In an earlier post I mentioned the 11 rugs we’ve bought since moving in. Of those 11, four were door mats that I’d purchased because I can’t seem to keep the mulch from the flower beds out of the house. Unfortunately, they don’t work well as a mulch deterrent, but they do seem to scream “Welcome, one and all!” in echoes throughout the neighborhood. In fact, one quite literally does.
We have this same mat, but ours is covered in leaves so instead I’ll give you this pretty pic courtesy of Two Twenty One.
We’ve just completed our first month in this house and in that time we’ve had many visitors from the neighborhood stop by — both to welcome us to the neighborhood and to satisfy their curiosity I suppose. They no doubt heard the racket of us replacing the floors in those early days and wanted to see what it was all about and, I imagine, anything else of interest that we may be up to. Many of the homes in our neighborhood have similar features (although none are the same) and so I can see how one might want to tour through another person’s home to see what they’ve done with those quirky design elements. To date, we’ve given three or four tours to complete strangers!
The neighborhood entourage began with our Block Captain (mmm hmm — she lives next door) who came bearing a little gift from the Welcome Wagon … and the cost breakdown for our neighborhoods’ private security detail. The cost is steep, and the guilt trips are at the ready (it’s on a volunteer basis, but they brazenly avoid mentioning that), but at least the deal was sweetened with chocolate and coffee.
Last night, we were greeted with yet another knock on the door. Typically, I’m thrilled with each new neighbor we meet because we knew exactly ONE by name at our last house after living there for six years. However, on this occasion the bed wasn’t made, dinner had exploded all over the kitchen, and my husband was eating pizza at the kitchen table in his underwear. Not to mention the person at the door was the previous owner of our home.
I am absolutely in that 1%.
I considered not answering it, but it’s hard to hide in a house full of windows with no drapes (and I had seen her approaching so she very likely would have seen me dive under the kitchen table with a squirmy and increasingly vocal one-year old and a 6′ tall man in his boxer briefs).
Needless to say we graciously toured her around (fully clothed) as she oohed and ahhed at the changes we’d made. She had known that we would be installing hardwoods, and although she initially couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want carpet in the bedrooms (to each their own — but I swear once you pull up a wall-to-wall carpet and see what’s under it you won’t want to touch another carpet in your lifetime) she agreed they looked fantastic. She loved what we had done with the laundry room “It looks so much larger!”, but looked a little disappointed that we’d removed all the heavy drapes and the wallpaper in the kitchen, “What will you do instead?”
Having recently toured through our own rental, I knew firsthand how it felt to see someone else’s belongings in your home. The smells are weird, the furniture arrangement is different, and you continuously find yourself wondering, “Why on EARTH would someone do THAT?!” In respect of her and her previous 30 year tenure in the home we refrained from saying that we felt the house needed updating, instead, we just casually mentioned that certain things didn’t work for us and our lifestyle so we’d adapted them (like moving the giant kosher fridge to the garage). She seemed to accept that well and said she looks forward to another tour next time she’s in the area to see what else we might “make ours”. I gave her my cell number so hopefully I’ll have a little heads up next time … but probably not.
Last week we also met the new neighbors that will be moving in across the street. They are a young couple like us and have two small children that bracket Logan in age. The kids will all be attending the same school in a couple years (each a grade apart) and I can’t wait for their first play date. From the outside their house looks similarly laid out to ours so I know that someday soon I will be that nosey neighbor knocking on their door, bearing sweets, and craning my neck around them in the doorway as I try and weasel an invitation inside to tour.