the back door
Our home is blessed, or maybe cursed, to have two front doors and three back doors. And since, like many Hoosier homes, people use our back door rather than the front....our back door is really our front door. But use which back door people wonder?
When we moved into our home almost 11 years ago we were accustomed to using the back door to the far south, in part because it was closest to the kitchen, but also because the middle door was broken and falling of its hinges and led only into the laundry room. The far north door led to the basement. And so, just like our family, everyone who visited also became accustomed to using the far south door.
The middle door had an old concrete porch and steps that led to it. The porch cap was broken and pitched inward toward the house. It also had broken block underneath through which our dog gained access under the porch and became lodged pretty solidly under the old slab one summer. Fearing he would not get out we had a backhoe on its way to life the slab. As we hammered against the block our dog found the gumption to get out-like lightning. So, to prevent further entrapments we had the old porch removed. After which a portion of our foundation fell in when a train rumbled by.
Once we had a new porch put on (field stone and wood porch floor) the architect in me couldn't decide how to best finish the steps. During the long wait for me to make up my mind, concrete block made make-shift steps. We had a new, beautiful wood door installed and we switched locations for the laundry room. It would move to the smaller room that most people used to get into our house (southernmost door). The former laundry became a more formal entry. And in the mean time the door began to have issues and the wood porch floor rotted.
So, I repaired and painted the door blue and removed the wood deck and had a concrete top put on....not quite right, but ok. Finally this summer I had brick pavers put down for the terrace and limestone monoliths installed for steps. And then finally got wood columns (historic columns from a neighbor's porch) installed with cattle fencing placed over the top for an arbor, fastened to a wood frame made from a very old floor joist from somewhere in our house or barn. This was the plan several years ago when I planted bittersweet to grow up a trellis to cover the top of the arbor. Uh, the bittersweet reached grow-over capacity a few years ago.
And nearly all of the landscaping is in place and looks great this time of year. My old chair I use(d) after my runs last summer sits beneath the shade of the arbor which will look great with Christmas lights and greenery this winter. I'm pretty pleased although the steps need shimmed and I still have the water fountain to build. The only problem is.....NO ONE USES THIS DOOR.....they've all gotten used to coming to the other door and now walk in on our dirty laundry. In fact, we know it's someone new if we hear a knock at the real back/front door.
So, if you come for a visit, please use the blue door. It comes directly into my office now, but that's fine, there's a wing-back chair that you can pull up to my desk and we can talk over coffee.