Perhaps this has happened to you while you were out working on the lawn, painting a fence, repairing the driveway, or just enjoying your front porch.... But for all the "extra" work an older home may require, sometimes the greatest reward is when a complete stranger makes the effort to stop and say how much THEY appreciate what you are doing.
This has happened to me several times over our brief 3 years in the neighborhood, and just the other day a neighbor related a similar story.
She was outside working on her lawn, when a lady in an old pickup truck slowed to a stop in front of her home.
The woman said, "You know, I have never taken time before this to drive through your neighborhood, although I've lived in Sanford for many years. I drive by the historic signs every day on Horner, and just today decided to turn down a street and look around. I am so impressed with how beautiful all the houses are, and how gorgeous all the mature landscaping is." She then thanked the homeowner for their hard work keeping the area so beautiful, and continued her drive through the community.
Along with our own personal satisfaction in trying to do what is right while we are but brief stewards of these properties, it is perhaps the greatest reward and feeling of pride when someone else makes a point of noting their appreciation of our hard work, especially when it is someone outside of the neighborhood. And they do, even if they don't always say so.
So the next time you see a "stranger" riding through town, "rubber-necking" and pointing at your and your neighbors' homes, take pride in knowing all the hard work that went on "behind the scenes" and that the residents(current .... and perhaps future!) of Sanford do notice.
And on the note that some of these visitors are also possibly considering a move to our neighborhoods, some great news: Both the King House at 217 N. Gulf and the Mary and George Casey House(our home's sibling by family) at 205 N. Gulf have sold and will have new families moving in soon. One family is relocating from within Sanford, while the other is moving down from the Raleigh area. We all look forward to welcoming these new residents to the community.