One year ago today we bought our house. It really is amazing how much work we've done and how things have progressed.
We moved the chicken coop and the chickens to the house. We had a new furnace put in and had the basement scrubbed down for mold. We gutted the top floor, had half the roof removed and built a new shed dormer. We have almost finished the interior upstairs. We put on new siding on lots of the outside and painted the whole house. We got a new roof and gutters. We put in three rain gardens and three raised beds and a brick path from the front to back of the house. We put in drain tile on the north side of the house and dug out the backyard to change the grade. We installed several glass block windows in the basement. We planted flowers and babied the existing plants and harvested tons of cherries and raspberries and rhubarb. Jeremy got more mushroom logs and has been inoculating them for months. I'm probably forgetting something, but you can just look back through the blog to see what we've been up to.
I was really thinking what a perfect anniversary day this was. We have had tons of people over and interactions with friends, neighbors and strangers.
Someone answered a post from us on craigslist and came over to load up some dirt into his car. As soon as he left some former neighbors came by to pick up mushroom logs from Jeremy and visit with the chickens. As soon as they left we ate lunch outside, enjoying the sun and warmth. One of our neighbors was working in his yard and we chatted with him. His tenant came out and chatted to. We started in on projects - me doing some weeding and watering, while Jeremy gathered some broken up concrete bits from a neighbor down the block (for the terrace project). A friend from Meeting drove by and dropped off a stack of egg cartons for us. Another neighbor came over to borrow a hose sprayer thing. I found out they were giving away flowers so I went to their house to check out the options. Not needing any more purple/blue irises, I turned to walk back and saw another neighbor who was heading to our house with a couple in tow. She was bringing them over to look at our chickens. We chatted with them for awhile and they took off. I was out in the front watering again and some bicyclists rode by and shouted out that they liked our roof. Then a woman with a baby stroller walked by and commented on the progress of our yard. I headed to the back and got caught by our other neighbor and working on a project for her digging out an old grape vine. In the midst of that another craigslist guy came by to find out if we had dirt. He went off to borrow a truck and in the meantime the first dirt guy came back. He was still loading dirt when the second guy came! One of our neighbors managed to pawn off some dirt he was trying to get rid of and the other neighbor piped up to say that she wanted more of our dirt.
The dirt guys left (though I'm sure we'll see them again) and we ate dinner outside, amidst piles of dirt, pieces of concrete, and garden tools.
I've really enjoyed the community around this house and in this neighborhood. It's in the midst of change (one neighbor has to move and another neighbor passed away unexpectedly) so we'll see what happens with the new folks who move in. At least we won't be the new ones anymore!
It's hard to describe it, but there is something compelling and welcoming about our house. I hope all our future projects continue to cultivate that sense because we love having people over.
I can't wait to see what the next year brings!
(and the before shot:)