As a mother of two incredible boys (Clay and Calvin) and wife of Wilder’s Master Guide, Don Sabrowski, Shelly is the quintessential guide for families at Wilder on the Taylor. She has spent most of her life ranching and loves to share her love of the ranch with others! From relaxing horseback rides through the meadow to introducing children to the newest calf arrival on the ranch, Shelly provides an experience and outlook like only she can. Enjoy her latest article as she describes her emotional journey to her newly renovated ranch manager home at Wilder.
A New Perspective of Wilder
By: Shelly Sabrowski
Our move from the house we called home for 22 years while serving as ranch managers was set into motion 10 years ago, only we didn’t know it then.
When Jackson-Shaw purchased the ranch that is now known as Wilder on the Taylor in 2007, the previous owners offered us any furniture we wanted from the river cabins. It was beautiful furniture, and I was thrilled to pack a storage container full that sat untouched in storage for over a decade. We didn’t have enough room in our current home for the furniture, but I wanted to keep it anyway. During this time, I added my Dad’s beloved huge oak dining table with a dozen chairs to my collection after he passed away in 2010.
Last spring, a developing partner of Wilder approached us about moving across the road into a straw-bale house on land he had just acquired. At first, we were resistant to the idea of giving up the home we had lived in for so many years and the only home our two boys ever knew. The straw-bale house needed repairs and renovation. I took it hard and was down about it.
Then something unbelievable happened. I had a very strong urge to take a tape measure out to the container and measure my furniture in storage. It was sweltering in there, and I knew I had lost my mind. I climbed over furniture, knocked things over and got my foot stuck but managed to get measurements. Then I had another strong urge to go over to the straw-bale house and measure to see if the furniture would fit. Each piece of furniture in storage fit within an inch.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I went back and measured again. It all would fit so there I sat on top of my heap and wept. And I prayed and asked the Lord if this is what He had planned and if so, I will make it happen. After I collected myself, I told Don the whole story. He was as amazed as I was.
Steve Cappellucci was contracted to turn the straw-bale house into our new home. He made it happen for us, finding the best contractors in the Gunnison/Crested Butte valley for each aspect of what we wanted done. What made it home for me was when Jeff Regan transformed the bale walls by artistically creating a new interior with fine Italian plaster. The walls now look like an adobe home in Santa Fe.
I was excited to get the project underway at that point. Shannon Renick designed my new kitchen with knotty Alder cabinets and new appliances. New floors. Redesigned utility room incorporating a huge pantry. A new mud room entrance designed by Don. New paint. New Hunter Douglas blinds throughout the house. New tile in the downstairs bathroom.
On December 7, 2017, we spent our first night as a family in our new home with new furniture that all fit within an inch, including my Dad’s dining room table. We celebrated our first Christmas, and it snowed all morning just to make it memorable for us.
My next big project is landscaping the 7 acres our new home sits on. The possibilities are endless, and I am beyond excited to get started this spring. I have already placed my hanging baskets and flower barrels and beds in my mind. Now onto spruce, pine and aspen tree placement. I can’t remember looking more forward to spring than I am this year. I am thankful I listened and took my tape measure out to the storage container that sweltering summer day.