• house,  neighborhood,  story

    The fire

    The noise first alerted us to a problem.  Our old house had been renovated so often that the living room was a windowless cave.  We often found solace in the protection from dangers that lurked outside, but tonight it was a hindrance.  It was late that is when bad things happen. Orange light filtered through the diamond window of the front door as we crowded together to look.  I gasped as tongues of fire consumed the house across the street. That was the nice house on the street, I moaned. When 50% of the street was vacant we learned to appreciate the houses that were nice. Sirens wailed in the…

  • neighborhood,  poetry

    a poem, aged 4 years

    Our house on Harvard had a kitchen window that was right next to a busy walkway.  I wrote this poem on April Fool’s day, 2014. ————————————— Windows open, spaces commune. The inside welcomes the outside, private life seeps into public. The clank of dishes drifts outside, the smell of breaking bread teases passersby. It is spring again and life is shared.

  • life,  life together,  neighborhood,  thoughts

    Around us and to us.

    I’ve been pondering the differences of our hardships in Zanesville and those of our life in Columbus.  Both are and were difficult, full of a lot of times where we threw our hands up in despair over the situations we found ourselves in. In Columbus, in our inner city house, we felt protected.  We knew we had angels guarding our property and that for the most part, no harm would come to us.  However, outside of that line all was fair game.  There were murders, fires, drug deals, all within 100 feet of our house.  Every time something like that happened, fear showed up.  The “what if’s” raced through our…

  • house,  life,  life together,  neighborhood,  thoughts

    the dung.

    *** I wrote this almost a year ago (it’s unedited).  Praise Jesus for what he has done in that year’s time.  We are in our spacious place and the house in the city is coming into it’s true glory.***   “We are not even the seed. We are the dung preparing the land to receive the seed.” Dorothy Day We knew that when we moved to this house 5 years ago that it was going to be hard. We understood nothing about the community around us other than it was broken (literally, most of the neighboring houses were vacant) and that we had a ton of work ahead of us…

  • house,  life,  neighborhood,  thoughts

    the next step.

    It felt like the world was rushing us. Trying to convince us to put our house on the market quickly so it didn’t sit empty and become a target for vandals.   I get it, it makes sense.  But it didn’t feel right.   We knew we had to take one step at a time.   Selling our house was never the next step to take.  I felt confident God would provide the right people for this place.   After disappointments, hopes and many nights of wondering what will become of our beloved cocoa manor we now know.   It is incredible.   In fact it is everything we ever…

  • house,  life,  neighborhood,  thoughts

    being the brave photographer i want to be.

    I told myself at the beginning of summer that I was going to be braver when it came to taking photos of our neighborhood.  I was going to ask people for their photo when I saw fit and try to really capture the beauty that I see here everyday. It’s August and I’ve taken one photo that counts toward that goal. Tonight I announced that we would be going for a walk after dinner.  Partly because we have snotty kids who needed time out of the house but mostly because I needed to force myself to use my camera in our neighborhood.  Photography comes naturally, but only if I first set…

  • gardens,  house,  life,  neighborhood,  thoughts

    giving thanks.

    The smell of sweet honeysuckle drifts through the air. I study the plant that will eventually creep up the wire to shade our porch and smile. I look at the flowers that line our porch, the food growing in our yard. My heart could almost burst from gratefulness. A house once broken, now redeemed. How long before it would have been condemned? But now it sits on it’s corner, shining bright for all to see. To remember what it used to be and see what it is. And to know, hopefully, Light is there.

  • gardens,  neighborhood,  thoughts

    Let there be light

    We live in a good neighborhood. In fairness, if you’re driving in from the suburbs, you might be terrified.  It’s not your fault, the neighborhood is intentionally mischaracterized. A few thousand people live in these blocks that we call home. Most of them are good people. All other things being equal, most of our neighbors will choose an honest living and treat other people with decency and respect. There are some people who go out of their way to do good for others, and some people who go out of their way to take advantage of others if the opportunity presents itself. It’s like any neighborhood in the world in…