" game, but I had gotten so scared playing it before that I am now afraid to even begin to sort the possibilities. I decided to believe that it all happens for a reason; once it has happened it can only happen the way it did happen, and the best thing to do is just thank God for every twist and turn of fate that brings us to where we stand today.



3514 Tates Creek Road

4000 square feet, 4.58 acres

4 bedroom, 3 bath

Contact Jim Halfhill 276-4811

If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at lsims@aceweekly.com.