Saturday, November 29, 2014

Home is Where the Home Is

We are in our third year in Montana now. Today we didn't blink when temperatures dropped from 45 degrees at 9:00 am, down to 12 degrees by 3:00 pm. The weatherman cautions of below zero temperature readings coming overnight. As the thermometer plunged today the heavens blessed us, blanketing the fields all about with a fresh sparkling white coat. This is our home. We love it.  

Before Bozeman, Montana there was Arlington. We spend less and less time thinking about our years in Arlington, Virginia, and if the truth be known, don't miss it very much. But our German exchange high school student is curious about other locations in the United States, so I thought I would show her our old home in Arlington on Google Maps, and point out a few things about our old neighborhood and the DC area. I typed in our former home address and there it was.

In an early blog post, we had looked back at the house we called home. We saw Google Maps had updated the street view during the four week period between when we accepted a contract for sale and closed the transaction in June 2012. Here was the view.

Google Maps street view of our former Arlington home, June, 2012.
Two Januarys back I noted, "I wish Google had waited a few months to refresh the picture because I would have liked to see the front porch with the railings, side extension and stairs down to the driveway, which I understand the new owners have built in." 

This time around, sure enough, in a July, 2014 street view there they are.

Google Maps street view of our former Arlington home, July, 2014.

It looks like the new owners have taken advantage of the county sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement program to cut a side deal with the concrete contractor to replace the walkway to the front stoop and the driveway, both much needed improvements for the structure's 75th year.

The front porch now is now fenced in and the stairs have railings, excellent safety features, if creating a somewhat less open and inviting space. There is a new stairway at the right for accessing the driveway. The front pathway that wrapped around the porch and the big oak tree to the right to the driveway is no longer needed and is now gone.

We can see the two huge oak trees have had a major trim, thinning their crowns and removing branches that jutted over the house. Most of the perennials and all the annual flowers we planted to spruce up the front are gone.  

I remember when I had a yet more extensive tree trimming done on the oaks shortly after moving into the house in November 1998. Both oaks had a  couple of huge limbs overhanging the house no more than two feet above the apex of the roof. A big ice or wind storm and the roof and attic would have been trashed, leading to God knows how much more damage below. I got a full season of firewood supply out of that trim.

We are pleased as punch that our successors have kept up the iron works, with the candles, on the front porch rear wall. We bought that from Williams Sonoma and put it up when we listed the home because we thought it added an interesting touch to what was otherwise boring blank space. It fit so well, that we left it behind when we moved hoping the new owners would appreciate it as much as we had. It appears they have!

Have a nice day and good luck to all.

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