MaryMargaret Windsor and her husband, Willard, planned to buy a home on the water and were looking at condos in Annapolis when they wound up in a log house in Fort Washington where Broad Creek meets the Potomac River.
At the time, MaryMargaret was teaching at Boston University and her husband was serving in the Air Forceand stationed at the Pentagon. She came down one weekend to house hunt, and they stumbled on this house.
“Our immediate reaction was, ‘We don’t want all these responsibilities,’ ” she said. “But the location was just so wonderful. . . . The potential of the property appealed to us, being New Englanders and leftover hippies. We just thought the property itself could be beautiful. Our son, who came to visit, looked around and said, ‘Well, when Mom works her magic, this will be nice.’ ”
The Windsors were drawn to a condo because of the maintenance-free living. Their first house was on a small farm in New England. Their second house was on several acres in Maine. So they knew what they were getting into when they bought this house on nearly three acres about 20 years ago.
Gardening is MaryMargaret’s hobby, and this was the ideal setting for her to, as her son put it, “work her magic.” She planted blueberry bushes and pear, apple and fig trees. She established perennial herb and flower gardens. Her vegetable garden grows tomatoes, green beans, squash and hot peppers.
“I am a seat-of -the-pants gardener,” she said. “I’m not claiming to be anything wonderful, but I just do what I like to do.”
While the setting attracted the Windsors, the log house was a bit of a surprise.
“To be honest with you, I thought the choice of building a house like that in Washington a little strange,” MaryMargaret said. “If I had had the property and was building, I would have built a brick Federalist.”
The house was built in 1990 by Pan-Abode, based in the Vancouver, B.C., area, using 4-by-6-inch western red cedar logs.
“In New England, we have primarily wood homes,” MaryMargaret said. “Our previous home was a post-and-beam, which is similar to the log construction. It was different, but it appealed to me because it wasn’t plastic. It seemed like all the other houses I was looking at had plastic siding.”
The great room has a cathedral ceiling and a wall of windows that overlooks the water. A large deck wraps around the room. The Windsors start eating out on the deck in March or April and don’t stop until October or November. They’ve even been known to have Christmas parties on it.
MaryMargaret says the best part of living in the house is the access to nature and the privacy.
“We have wonderful views all the time,” she said. “We have especially beautiful sunsets. The sky is always gorgeous.”
They are sad to leave behind those sunsets, but taking care of the property has become too much for them.
“We’re in our 70s now,” MaryMargaret said. “This was great up until now, and now it’s no longer as joyful. It’s joyful but not as joyful. There’s too much work keeping it up.”
The five-bedroom, four-bathroom, 3,098-square-foot house is listed at $1.1 million.
Listing agent: Matt White, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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