Joanne can feel her heartbeat in her throat as she wipes a drop of sweat from her forehead. Right before her eyes, her whole world had quite literally come crashing down.
The house she spent 25 years of her life was no longer there. The home that housed so many blissful memories was just a mere pile of bricks and rubble. What was she going to do now? She had to think of something fast. She was running out of time.
For Joanne Rolland, there was nothing she loved more than her family. She knew firsthand the experience of what a troubled childhood can do to a person, so back in the 80s when she found out she was having her own kids, she was determined to shower them with love and affection and promised to keep them safe.
But little did she know her entire world was about to get turned upside down.
Joanne and her family had been living in their home for the past 25 years. It was the home that saw heartbreak, tragedy, loss, and new experiences. It was the home that was filled with so many pleasant and bittersweet memories.
But while this picturesque family sat and ate their breakfast every morning, they had no idea what was coming to them.
One mundane Monday morning Joanne was in her local supermarket packing her last bag when news broke out of a hurricane approaching.
As soon as Joanne heard this, she dropped her grocery bags to the floor and jumped into her car. The hurricane was heading her way. She had to be quick. Her kids were still at the house.
As soon Joanne arrived back at her home, she gathered her kids, and together they all took shelter at their local neighbor’s shelter. The family huddled together deep in the ground while the hurricane tore apart what was once an idyllic and perfect neighborhood.
And by the time the hurricane was over, nothing was ever the same again.
Once news passed that the hurricane was over, Joanne got out of the shelter and made her way to her home. But to her horror, her house wasn’t there anymore.
Where a once polished, three-bedroom detached house stood, was now mere bricks and rubble. Joanne felt her knees drop and she fell the floor. What was she going to do now? She had no idea how to survive what happened and how to restore her life. But her resolution would soon land in her lap, and Joanne never could have expected it.
Joanne had been stopping at a friend’s home, while she attempted to rebuild her life. She wanted to build a mobile home next to a tranquil lakeside in the woods near Benoit.
But she wasn’t content with squeezing herself into some dingy condo and didn’t want to pay for a pokey trailer either. Joanne thought long and hard about what to do, and then one day, by pure accident, she knew what to do with her life.
A month had passed since the hurricane and Joanne was still living at her friends. Her plan for a new home had not come into fruition, and so she waited.
But then one Monday morning, Joanne saw something. And straight away she knew it would change her life.
Joanne’s brother-in-law, an air traffic controller rang Joanne and told her to meet him. She agreed and met up with him not knowing what was coming next. As Joanne and her brother law embraced, he handed over a picture of a plane. “There’s your new home,” he said, his tone as cool as a cucumber.
It was the first Boeing 727 in Continental Airlines’ fleet and the plane itself was in service from May 1968 until September 1993. “Was he being serious?” Joanne wondered. She took a look at the plane, and an uneasy feeling hit the pit of her stomach.
Joanne decided to go ahead and buy the 127ft-scrapped plane. She paid a tidy sum of $2,000 for the plane’s hull and a further $4,000 for a house-moving company to move it to her lot by the water.
At first, her friends thought that she’d lost her mind, but they changed their minds when they saw how well she’d managed to renovate the plane’s interior.
Joanne managed to fashion three bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen, and laundry room while retaining the plane’s original toilets and keeping the luggage compartments for storage.
The seats were removed to create an 11ft-wide space, with 76 side windows and 10 cockpit windows flooding the fuselage with light. She also managed to salvage interior parts from other retired 727s to add to her new plane.
In total she spent around $24,000 on the renovations, creating a stunning three-bedroom home with a living room and dining room, a laundry room, and a master bathroom in the cockpit!
Wow, it just goes to show you can always turn something tragic, into something magic!