By Tina Crawford

Heaven on earth! 

Twenty years ago, I started a wedding venue on Lake Grapevine called Paradise Cove. I remember the first time I came out and saw the property, I thought how perfect it would be to live here with the breathtaking lake views. At the time, it didn’t seem possible.

Then, in May 2015, Lake Grapevine experienced a devastating flood that submerged the property, so we closed to renovate for nearly four months. The flood also devastated me and the business financially. To recover, I lived in my office for over a year. During that time, I met the love of my life, Brent Crawford, and he and I decided to build a house on the property. Now, I know with God anything is possible: My dream of living here came true. I enjoy the views of the lake and the woods from my 299-square-foot tiny home. 

The property is large, with part in Grapevine and part in Southlake. So yes, I live nestled in between two amazing cities. I can enjoy all the amenities of both busy, fast-growing, full-of-activities cities without living in a crowded neighborhood. 

The beauty of living on this property as the caretaker is that nothing else will be built around me, so it is as peaceful and serene as living in the country. I sit on my patio looking out at the lake, listening to all sorts of birds singing as the squirrels jump from tree to tree and the deer eat corn. At night, the raccoons and possums come out to play — often on my patio, which drives my princess yorkie Bella and chiweenie Arrow crazy, but I think all the critters, even the skunks, are adorable. 

I know this sounds far too good to be true, but it actually even gets better. Since my business is on the property, it takes less than two minutes to drive to work or less than five minutes to walk. Traffic for me is a deer, bunny or skunk walking across the gravel road that leads me to work.

During the day, people come and walk the property. One day, a man named Chris Sanders came for a walk and changed my life forever. Chris is a nature photographer, so he, along with Ray Chancellor, a local legendary biologist, took the time to educate me on how all the development in the area was harming the wildlife and causing many species of birds to no longer migrate through here, including bald eagles. 

The thought of this crushed me, so I asked what I could do to help. They advised me with creative ways I could run an eco-friendlier business and maintain the property better. I stopped mowing the fields, planted seed to attract bees, butterflies, deer and birds of all kinds. Within a year, the fruits of my labor paid off: It’s like living at a bird sanctuary!

Tina Crawford owns Paradise Cove on Lake Grapevine. She’s lived on the same property, in a tiny home, for five years. She’s also passionate about de-stigmatizing the disease of addiction

To tell the story of where you live, please send your essay to hello@fortworthreport.org and Managing Editor Thomas Martinez at thomas.martinez@fortworthreport.org.

Grapevine

Total population: 54,151
Female: 50% | Male: 50%

Age
0-9: 12%
10-19: 12%
20-29: 4%
30-39: 13%
40-49: 14%
50-59: 17%
60-69: 12%
70-79: 5%
80 and older: 2%

Education
No degree: 8%
High school: 15%
Some college: 26%
Bachelor’s degree: 35%
Post-graduate: 16%


Race
Asian: 6% | Black: 5% | Hispanic: 22% | Two or more: 2% | White: 63%


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