It is our home and where we live. It only has a name because OF OUR Airbnb enterprise. The name fits so well that I decided to keep it and often use the name e to promote my other business, The Landscape Express. It hasn’t always been a part of our lives. Despite the name and the appearance of age it has only been around for eight years. It is the culmination of a small dream, which is to live, work and raise my family in my own garden oasis. This little patch of paradise, however, is not in a sweet little homogenous suburb, a gated community or sleepy farm town. It is in The Springfield National Historic District which is a fancy name for an up and coming neighborhood with lots of old houses and a history as being one of the most drug infested, crime ridden hotbeds in downtown Jacksonville, at least until about ten years ago. Over the past couple of decades urban pioneers, city agencies and CDCs have managed to transform it into a livable, safe area with beautifully renovated homes as well as new builds that fit a historic vision.
Or journey to Springfield began with a home in a popular historic area called San Marco, on a quiet street near a duck pond. Children on bikes, families walking to school and all the trappings of middle class life were our standard for many years. Our house was large, drafty, and constantly being renovated, serviced or roofed. It was a fine place for the time but as the children grew into Adolescence and found their place in the public schools they wanted to attend we started flirting with Springfield. We renovated a small investment house in Springfield and fell in love with the idea of having a smaller, new, energy efficient home that we could mold into the space we had dreamed of. We saw lots of houses in our search as the market was just starting to crash. We managed to sell our home in San Marco just in time and find a new, unfinished beauty. The builder was on the cusp of getting out of Springfield and gave us a deal. It was a two story, craftsman style cottage and they agreed to throw in the lot next door as well.
Seven years after moving here I can say we have no regrets and relish our new life here. Behold the virtues of taking a chance, going outside your comfort zone and believing in being part of the change.