We've been in our new home a year now -- loving every minute. Never in my life have I had a home where the indoor/outdoor relationship was exactly what I wanted. In Seattle four French doors were added for greater access to the back garden. At Saratoga, five French door were added for the same reason. Both remodels were terrific and did the best we could to take homes with no relationship to the garden and create that relationship. But this home is perfect with it's relationship to the garden. When I'm in I feel out; when I'm out I feel in. And with separate buildings creating forced travel between the spaces, I'm out often. Historically I've needed outdoor bedrooms and other ways to get outside more. Living here I'm content -- inside or out, or anywhere in between. Now I know my need for this indoor/outdoor relationship is greater than many people's needs in that regard, but I suspect the lack of it is an area of discontent not often identified. Anyway, for me this space is perfect!
Although our cabinets are still unfinished, as is our solar system, we are more than comfortable. Living here is easy, especially since it forced reduction in stuff. We're living smaller, and with fewer possessions, than we have since college days. It is a wonderfully freeing feeling. Also it pleases me to know that on my death I won't be leaving piles of stuff for my son to sort through.
The garden, for a one-year garden, is looking beautiful. There are still many areas needing plants to grow to fill in the bare spots and other areas that aren't planted yet at all. But all the beds are weed free, mulched, and ready for spring planting. The patios, decks and pathways are complete. We still need some screens for privacy around the bath, but that will happen soon -- we have the materials ready to go. And, we have a fireplace planned for one of our covered patios that is not yet complete, but again, we have most of the materials and are simply waiting for time.
The water system of rain from roof, to pond, to stream, to pond, to wetland continues to function beautifully and provide us with delightful wildlife experiences and much beauty. Just this past weekend Ed and I spend a pleasurable 20 minutes watching 6 birds splash and bathe around the edges. As the plants mature and fill out the wildlife will increase because their safety will be greater. At present there is still too much open area for safe travel to the south. From east to west, on our north side, they have an outstanding corridor where they can fly in short sprints from tree to tree for several miles in each direction.
Discipline is a word that is at the top of my list in living here. Discipline is what is required to keep "stuff" from accumulating. Trips home from the Post Office require daily sorting; trips from the grocery store require the same; as do trips from almost any shop. If something comes in the door, something else must go out. Not having Fibber McGee's (radio show ending in '59 so I'm dating myself) closet is the greatest pleasure.
As I sit here and type I'm overlooking the front lawn and vegetable garden on one side and the pond and native plant restoration area on the other. This is a richness that I am unable to describe. Masterfully well done by dbbrad.
We have sold or given away most of the things of value but of no use to us. We still have six great wicker chairs of outstanding value and in almost perfect shape. So, if you're interested in six wicker Palecek chairs just call 360 730 3924. Or, we have a cedar Chinese truck, hand carved. Great for a coffee table that stores blankets, etc. Other than that, we've pretty much managed to shed what we don't need or want.
The report card for our first year -- A+.