A Year Later

This Thursday is the one-year anniversary of Charlie and I buying a home together. It’s a little hard to believe it’s been that long; the continuing sensation of time moving faster as I get older instead of slower, I guess. But looking back, I feel like we’ve gotten so much accomplished in that year. Merging possessions with someone else is almost never an easy process, and there was a lot of “what do we keep / what do we get rid of / what goes into storage?” and that certainly takes time.

We’ve made a couple of small improvements to our home. We had new carpeting put in on the stairs, which looks so much nicer than what was there before it’s not even funny. We’ve had a much-needed ceiling fan installed upstairs (although the installation is temporarily wired right now; they’ll finish the job next week). The upstairs has Charlie’s movie posters hung, and down the stairs is some of my original comic art that I’ve purchased over the years. (We might put one or two more pieces up, but that’s still to be determined.) The downstairs is more or less completely done. And we’ve got a cute little jungle of plants out on the porch.

It’s great to have just a few small things left at this point. Now that most of the stuff that we’re hanging on the walls has been placed, we need to put the rest of the art and vintage posters down into the storage unit, which means making some space for it. I went down there yesterday and spent a while going through my boxes of books that I’d placed there last year, and finally hauled out five boxes worth of material that’s going away. On the one hand it’s sad to see them go—as a book collector getting rid of any of them is always painful—but they’ve been gathering dust for a year now and it’s time to admit to myself that they’ll probably continue to sit there, untouched, for many years to come. So, time to find new homes for them via eBay and the like. And it’s not like I don’t still have a zillion other books still in our home and in my office, after all.

More importantly, I feel like our neighborhood really is our home. I do genuinely love living in Takoma, even with the twice-as-long commute. We have some truly fantastic neighbors. There are some great stores (both food and merchandise) that I enjoy going to. I’d wager that in the last year I’ve missed maybe 5 of our weekly Takoma Park Farmer’s Market Sundays. I’ve been volunteering with the local Friends of the Library group. I’ve got easy access to some good bike trails (Sligo Creek, Rock Creek, Metropolitan Branch) and last week with the help of Charlie I’ve finally gotten back into a routine of going to the Takoma Aquatic Center (a whopping four blocks away) for lap swimming.

And of course, the quiet aspect of the neighborhood is still a big charm. When we first moved I described our neighborhood as “small town living in a big city” and I think that’s still quite apt. Live can be as busy or as quiet as we need it to be.

Who knows? Maybe one of these days we’ll finally have a housewarming. I feel like that moment is getting closer… honest!

Storm Damage Photos

Just a couple of glimpses of what my neighborhood looks like, after Friday night’s storms… Sadly, these are somewhat typical for the area. (We were quite lucky. No power loss or damage.)

This is actually one of the less-bad examples. As you can see if you look on the right-hand side, the tree actually snapped right through the trunk. Happily, when it came crashing down it did NOT hit anyone’s house or car. (There are a lot of totaled cars in the area.) This is about three blocks away from our home.

This one happened just a block and a half down the street; the tree when it came down managed to straddled three properties; it started in what we’ll call property #3, destroyed the fence between it and property #2, and stretched across all of property #2 to even extend into the right-hand side of property #1. This tree took out power lines with it (ack) and completely blocked the driveway (and even walkway) of property #2, where Alice and Tony live. Ugh. And unlike the previous photo…

…this one wasn’t just the trunk snapping. As you can see here, the entire root system came up with it. Yikes. Still, at the end of the day, a hole in the yard and a destroyed fence is much better than a smashed house or car. (And since then, chainsaws have cut up the portions of the tree blocking the driveways to properties #1-2, so that’s good. Still no power as of this morning though.)