When Gordon Miller retired in 1990 from a 23-year career in pharmaceutical sales, he and his wife, Barbara, wanted to “live the good life.”
Although they had long considered buying a lake house in East Texas, their love for their Lake Highlands neighborhood made them reconsider. They decided instead to add on a sunroom overlooking their pool and lush backyard.
“This,” Barbara Miller says as she steps into the newest addition to their house, “is our vacation home.”
The sunroom is the most recent of many changes the Millers have made to their home of 38 years. In 1985, the Millers had the entire interior redone to “make each room a room we love to be in,” Barbara says.
After managing a showroom at the Apparel Mart for 20 years, Barbara developed a keen sense for decorating; no detail was overlooked. They expanded the kitchen and built a huge master bathroom and closet. They have also installed a pool, taking care to preserve the trees that Barbara and Gordon planted when their children were young.
“Many of our friends have moved down to Sun City in Georgetown,” Gordon says, “but Barbara said, ‘why would we want to live with a bunch of old people?’ We want to stay young.”
Barbara and Gordon cherish their close relationship with the young family next door. They also love seeing their children, Denise, Mark and Kevin, all of whom graduated from Lake Highlands High School. Their six grandchildren keep the pool splashing throughout the summer months.
“Every weekend is the 4th of July here,” Barbara says with a laugh.
And as for their retirement – well, Gordon admits they “are busier than ever.” Barbara still maintains two part-time jobs at the Apparel Mart. After Gordon was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer 7 years ago, he began volunteering at the Baylor Male Health Institute. He has since bcome the institute’s screening coordinator.
Apparently, the sunroom provides the Millers with all the vacation time they need. To Barbara, it is a mountain hideaway; to Gordon, it’s a tropical paradise.
“I feel like I have been given a second chance at life,” says Gordon, relaxing in the sunroom’s soft light. “I will turn 70 in October, and I feel fantastic. These are the golden years.”