We’re finally in the house! After 8 months of watching this thing go up, it’s amazing to be walking the halls, sleeping in the bedrooms, etc. Of all the things we knew to expect, the one thing we could not have anticipated is the way we were welcomed to the street. In 3 weeks of living here, we’ve met more of our neighbors and felt more a part of the neighborhood than we did in 2 years of living out east. There are plenty of challenges – our street is home to 8-10 abandoned properties (depending on how you define ‘abandoned’) where it’s not uncommon to see boarded up doors/windows pried open. We’ve affectionately nicknamed Carpenter St the home stretch of the ‘Binghampton 500’ because of the wild drivers who speed up and down the street – and yes, our street IS home to the neighborhood elementary school. Luckily, due to lots of petitions and phone calls from neighborhood leaders and neighbors on our street, speedbumps are scheduled to be installed next month!
Uncle Trey came to visit us the weekend after we moved in! Trey Jackson, founder of Out of the Shed Designs is a really good friend of ours – we worked together when I first started traveling to Memphis for Booster 3 years ago. Trey is one of the few people I’ve met who is able to study something for a time and completely master it. His most recent mastery is in the carpentry/woodworking department. A few months back, Elizabeth noticed a kitchen table on Trey’s Instagram feed – she showed me and asked “Did Trey make this?” “There’s no way” I replied (what a great friend I am). Turns out he did. We asked if he’d be able to make one for us and he kindly obliged…and killed it. Trey brought pieces up saturday afternoon and he and I put it together. Finished product is above, and it looks even better in person than it looks in the picture. If you want Trey to make a table for you, click the link to out of the shed above and get more information…plus a portion of each kitchen table sale goes to support our work in The Hamp here.
One of the highlights of our year was the BDC 10th year anniversary celebration in Howze Park (across the street from the house). The BDC has been doing economic, social and spiritual development in Binghampton for 10 years now. They’ve helped raise and reinvest $8 million back into the neighborhood aiming primarily at providing affordable, clean, well-made places to live. In recent years, they’ve expanded to take on opportunities like my position as well as the Job Training Crew (who built our house) among many other people-oriented initiatives. The night was full of food, a parade, great music by neighborhood musicians (shout out to Terence June Gray!) and capped off by a fireworks show. There were around 500 people there at it’s peak, a great family night!