Rosebrook Gardens celebrates its 16-year birthday this year, I’m having a yearlong party of celebrations, and you’re all invited to participate.

My affair with my home began in 1996 when the once-wooded land was cleared by builder R. B. Benson and Company to make way for his new spec house. I was living not far away, in a small studio with my then Schnauzer Corky Von Schhnorkenheimer.

One spring afternoon I wandered off my normal walking route and discovered the house being built. What made me gravitate off the beaten path to this private sleepy street I’ll never know, but I believe it was destiny to find this house sitting there in a freshly painted shade of pink. It towered over the sweet private street. There were only five homes, one dating back to 1922, so this new construction did not fit in, and the neighbors were not very happy about it.

Somehow it was calling me. I strolled in through the back door (it was unlocked), walking carefully over tarps and around construction, ladders and paint cans. I was home and I knew it. I quickly became obsessed with making an offer. That very weekend it was accepted over three other bids, and the “pink” house was officially mine. I moved in, painted inside and out (bye-bye, pink), named it, and the rest became history. Today everyone thinks Rosebrook Gardens is a renovated old colonial. I turned back time for this home while creating my multimedia company along the way. I would learn many years later that the property was part of a subdivision created in 1921, but was never built upon and left untouched. My less than quarter acre once served as the vegetable garden for the entire neighborhood, which might explain the good karma and why the gardens flourish.

Rosebrook Gardens became my home as well as my gift to others. This year join me as we mark the beginning of a yearlong Sweet 16 celebration. Many people have already joined in, but I’m sure there are more wonderful stories. Chime in and share yours. Did you purchase my book as inspiration? Have you visited the gardens? Have you done a house tour?

They say home is where the heart is, but I feel I found not just my heart but my meaning in life and my destiny all under one cedar shingle roof.