Sitting high above the ground, nearly 20 feet in the air, is a house on the bayou that sings out as a retreat from the busy world not far away. Set on five acres of waterfront land whose expanse of lush green lawn and moss-draped oak trees whisper of a well established past that has weathered many storms, the home is a three story mid-century dream modified to withstand the test of hurricane force winds.
Boasting nearly 30 rooms and even an elevator, the home known by its owner as Chez D is certainly expansive. Its white stucco exterior broken up by window after window that spills in light from all sides and provides breathtaking views of the property—property that Debby Wood and her now late husband, Donald, searched long and hard to find. “We had been looking for a waterfront property for two years and wanted something not too far from New Orleans,” Debby recalls of the hunt that finally ended in 2011. “I researched a number of properties and made the decision to see what they would be like during a tropical storm. We drove near several of the prospects but could not get the truck we were in down a flooded street. At one point, we were stopped by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and were told, ‘If you go down that street, we’re not coming to get you.’ We were directed to Mainegra Road, which was on higher ground and hadn’t flooded, and off we went. Unfortunately, the gate was locked, so all we could do was peer in. Donald and I knew that was the property we wanted, and I called the listing realtor, Gayle Macomber with Keller Williams, while we were at the gate. She agreed to meet us immediately at a nearby area, and then I got in the backseat so she could have the front passenger side of our truck. After getting in, she looked at Donald and then back at me and said, ‘Please don’t kidnap me. I would never let any of my agents do this!’ About two weeks later, I called Gayle and told the receptionist that her kidnapper was calling to make offer. We all had a good laugh.”