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Sixteen Years

Before we begin, as you can see,  I'm experimenting with the new blog layouts available. Click on the date for the entire post please. Let me know what you think.

Today is an anniversary of sorts. After coming to a Sunday Open House after church with Bill, Dave, Jonathan, and Bruce, we made the on-the-spot decision to buy the house where we have now lived for 16 years. Our previous three homes were short termers in comparison--one lasted three years before we moved to California, our next house was seven years, during which time we added three children to our family, ten years on Whistler Drive, and now here.

Actually it was David, always on the lookout for a good deal, who found this house. While visiting a friend of his who lived down the street, he noticed the Open House flyer and brought it home, extolling the virtues of what he'd seen. The flyer described the house as charming. They got that right.

Times have sure changed since then. David and Bill are now 32 years old and living nearby, Jonathan is 28, and Matthew, 35. Bruce was 42, with me not far behind him. I can still remember the move-in which is saying a lot for me. We were three time a week church goers in those days, and had loads of like minded friends who were kind enough to meet us at our former residence on a Sunday evening. The truck was already rented and waiting as we pulled into the driveway after having spent the weekend in Tallahassee with Matt for parent's weekend. There were 15 of us, including our family, who packed the truck and moved us the three miles to the new house. It was quite an operation. I won't bore you with other details except to say that we were moving in without actually owning the property just yet. That would wait until the next day. Several things stand out in my mind from that Sunday night--first, hitting my head on the bathroom towel bar while using the bathroom in the middle of the night (the bathroom is very small), secondly, hearing the trains, and finally, Bruce tossing and turning because he was convinced something could go wrong with the paperwork and we would have to move back out. He's always been my little worry wort. Of course nothing went wrong, we still hear the trains, and I have the good sense not to lean over when I'm up at night, thus avoiding another painful head bang!

Bill and Dave's tumultuous teenage years were lived out here, as were a good deal of their college life. Dave began his career day trading, Jonathan upped the ante on his career as a gamer, and Bill did likewise with the guitar. Matt, between living in England, and finding an apartment, lived here briefly. I worked for Orlando Health through much of the time, having started there on the day after our closing. The one constant is Bruce's career. Was there when we moved in and is still going strong at Darden. Thank God!

The list is endless on what we've done around here, well, I say we, but the big stuff is mostly Bruce's handiwork. One standout project from the early days was this adorable shed Bruce built with Bill's help.
Made mostly from reclaimed materials, I can still remember Bruce working late into the night on this. One of the hardest tasks was beating up a concrete driveway which used to run up to the house in the front. He, Bill and the neighbor boy Joel, carried big chunks of the concrete to the site, with Bruce fashioning a floor from the chunks. Really amazing when you think of it. The tin roof came from a restaurant that he took down to build a Red Lobster on the site in Gainesville, Florida. The windows were from a nearby antique store. I think it looks just darling in yellow.

As well, when we moved in, the big windows in the sunroom got the Bruce treatment, with the addition of molding and a long, long windowsill.
If you're curious about the angle on these two pictures, I took them while floating in the pool!

When Matt returned to Orlando, after finishing his Master's degree at Florida State University, he didn't spend much time here before a six month stint in London. He did, however, leave a lasting legacy at our home, or make that our neighbor's home.
You're thinking this is just a cute little birdie shot, but, if so, you'd be wrong. What you're seeing in addition to a cute little birdie shot is a giant pathos climbing 20 feet up our neighbor's oak tree. Yep, a small hanging basket from Matt's dorm room, has morphed into this. Although the cold hit it last winter, it has come back like nobodies business. Who knew that when he left it in our back yard it would travel to our neighbor's tree and thrive. We've no evidence of it in our yard.

The other morning while walking Baxter I got to the end of our street and who should I see but our former lawn spray guy, Lorenzo. He pulled around the corner and stopped to chat, asking who is now doing our yard. I explained that after the new guy was so mean to me, saying he wasn't going to replace any more of our sod, I ordered him off our property, never to return. New readers won't get this, old ones might. The grass war we waged for the last year against Dobson's is what I'm referencing. Turns out, that mean guy was fired soon after our altercation, as well he should have been. The grass has had it's ups and downs during the heat of the summer, but Falcon is very responsive and the yard is  definitely improving.
They say it's expensive raising children, which it probably was, but our home seems to have gobbled up quite a bit of our money over the years. What with a new roof, plumbing, sprinkler system, countertops, new flooring, appliances, driveway, two pool renovations, air conditioning system and the list goes on. Just glad we've been able to really.

So, just what exactly was I doing in this home yesterday? Signing and ordering prints, two tasks which, as you know, are not my favorites. I have been so lucky that folks have liked what I do for sure. Although I have loads to choose from, invariably the same ones sell. Thus, it's important to have adequate stock of said winners. Here's my attempt at figuring it all out:
In a case of why didn't I think of that, my friend Christina, while visiting me at the market Sunday, suggested I should alphabetize my inventory. Duh! Normally I store these in a box, putting out a new one when one sells. I shuffle through the box, looking for what I need. Definitely what my Comp 1 professor would have termed an Aha moment. Actually, this may be Bill's job on Saturday, or at least I hope he needs to dip into the stock! I'm not getting discouraged just yet by the weather forecast for rain and wind over the weekend. Keeping my thoughts positive. My mantra for the weekend:
Now it's time for me to take/drag Baxter for his morning walk. Good day gentle ones.

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