Since I moved to the Town of Vienna in December and related the transition from “city mouse” to “country mouse” in this column, many have asked how we’re doing in our new home.
You see and hear sights and sounds here on Patton Road that you certainly wouldn’t on Grant Street. A few weeks after the move, as we swept leaves off of our deck, a man on a horse trotted down the road. During some evenings in December, we tuned into the sound of coyotes in the distance. A neighbor nearby likes target practice, so we hear gunshots on some days.
With our house on a hill, sunsets and sunrises splash the sky with color to begin the night and day.
Now at our bird feeders, woodpeckers visit, alternately pecking at the tree nearest to the feeder and the seeds we supply. Cardinals, blue jays, black capped chickadees and sparrows are frequent visitors, too.
From a marsh nearby labeled on Google as the “Waterfowl Production Area,” we hear sandhill cranes’ crazy calls and honking geese.
I’ve often been asked if the new house needs remodeling. The difference between buying a 100-year-old home and a 50-year-old one is the latter is pretty well finished. Sure, you might want to change some things, but it has few immediate needs.
Still, I’ve always loved having a flower garden and ornamental trees and bushes, so we do have work to do outside. This spring, I’ll miss the fragrant lilacs we planted at my former house 17 years ago.
I expect to spend many weekends putting in more bushes and flower beds, so in the spring times to come, I can look forward to the blossoms. We’ve also had vegetable gardens, and establishing one again will be another task.
One major concern was adapting to the five-mile drive to work each day, and while some of those icy, snowy stretches added stress to the short commute, now I enjoy the ride past farmland and forest each day.
I still miss walking to Kwik Trip in the mornings for the newspaper, eggs or bananas. I miss sidewalks, too, and waving to my neighbors.
When we moved here, one friend who lives in Vienna said, “You’ll be busy.” Our larger property has more to take care of – more trees, more land.
With spring here, we’re just embarking on projects and planning improvements. Likely, creating the outdoor spaces we love will take the next decade as it did at our former home.
It’s an exciting prospect and likely a process that will continue each spring. For now with warmer weather, we spend much of our free time walking the property, siting locations for raspberry bushes, ornamentals, flower beds and raised vegetable beds.
Our friend was right. We will be busy.