Nine months ago, the foundation work began on the first slab of the first house at Hill Country Casitas, a new specialty lodging property in Dripping Springs, TX that my husband and I, on some half-cooked idea, decided to build. Today, there are 10 beautiful, incredibly comfortable Casitas, a Texas-sized Fire Pit, and a Pavilion nearing completion where many a memory will be made. How did this happen with our Ma and Pa operation? Lots of hard work, long hours and… friends. Yes, our friends stepped up and gave their time, muscle and sweat, mental acuity and passion for our little project. Throughout the building process, our friends helped us asking for nothing in return. They say you can measure a person’s wealth by their friends. If so, Ron and I are filthy rich.
Fortunately, though challenging at times, my husband Ron is very hard working. In fact he works until the job is done, despite his 59 year old physical being’s limitations. As general contractor and chief laborer, he only subbed out what he couldn’t do himself, mostly due to our deadlines. The construction piece was his baby and boy did he build while saving our project hundreds of thousands. Meanwhile, my last day as an employee with a paycheck (eeeek!) was October 7th. Thus started my career as a full-time Innkeeper. But wait, one must have an Inn to keep to be an Innkeeper. So, Ron built, and I designed and furnished. And marketed and sold. All to the point of literal pure exhaustion. That’s half the story.
One thing in my life that I know is special and often rare, and I am grateful for, is a large circle of good friends. Ron shares this circle too. From our first telling of The Casitas dream, our friends were cheering us on and encouraging us to a point, from our perspective, of surprising confidence. But that’s not all. They put sweat in the game too.
Our friends in the furniture business, Austin’s Couch Potatoes, helped us with great deals on Mexican Imported bedroom furniture, premium mattresses and top of the line sofa beds, and they delivered it all on their days off! Other friends advised on interior design. Another friend staged and took marketing photos in all the Casitas. One of our good friends has worked, and continues to work, daily for us in a desperately needed and sorely underpaid assistant chief laborer position (Robert in the pic to the left). More friends spent their vacation painting directional signs for the property. Another took an entire day to help me do inventory in each Casita. The list goes on.
Then the first weekend in December, some of our best friends spent the weekend at The Casitas. And that Saturday, after a respectable party the night before, our middle-aged friends stacked firewood, treated leather furniture, picked up construction trash, painted wood panel pieces for the grand wall in the Pavilion, unpacked new patio furniture, broke down furniture boxes, moved furniture all over the place, cut trails (called “lopping?”) around the property and so much more.