This blog is about the journey my husband and I have been on for over 5 years now. You see, we moved to the small, approximately 100 year old house that he had grown up in, located on land that has been in his family since the 1700’s. It is called Windham’s Crossroads, the place where a state road crosses a federal highway. There are thousands of crossroads across America, but this blog is about our family’s Crossroads, a little corner where we have learned how to live a more simple life. Like most everyone else, we have been victims of the economy and have made drastic changes in our lives. Isn’t it funny how circumstances make you do the things that you should have done a long time ago.

This blog chronicles the downsizing of our lives, a journal of words and pictures recording the evolution of ourselves becoming more frugal and resourceful, and ultimately, much happier. Come along with us as we garden, renovate, and cook some family recipes at the Cottage at the Crossroads.

Three Generations of the Windham Family pose for the camera at the old homestead at Windham’s Crossroads around 1902. Left to Right ~ Leon Roland Windham, Mrs. Roland Windham, John Windham, Harold Windham, Marie Windham, Emmaline Stokes Windham, Sara Windham (sister of Leon Roland), and farmhand Ira Dorrity on horse Ben.


  1. says

    i remember living in the old farm house in timmonsville
    with my mom and dad Mary and Henry Gotschika.
    With my younger brothers and sister

    Jeannette and Sarah Adams are my grama and aunt

    I hope to meet some of you again sometime.

    My husband and I would like to come to savanah next year and would love to stop and see you all.

    Cant wait to reconect.


    • jane says

      Please stop by the Crossroads when you are in the vicinity. Savannah is just a few hours away. We are just curious-how did you find our blog?

      • dora gotschika says


        I found your site looking for aunt sarah and uncle woodrow

        I spoke with my dad skip, he brought up old times like an uncle who had the gas station across the street.

        Is that acurate.

        i cannot wait to meet you

        sincerely and Merry Christmas

  2. Nancy Miracle says

    We enjoyed seeing you and Leo today!! I really didn’t expect to get to visit with you all. We had a delicious salad for dinner made from your home grown lettuce. Thanks, it was really yummy. Your house is so cute, we just love it. Have a great week.

  3. says

    Hi Jane~ I just took a tour of your Cottage at the Crossroads. Love your ceiling color on your porch, I wouldn’t dare paint over it either! How wonderful too, you have all the family history & photos of the old homestead! I’m not familiar with Windham’s Crossroads, I looked on the map and realized you’re half way between where we are and Charleston, one of our favorite places. I was also admiring your furbabies & thinking without knowing their gender that Rascal looked more like a “Lucy” and vice versa :-)

  4. says

    I wanted to let you know, you will be mentioned with a link back to you on my blog “Creative Cain Cabin” June 26th, if your interested in stopping by:)

  5. Debora Cadene says

    Hi…Just found your site, and saw you had been making canned tomatoes. Do you think you could share how you make them…It is something I’ve wanted to try canning for years and never have, but with the right direction…I could be on my way

    Debora Cadene,
    Atikokan, Ontario.

  6. Laura Lee says

    I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for your nice comments about my dresser. I came over to check out your blog and support another SC girl. Turns out that I grew up just a few miles from you in Bishopville. It’s a small world.

  7. says

    Jane, You are not going to believe this!!!!!! Ira Dorrity was my Great Grandfather!!!! I have this same picture…..This was meant to be….unbelievable….wow I am speechless.

  8. Richard & Susan Bradley says

    Miss you guys love the house and the story. Brought back some great memories we had together. We will see you in 2012 what ever it takes. Love you guys.

  9. says

    I have just found your blog. I live in Timmonsville SC. Were is your place I would love to see your garden. I am working on raised beds now and yours look cool.

  10. Anne says

    I am enjoying your Cottage at the Crossroads very much! I get to see your garden and home every day and it is beautiful! I am sure it relieves stress and brings a certain peace of mind and body that no other activity can produce.

  11. Marti Dunn says

    Love, love, love your blog. I live at Governors Run and would like to meet you. I did stop by one day last year and talked with your husband in the garden. I had been passing it so many times and admired it so I stopped by and told your husband how pretty it was and he let me see it. You seem so crafty and so many of the things you do I do also. Lets get together. I’de love to tell you about some of the watercolor classes, drawing classes, etc. that’s going on….if you are interested.

  12. says

    Hi Leo and Jane! I am having fun looking around your blog. I came across this page too and will have to show it to my husband whose family had a farm nearby there. They might have even known each other…small world.

  13. Gretchen Colyer says

    I love your blog. I came across it via Southern Hospitality. I also have a very small home (approx. 1000 sf) and I am in the process of decluttering. UGH!!! Where is a bulldozer when you need it!! I have found that the simplier your life is the more joyful it can be. Hence, the decluttering. There are so many things about your home that are inspirational, especially that lovely screened in porch and garden. Your home is exactly what I aspire to. Thank you for a little insight into your life.

  14. yvonne daniel says

    Found your blog via Southern Hospitality. Such a lovely site to view. Your home is lovely and filled with charm. I like everything about your site. Keep up the great postings.

  15. Holly Freestone says

    What a charming home! And so lovely to run across someone “from home”. I grew up in Sumter but haven’t lived anywhere close in many years. I look forward to following your blog. Thank you!

  16. Robin M. says

    Hi, love your blog and am getting ideas. Is there a way for me to pin your orange chair planter to Pinterest? I’m very new at Pinterest, so thank you for your patience.

