Welcome to house number nine for Steve and Sharman Gray, now in their 35th year of marriage. “It can be a strain to move so much when you’re working and raising kids,” says Steve. “So when Sharman appointed me project manager to build the house we really wanted, I readily accepted the role.” The strain and the moving boxes have vanished.

This all started with a family meeting in 2005. We were looking for a second home away from the city and we wanted buy-in from our kids — at that time they were in their teens. We asked what they wanted: lake, beach, or mountains. They said “lake.” We’re glad they did.

The pace took some getting used to. Steve worked in the wireless telephone industry and had always been on the go. Even after we moved here, there was some thought about going back to work. But then we settled in and made connections at church, at The Lake Club, in living rooms. We don’t miss our former pace.

We wake up to a vacation every day. One thing we wanted was for people to come and enjoy our home so much they’d want to come back. The pool and the views make it easy to come and hard to leave.

Golf isn’t just for Saturdays anymore. [Steve] When I worked full-time, I had to get in a Saturday round of golf, rain or shine. But now I can play whenever I want and still have plenty of time to spend exploring in the woods — as an outdoor person, I really enjoy doing that.

The drive here never gets old. We remember our first visit, thinking, “Wow, this is such a handsome place. It’s scenic and luxurious and laid back.” How many places can you say that about?

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