Young Marriage / Old House [Curb Appeal]

When Bekah and I moved into our little 1890s house and started renovating, we knew we wanted our private act of homesteading to plug in to the wider public atmosphere of life within Dignowity Hill. Life in this neighborhood was just too rich not to want to take part in it as fully as possible.

It’s always been a neighborhood of eccentricity and off-the-radar downtown living. There’s an overabundance of atmosphere in this little corner of San Antonio. It’s a crazy old patchwork quilt of falling down mansions, newly restored mansions, backyard shanty towns made of corrugated metal, giant pecan trees, old-fashioned neighborliness where everyone knows everyone else’s business, Union Pacific railroad noise violations, old timers who remember when it was all once a thriving and diverse family community, homeless people under the I-37 overpass, newcomers buying crumbling houses that nobody wanted for decades, and long conversations with friendly strangers in the middle of empty streets. We saw the richness of this smorgasbord and knew this place was speaking to our souls. (We’ve got weird souls.) Continue reading →

Young Marriage / Old House [Feast in the Back Yard on a Hot Winter Night]

We had recently landscaped our house, Bekah was seven months pregnant, and she was soon going to say goodbye to her twenties. We decided to celebrate.

It was a usual balmy January night in San Antonio. We lit a fire anyway because we really wanted to try out our new fire pit. We dragged all the dining room furniture into the back yard. Houses with peeling paint surrounded us on all sides. Some of our oldest friends (as many as we could fit at the table) gathered at dusk. Sweet Yams (world’s best organic soul food shack that also happens to be in our neighborhood) catered the dinner. White wine, Mexican Coke and Alamo Beer (our neighbor three blocks away) flowed freely. (We love our neighborhood.) The gregarious Rottweilers fretted and muttered things under their breaths from their exile in the laundry room.

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Young Marriage / Old House [Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room Renovation]

Bekah and I got married in October 2010. Two days before the wedding we bought a ramshackle little 120 year old house in Dignowity Hill on the near east side of San Antonio, the city where we grew up. We then set to work figuring out how we wanted to live our new life: within our new marriage, within an old house, within an unfamiliar neighborhood, and within an all-too-familiar city.

We wanted to be deliberate in all of these things, and we wanted them all to inform and to shape each other. We also wanted our own quirks to come forward whenever possible.

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