The Kennedys built their house, then added on to it and added on to it again over a period of 41 years. They also loved to decorate for the holidays and have accumulated lovely displays to celebrate different holidays. Liz Kennedy died last year, but her husband, Frank, has continued to do the traditional decorations.
“My late wife, Liz, did a lot of this. Plus we bought a good deal of it. I love the flags and birdhouses on the property, and I just like to decorate for the holidays,” Kennedy said. The Wayne County home is a testament to Kennedy’s previous career as a bricklayer in that not only is the house itself a red brick but the serpentine fence that surrounds was also was his handiwork.
“I spent 50 years in the profession, so I just put my skills to work at home. There is a lot of masonry I’ve done around this place,” he said.
Though Kennedy is now retired he keeps himself busy not only decorating his home for the holidays but also keeping the park-like grounds in pristine order. The beautiful lawn that surrounds the house is like a flawless green carpet that borders Twelve Pole Creek. “I’m always having a gathering for family and friends, and it’s a nice view looking out over the lawn and seeing deer meander into the yard,” he said.
The indoor and outdoor accommodations Kennedy has created for his friends and family is significant in anyone’s book.
Brick walkways feed into a charming white gazebo that will readily seat eight to 10 people, and off to the right is a roof-covered picnic table. Two firepits are ready for lighting – one in the gazebo and another in an open graveled space. “The grandkids love roasting hot dogs and making smores,” Kennedy said. Trickling water in the background is provided not only by the bordering creek but also by ponds Kennedy has installed adjacent to the gazebo.
Inside the home is a great room with a stone fireplace Kennedy built as the house was under construction. This room feeds into a sunroom he says the family uses when the weather won’t allow them to gather outdoors. The spacious area is perfect for a bunch in the cooler season or even the hotter days of summer. Underneath the room on a covered patio is a grill and smoker ready to be fired up when a crowd congregates.
Throughout the home Kennedy has collected prints by P. Buckley Moss and Billy Jacobs. “I get a little obsessive about things, but I really like these artists,” he said. His seasonal decorations might be a testament to that statement, particularly when he says he has been referred to as “Griswold” during the Christmas season.
“I just love to decorate for Christmas, and the more lights the better,” he said.
For the fall season Kennedy has lots of fall leaves, scarecrows, baskets of pumpkins and other October and November decor dressing the grounds. “I love the mums for this season and like to have lots of them around the place,” he said.
This is a very comfortable house built so one could enjoy family and friends and it seems Kennedy puts the welcome mat out often for these gatherings.