Sunday, August 31, 2008

One Month Report

Okay. As requested. Here is my one month report.

It has been exactly one month since we moved in. While the environment has been tough (no rain, subcontractors going on temporary strikes, businesses bought and sold, neighbors having to delay moving in), I have just loved living here. And we are not the first family to move here. I have met a family of crows (they are quite communicative), a herd of deer, and a flock of blue birds. Here is a short of list of the good and the bad.

The Bad first:

Living in a construction zone: It's not too bad but I don't like it much. The hammering and the generators can be loud but we knew that. And I really hate it when the construction workers whistle at me. Look, I am an old married lady (our 20th wedding anniversary is this week), definitely a maid, not a maiden, nothing to get too excited about. I run a lot, and yesterday when I ran by the crew working on the Hauser homes and I got that whistle, I thought, I am going go up close to those guys and give them a hard time. I didn't though I thought about it. I don't like that.

The Red Mud: Really, I like the mud. The tracks here are amazing, and my daughter loves the mud, too, but it gets on everything. We have to be careful to not track it into the house. Our shoes are probably going to be permanently stained (who cares?). I can't wait until the landscaping for the first phase is complete. The red mud is on the sidewalks, the grass is not growing anywhere. Ack!

Not Many Neighbors: Finally, the second home owner moved in yesterday. We can't wait for more people.

I am sure Bret has his short list, too, but over all, the development company has just been awesome, helping us every step of the way. The fiber optic communications is not in yet but the builder and developer, and the communication company Connexion, have been great.

The Good:

The Land: Whenever I think that maybe this was a mistake and I should have stayed in my private little sheltered life in Vermont, I go and sit on the land. It is a spiritual practice of mine anyway, and I have chosen a high spot on the land that stays a secret to you all because I don't want you finding me. Anyway, I sit there in the early morning in awe of the mountains and the trees. The view of the sunrise and the moonset is amazing, and then there are the hot air balloons. They come floating slowly over Belvedere and you definitely get the sense that, Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore. I feel imbued with a sense of magic and awe when I am out there.

The House: The house just rocks. I can't wait until more people move in to experience the feel of the structural design, the porches, the sidewalks. The light is awesome, the window treatments have been intense; what to choose? I am not really a house person, but my husband is, and the neighbors are. I just adore listening to them love their house, too. I look forward to really being a neighborhood.

The Trails: I am out on the trails everyday. I am told that the Belvedere trail system will be revealed shortly by the developer, Stonehaus, so I won't say too much here except that Dan Mahon and the Rivanna Trail people did an awesome job with the trail through the Dunlora woods. I run and walk down there all the time. My daughter and I spend time looking at all kinds of things along that trail, from the massive mastcrop trees to the spiders to the creek system and animal tracks and sign. Bret and I run along the trails down to Dunlora. The other day, massive amounts of grasshoppers flew up ahead of me as I ran through the Dunlora field trail. I will often find sign of animal behaviors in the flood plain, like coyote kill sites and deer paths, and of course, lots of frogs. The Zone has beautiful trails, if only I could keep the four-wheelers out. There is much to explore and love about the trails and the land.

The Builder and the Developer: The builder, Church Hill, has been just awesome. Even though they have clearly struggled, they have stayed in touch and are very gracious to us. And Stonehaus, you have also been great. I ask a lot of questions, and have tried to be measured in my approach to your vision but sometimes, I can't help myself. The potential is just too amazing and I tend to be exuberant anyway. I really think things have just begun here and are going to get better.

My Yard: The Permaculture Garden is still planned. I plan to put in a fence and some more plant beds. I hope to have the fruit trees planted this fall.

Other Amentities: The Fairview Swim Club was great this summer, just walking up and jumping in the pool. I hope my kids want to be on the swim team. SOCA is still planning the soccer field house, the Village Green will one day be green with the activities promised by Stonehaus, and there are plans for classes and other health-related activities that are not my place to say just yet. I know they are coming down the pike, though.

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