Four years ago, Hephzibah resident Jamie George wanted her mother, Dorothy Wilson, to leave San Diego, where she was living alone, and move to the Augusta area.
The two women were soon riding about looking at houses. A few months later, they decided Mrs. Wilson should live at the George home, and she would not have to give up her space and privacy.
Mrs. George's husband, Alan, added a mother-in-law suite onto the house. Mrs. Wilson has her own living room, a sunroom and a bedroom with a spacious bath.
"I think this is something a lot of baby boomers are facing now, as we age and want to take care of our aging parents. This is the perfect solution, because it gives them their own space without them losing their independence," Mrs. George said.
The suite is separated from the rest of the house by a swinging door that leads to a new kitchen that's about double the size of the previous kitchen and makes it "big enough for two women," Mrs. George said.
With the changes and additions, the house went from 1,600 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths to about 3,400 square feet with four bedrooms and three baths.
Most of the rooms have stained-glass windows made by Mr. George and are furnished with family heirlooms. There are antique trunks in some rooms, dressers, hotel washstands and commodes, a spinning wheel and a yarn wheel, a chicken coop converted into a coffee table, a musket and a china cabinet filled with pottery Mrs. George's grandmother bought during World War II.
The house is on 10 acres and overlooks a pond. The front yard features a vegetable garden, grapevines, apple and pear trees, blueberry bushes and a greenhouse. In the back of the house, Mr. George has built a bird atrium, an arbor and layered decks to accommodate their daughter's wedding, which will be held in the extensive gardens Sept. 29.
Mrs. Wilson, who often tends house and makes dinner, said she's had no regrets since moving in. She appreciates her separate living area and television.
"This way I'm in with the family," she said, "(but) I can watch what I like, and I never have to watch football again."
"And if I get tired of football," her daughter said, "I can just go in and watch TV with Mom."
Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AT HOME WITH
Who: Alan and Jamie George and Mrs. George's mother, Dorothy Wilson
The home: A 3,400-square-foot house on 10 acres in Hephzibah, with four bedrooms and three baths
It's a fact: The couple moved from New York 10 years ago and have fallen in love with "country living," Mrs. George said.