  17. Teresa Cole says

    Hi Leo and Jane. I have enjoyed your blog very much since I ran across it several months ago. I especially love what you have done with the cottage! I can’t imagine what fun it would be to live in a family home on family land held for cenutries. What roots! Speaking of which, I wanted to ask about your family. My grandmother was a Windham whose great grandfather, Daniel G. Windham moved from Darlington SC to Dale County AL in the early 1800’s. I believe his father James was a minister at a chuch there in that area. Would they be related to you by any chance? I’m planning to start working on that branch of the family in the near future.

    Thanks for reading my email, and for having such an interesting blog.

    Martinez, GA (outside Augusta)

  18. Gene Crim says

    Hi Jane and Leo,

    Congratulations on finding peace! Love the website. Where exactly are you located? Are you near Columbia?

  19. F"reddie Rast says

    Glad you and “Beach Billy” are doing well. Tell Leo I said hello. My wife and I will be retiring again in about 2 months and moving to the beach. Maybe we can take a side trip on our way one day and visit you. Freddie Rast

  20. Tina Bruce says

    Can you provide me the information for the pot holders? I found some vintage Victorian columns and I am going to use them to recreate your project for my garden. I am just beginning to create my garden, which will mostly be containers due to the limited space.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas.


  21. Bonnie Bearzi says

    Hi Jane,
    It’s been a very long time. Spoke to Charlene yesterday & she told me about your blog. I think of all you guys fondly & often. Email me & let’s catch up!
    Bonnie Ledbetter Bearzi

  22. Dava says

    I was looking around for a fall printable when your site came up. Thanks so much for all your beautiful ideas! I’m a new subscriber!

  23. Cindy R says

    I just found your blog through Pinterest. Just wanted you to know that I loved the tour of your cottage! Thank you for sharing your home and pets with all of us. I will be following you on Pinterest. Have a wonderful Fall-my favorite time of the year!!!!

  24. says

    Hi, I’ve been listening to you and your brother what’s-his-name for years. Check out the songs “Whisper” on my website, and see if you could play it on your station. Thanks!

  25. Deana Chavis Baker says

    Love your Website and information. Oh, and the Shag radio station, too. I am a SC native girl and grew up in Bennettsville, but live in Upstate SC now. Will have to do a day trip to see your Cottage at the Crossroads.

  26. Glada says

    I just discovered your blog while looking for a recipe for Remoulade sauce. Your house reminds me of the house my father grew up in Arkansas only his was smaller. It has since been torn down but I would have loved to reinvent it the way you two did yours. I just spent an hour reading your different articles. Thanks for sharing all that you do. It’s right up my alley.

  27. Cynthia Townsend says

    Hi Leo,

    I wanted you to know I am planning to build your obelisk this spring for my garden.



  28. Lisa Harrill says

    Love your place, just looks like home. Who needs a big old house when you can have a home. Your floors are beautiful and I LOVE your turquoise ceiling in the back porch!

  29. Amy Doyon says

    Hi Jane! So happy to run across your blog through pinterest! I’ve lived in the Columbia/Lexington area all my life and have always enjoyed Leo and Woody on the radio. Y’alls house is FANTASTIC! Great job! Really enjoyed the tour! Take care, God bless!

  30. Beth H Broome says

    Hello Jane…….I’m so glad I saw your featured blog at Savvy Southern Style. Your home makes me want to come for a visit. I’ve gathered inspiration from your ideas and can’t wait to try some myself…………….My family, the Hallmans, live in Mt. Pleasant……….it is dear to my heart. Peace and joy,

  31. says

    Hello Leo & Jane,
    I like your blog especially the GARDEN articles. i learned simple ways of making things and have a good garden. I like to see a post on how to build your own ‘compost’.

    I live in North Carolina and i am moving to a new house in the city. I am planning to build the raised bed and grow my garden there. for that i am looking for a nice article on how to make my own compost (in a neighborhood/community0 kind of environment. Please give me some suggestions.
    Thanks, Madhavi Alapaty

  32. Amy says

    I wanted to let you know I am new to canning and yesterday I made your spaghetti sauce. It is the best I have ever had. We LOVE garlic in our house so I doubled the garlic. But I must say it turned out amazing and it was very simple to follow. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  33. Kathleen says

    Hi Jane,
    I found you through Ann Sutton and your garden is what grabbed me the moment I saw it. It is obviously a labor of love and it knows it too….look at how it gives back! As for the P-touch I never seem to leave anything in it’s original container (too boring) so I end up with many containers that need labels. I am also a organizational freak and have to know where everything is so label, label, label I go. I print them, pick them up in bargain bins and in general I’m always searching for something! I also bake and freeze a tremendous amount of things and volunteer at our local library where the Friends of the Library has 2 book & bake sales a year to benefit the library and needless to say we always need labels for everything and all the other gals are as bad about organization as I am if not worse so between myself and the library gals we DEFINITELY NEED this P-touch. Even if I/we do not receive the P-touch I still will keep returning and loving what you 2 create.

    New Gloucester, Maine

  34. says

    I found you through Ann – On Sutton Place. Love your blog. My husband & are also @ a ‘crossroads’ – facing retirement in a few months – we know we don’t want/need the big house we are in now. We are drawn back to his family farm and farmhouse where we can slow down, spread out a little, and grow veggies and flowers. Compared to our convenient neighborhood now the farm is very rural – I know he would be happy but I’m hoping I can adjust. So… that’s where we are, excited and anxious!
    Raleigh, NC
    PS – You and I also share a name, I’m not always called Jackie :) – I think that’s what pulled me in, too.

  35. Linda Hertlein says

    I have driven by your home many times, I am always looking at the new items. I met you in art classes a while back, that was always fun. I am getting back to my art now and find it very relaxing. I can’t wait to dig deeper into your site and thanks for making it available! Just love all the items I see.

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