Robert Lewis Stevenson wrote “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” after the story came to him in a dream. Lewis Redner got the melody for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” while he was asleep. So Carolyn Guay has some good company for how her home came to be.
“I just dreamed this house,” Guay says. “This one turned out much better than the one I dreamed. This has southern exposure. The one I dreamed faced west; it was so dark.”
Her husband, who was a draftsman, turned the dream into reality.
“I said ‘Oh, Louis, you should have seen the house I dreamed,’ ” Guay says. “ ‘You should build it. And he said ‘Hmmm — I will.’ ”
The Guays, who lived in Perry at the time, had some land just outside of town. Building started in 1990 or 1991 — mostly on Sunday afternoons. The couple moved in in 1994.
“He did all the work,” Guay says. “He loved doing start to finish on houses.”
Louis passed away in 2000 before the house was entirely finished. Guay had the family room finished, but has left one bedroom as it is.
The house is filled with comfort. A wall of windows lets in plenty of light and offers a magnificent view of the outside. A slit window in the east wall lets in morning light.
Whimsical collections fill china closets, line kitchen cupboards and peek out from unexpected places. The home’s flair should come as no surprise. Guay is a retired middle-school art teacher. And she has a friend who taught her the fine art of garage saling.
“Too bad!” Guay laughs. “But it’s an inexpensive activity, and you never know what you’ll find.”
Guay was an only child and an only grandchild, so she “inherited everything,” she says. All these items give the house a charming, cozy atmosphere.
“To live on four acres like this, it takes someone who’s a bit of a character to work with the space,” she says.
Plenty of bird feeders and plenty of outdoor space ensures that the local wildlife enjoy visiting.
“Every time you go out, you see something different — the animals, the birds,” Guay says. “It’s my own peaceable kingdom.”