A farmhouse. An airstrip. A wedding venue. And a donkey named Jill.
Welcome to Runway Events, or as the grandkids like to call it, Gigi’s and Paw’s farm. This 300-acre property in Maplesville, AL is a staple, local wedding venue with a fun twist. True to its name, this event venue and campground is built on an old private plane landing strip.
And with a small plane and trained pilot to fly newlyweds into the sunset, this is a place where dreams come true – but not just for the bride and groom, it’s the place where Mesha and Jerome Mayfield Have it made® as well.
Nestled in the heart of the venue is a beautiful farmhouse where the owners of the property, Mesha and Jerome, live. Both the Mayfields and this farmhouse have a unique story.
On a trip to Orange Beach, Mesha and her kids were celebrating her daughter’s graduation. She was spending the day in the sand with her son and daughter when her friend invited her out on a boat ride with another friend, Jerome. Mesha and Jerome instantly connected while they rode the waves along the coast, and the rest was history.
“He has the best heart, and I love his dimples,” said Mesha.
After dating for some time and her kids went off to college, Mesha moved to the beach with Jerome. The two were married in a small chapel, and they spent their days by the water. However, after a few years, Mesha’s wish was to return home so that she could be with her children and grandchildren.
Mesha was a nurse before setting off on her next adventure with Jerome. The couple moved back to Maplesville to enjoy life as grandparents and Jerome’s 300-acre family property just outside of town. They moved into a subdivision that was close to the city, and the property where the Mayfield family airstrip was located.
Jerome’s family had owned the property for years. His father had a passion for flying, and he passed that passion on to Jerome. Jerome learned to fly as soon as he was able and loved most how he could simply fly from his own backyard to far-away destinations.
After hosting a few family events on the property, the couple began renting the airplane hangar and surrounding land to locals for weddings, birthdays and more. After about 5 years in their subdivision, they grew tired of the daily drive to the Runway Events property and decided it was time to make it their permanent residence.
Jerome and Mesha began discussing their options to build a home on the family property near the event venue. Jerome was set on taking their time to build a new home, but Mesha wanted something faster.
*“I asked him if we could go look at the prefabricated homes. I told him they aren’t like what they used to be,” said Mesha. *
Mesha saw a beautiful farmhouse floor plan on a sign on the way back from the beach and instantly fell in love.
“I didn’t look at any other homes. I told him I wanted the farmhouse. I knew it was what I wanted,” said Mesha.
The couple purchased their new home, called the Lulamae, and were moved in about 4 months later. They began their new life, away from the city and where they could focus on their nearby family and their small business. They designed their home with their grandchildren in mind.
One of their spare bedrooms is just for their grandkids. The space doubles as their bedroom and their play room for when they come to visit. Now, Mesha enjoys baking with her granddaughter, Nora Kayte, every Wednesday, and Jerome spends time with their grandson, Noah, out on the tractors. Their other granddaughter, Jessilyn, loves coming to their house to enjoy some peace and quiet.
“My favorite memory is baking cakes with my little Nora Kayte. We didn’t start this tradition until we bought this home. When we moved into the home, her mother bought us matching aprons.”
Although Jerome and Mesha enjoyed their first home, the couple admits that their new home holds a special place in their hearts. Originally, they agreed that the prefab home would be a temporary space while Jerome worked on building a site built home. However, the couple changed their minds.
*“When we bought this home, we thought if it didn’t work out we could use it as a bridal suite, but once we moved into it, it was so homey that we decided it will be our forever home,” said Mesha. *
The Mayfields found their forever home for themselves, their grandkids and their various animals that they have taken in, including their beloved donkey, Jill.
“We have a few animals. Most are animals that just appear and we end up feeding them. Jill will sit and eat snacks with me,” said Mesha.
Mesha most certainly put her own special touches on her home to make it capture her welcoming, warm spirit. Albert, the home consultant at the Clayton Homes of Clanton, worked with her and Jerome every step of the way to get them the home of their dreams.
“This was a good experience, and there were no more bumps in the road than if we would have built,” said Mesha.
Mesha had a customized stone, wood-burning fireplace put in the living room, a wood beam in the primary-bedroom and chose a permanent brick foundation to add her own personal touch.
“When I walked in, my first impression was ‘Wow. That fireplace looks amazing,” said Mesha.
“I love the feeling of coming home to this place,” said Mesha. “I love the feeling of coming up the driveway and knowing that I am home forever.”
The Mayfields plan to continue to make their home and property a welcoming place for all to come to celebrate. Mesha told us that they wake up every morning to watch the sun rise on their front porch and end every evening by watching the sun set on their back porch. For the Mayfields, this is what it means to Have it made®.
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