Making our mark

As I said before, it’s been a crazy couple of months, but finally, we are starting to feel almost settled in to our new home. Over the next few posts, I hope to share a few photos, projects and updates with you on our journey into homeownership, and I wanted to start with one our more “out-there” ventures.

One of the few joys of renting from a landlord was the ability to shrug off the ugly damage that occurs — either purposefully, by a mischievous hoodrat, or simply by natural consequences — to the structure, inside and out. I will never forget my first non-parental/non-dormitory home — the tiny house (shall we say shack?) that I shared with my college roommates. We blissfully endured falling ceilings, peeling flooring, pooled water and a rather phallic emblem serving as a centerpiece for our ramshackle backyard.

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A joyous backyard Whitney Houston singalong takes place as the handiwork of an untalented vandal looks on from beside the back door.

Now, I wouldn’t say things have come full circle, exactly. I would not even dare to compare our sweet little Victorian beauty to the lean-to where I spent my college years, but it seems the one-hit wonders wielding the spray cans have followed us West to Denver.

That’s right. We were tagged.

Luckily, the “artists” who hit our alley-facing garage before we’d even signed our names on the loan papers did not do anything as vile as the aforementioned piece on our college house — in fact, this seemed to have been such a quick hit that they hadn’t had time to finish. I would classify it merely as a “swoosh.” A big black “swoosh” in the middle of our brand-new, white garage door.

When we saw it, after the first grimace, we shrugged our shoulders and admitted that this was a part of urban life that we wouldn’t be able to avoid. Between our two-car garage door and fresh, clean cedar gate, we were just asking for the neighborhood to come by and personalize our property, no matter how many new coats of clean paint we piled on top.

So, we decided to take matters into our own hands.

On a chilly, but sunny, Saturday, we invited some of our closest and most artistic friends over for a little graffiti party of our own. If we were going to have spray paint on our property, we were going to make sure that it was created with us in mind! So, we laid out a dozen different carefully-curated cans of paint, some snacks, and the requisite beers, and we got to work.

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It took a little coaxing to get even our most paint-friendly friends to wield a spray can at our new garage, but eventually they got into the spirit and joined us in covering the space with fun creatures, cats on bicycles, iconic Denver/Colorado scenes, and various shapes and squiggles.

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Ok, so we do need a little practice with the spray paint, but I think it’s clear that none of us are seasoned graffiti artists, and we all have plenty of time to improve our skills. While it is not your normal idea of a “grown-up garage” (and in that way, is in strict juxtaposition with the rest of our house — I promise!), for now, it’s a fun solution to a very real problem. Instead of continually fighting the inevitable graffiti that occurs in the alley, we get the joy of seeing the handiwork of our friends and being reminded of one of the first memories at our new house, every time we pull into the garage. We had a great time, and we’re already talking about making it a seasonal affair.

In the meantime, we’ll all be practicing.

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