To say that the first 15 months of owning our new home haven't been what we imagined would be an understatement.
Between last year's whole house freeze and subsequent replumb of the entire house, installation of a new HVAC system, and generally the feeling of one step forward, nineteen steps backwards, the endeavor has been expensive, time consuming, stressful, and exactly the opposite of what we envisioned. For this reason, when something fun, interesting, or positive happens, we're making every attempt to make the most of it.
We jump for joy each time we discover a "new" antique bottle in the yard or washed up on the sand.
Through our "treasure hunts" we've amassed a small collection of eclectic bottles, and I'm having a great time working them into several rooms of the house.
Though many weekends have been filled with hard and not particularly glamorous work, we also discovered a weekend mid-day tradition. When we hear the friendly jingle from blocks away, we run to the road to meet the ice cream man, with dollars clenched in our sweaty palms anxiously debating our choices.
We've also set aside a few weekends for entertaining friends, which has been far from Pinterest worthy, but we've still managed to have a great time. We've learned to turn a blind eye to things like the gaping hole in the kitchen ceiling...
the partially stripped wallpaper in the dining room, and a living room taped off for renovation. Instead we crowd around the fire pit on the one project we've actually finished, our painted adirondack chairs.
These are the highlights of our time in the house. We know there will be many more in the future, but for now, these are where we hang our hats when we're thinking back on how we spent the first year. However, something happened a little over a week ago that quickly shot to the top of our highlights list!
Back when we were having our floors refinished we learned that a little pig visited the guys who were working on our floors. We'd never seen this pig before, and had no idea where the little pig came from, but this neighborhood wanderer was apparently a mixture of friendly and timid. We actually learned of the visit via Instagram when our flooring guy, Roland, posted a photo of the lunchtime visit.
After that day back in October 2015, we've wanted nothing more than to catch a glimpse of our neighborhood's little piggy.
Alex was the first to luck out, one day when he was out at the house without me. He glanced out of the back door and saw the pig rooting around down by our bushes. But when he unlocked the door to get a closer look, the noise spooked the pig and she took off like lightening. He was able to get a glimpse of her on video for proof of existence (he was treating this like a UFO sighting), but by the time he got to the other side of the house, she was long gone.
We'd not had any pig sightings since the video was taken back in November, but every time we went out to the house we hoped we'd be able to meet her. But we kept on having near misses. On the day of our final plumbing inspection the inspector came in the house and said, "This town has it all. I just saw a pig running down the street out there!"
The mystery of our local pig grew and we had no idea where she was. That is, until last week.
Alex was working in the living room when he glanced out the front door and saw our little visitor rummaging around in the dead grass of the front yard. He yelled over to me, "Wendy, come here! It's the pig!"
Overwhelmed by the possibility of meeting the pig, I practically froze. I yelled back, "Where?!?!"
Alex insisted, "In here, just come here, quick, it's the pig, quick!"
I didn't want to miss it, so I kept saying, "Where? Where?" Alex just kept saying, "In *here*, just come in here!"
I ran in and looked out the window. There she was in all of her glory, just hanging out in our front yard!
I decided I wanted to befriend her, and might have a better chance if I came armed with treats, the best way to a pig's heart. So I grabbed a bag of Lulu's cut up raw butternut squash and quietly, gingerly, and stealthily headed outside. I figured she'd spooked so easily before, there was practically no way I'd get to say hello to her, but I might as well try. As I crept out the door she almost immediately started throwing shade my way.
Alex got much of this
befriending standoff on video. You can see her mix of skepticism and excitement based on her stillness and her tail wagging.
Then it happened. I thought about how pigs rank in the top five of most intelligent animals, so I decided to talk to her. I said something like, "Hey, pig. Do you want a treat?" Surprisingly, her tail started to wag and she began to cautiously make her way over to me.
With my outstretched arm clenching a small piece of butternut squash, I offered to her and almost instantly gained her trust. By the time Alex made it outside to see how my introduction was going, I already had this beautiful gray, white, and pink baby eating out of the palm of my hand.
She was completely and totally adorable!
The video includes a lot of snorting, but that's actually from Lulu rather than our lovely neighbor. We didn't let Lulu down to play with the pig, as we weren't sure exactly how that might play out. We were more nervous that Lulu would end up chasing our new friend away and we'd never hear from her again. So we'll wait for another day to try that meet and greet out. But we're hopefully these two will eventually be fast friends.
Just look at that nose coloring, mustache, snaggletooth, and dirty mouth, a mixture of butternut squash, mud, and cuteness. Alex decided to also take a turn to get to know our friendly and hopefully frequent visitor. He was able to feed her quite a bit more of Lulu's butternut squash...much to Lulu's dismay.
The whole experience was glorious. Before I knew it our entire bag of butternut quash was gone, and I had a new BFF. I walked with our new friend to the end of the driveway in hopes I'd get to see where she lives, talking to her the whole way, of course.
As I made it to the street, I met a neighbor who filled me in on a few of the pig's details. Apparently she lives a couple doors down and is a family pet. She's a pot belly pig that was purchased as a little piglet, and she's become something of a town celebrity. She wanders around the town, and while most folks like her, there are a few that don't appreciate her nosing around in their gardens. We don't know her name (and yes, now that we've met I learned she's a her, not a him) but we've started calling her Petunia the Pig.
As I said, our experience thus far owning our new fixer upper has been quite an unexpected journey. I never thought I'd live in a town with a pig neighbor, but her visits make me feel like I'm in hog's heaven. You have to take the good with the bad, and her wagging tail and adorable snorting noises go a long way in making us excited about what's to come.