Percolating in the back of my head for the last three weeks was the probably the largest, riskiest, most creative scheme I've had yet. So large, risky, and creative, that to most people (including myself, immediate family, and strangers on the street) it seemed borderline crazy.
The facts: an abandoned property with a condemned home was being auctioned off by the county treasurer's office this past weekend. The property's backyard is adjacent to our own backyard. The lot is 0.43 acres, is just 1 mile south of a state university, is just a couple of blocks west of our city's pedestrian friendly downtown, is around the corner from a forward-thinking gardening non-profit. The home's listing claims it is 2500 square feet, with 7 bedrooms.
Right away I think: total green rehab (solar panels by SolarYpsi, geothermal heating/cooling, local tradesmen to do the work), Bed & Breakfast, Retreat Center offering sustainability skill-sharing events (breadmaking, knitting, spinning, couples retreats, gardening, canning, etc, etc, etc), with a couple of friendly alpaca decorating the backyard.
This idea lived on and gained momentum in my head while I talked it up to anyone who would listen, including a handful of city officials. The conversation's purpose was to work out the details, gauge public reaction, and gather ideas for funding. All of those things were successful! Ah, but, another bidder, with a more concrete plan (and hopefully fewer city ordinances to amend), is now the owner of this property.
I was surprised and disappointed, but a little bit relieved when the auction ended with the word "Sold!" next to the listing. I hope the new owners are alpaca-friendly!
Thanks to all of you who rode this crazy train with me, smiling and nodding politely while I unfolded this idea out before you!