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Couple witnessing building of a dream page 3
After almost 30 years of married and military life, two Army colonels are giddy with excitement as they get ready for the first home of their own

 In three decades of military service, Kari and Michael Everett always lived in rental or military housing. Now they are watching their first home be built at the Amelia Square development in Fredericksburg.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 12/2/2012

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Kari recalls packing up before the couple came stateside from Germany in June 2011.

They haven't seen their furniture or anything else they own, except their cars, since then. Everything is in storage until they unpack for the last time.

"Michael says the only way he's leaving [Amelia Square] is feet-first," Kari said.

She was wrapping up a print they bought as a young couple, when they were stationed on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. It was framed with "that beautiful koa wood that only grows in Hawaii," Kari recalled, "and at the time, it seemed like a fortune."

The picture has been hung in a place of pride wherever they lived, over a mantel when they had one or in whatever room or den they spent the most time in.

"I was thinking, 'The next time I hang this up, I will be there forever,'" she said, smiling. "You don't know what a wonderful thing that is."

DINNER AT HOME

The Everetts celebrated their decision to put down roots last summer, long before the first shovel of dirt was turned.

When Kari was in Afghanistan, she had seen two white chairs along a street in a small village and was amazed by the flow of life surrounding the objects.

Sometimes she'd see kids sitting there, paused on their way to or from school. Or old men talking about times gone by, or a mother changing a baby's diaper.

She brought the same ambience to her new home. She put a table and two Adirondack chairs, the color of pale cantaloupe, at the approximate location of their home. When construction began, Michael moved to the chairs to the closed-off Winchester Street.

During the summer--or whenever Kari was in town--the Everetts regularly brought a bottle of wine and a pizza to the site on nights when they wanted dinner at home.

"We sat there and watched the sunset," she said. "I'm sure people thought we were crazy."

HISTORIC AND MODERN

In the past few years, Kari has kept a list of amenities she and Michael wanted in their own home and happily shared those with Patrick Gay, the builder with Simply Home. They're thrilled that the brownstone has an elevator because both have banged-up knees or backs, she said, from hopping out of too many helicopters.


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