In an attempt to deepen relationships with our neighbors, last Christmas Kelli and I decided to turn a small area of gravel in front of our house into a patio. We figured that if we were out front more often, it would give us more opportunity to catch up, be in touch with what's happening in the neighborhood, and maybe even help us meet neighbors we have yet to meet. I started the project a year ago committing to have a finished product by the end of the month. Wishful thinking. A year and a month later – it's done and the monkey is of my back. So far the intent of the patio is working – our next door neighbor shared tools with us (and even helped himself one Saturday), the neighbors on the other side let us borrow a trailer to haul some of the excess dirt away, and various neighbors have come over to see the finished product (two even came over when I rented a tile saw this week wondering what the awful noise was!) Anyway, it's done and in the last few months we decided to ditch the fountain that needed work for a propane firepit – a great move I think. Check out the before and after pictures below:
BTW: there's talk of a "patio party" next Saturday – details to come!