Last year at about this time, Shannon and I were startled one morning by the sound of repeated pounding on our kitchen glass door.  We cautiously went down stairs into the kitchen just in time to catch a cardinal crashing into the glass.  We watched amused as he continued to do this…and the excitement didn’t end, he returned every morning like clockwork until fall.  But, we missed our little buddy through the winter.  Tuesday morning, I couldn’t believe it when I woke up to the same crash; our buddy is back!  Determined to catch a good picture of him, I crept through the house into the kitchen where I did a military crawl toward the door with camera in hand.  Then I waited with the camera in action photo mode until I caught this series documenting his daily routine.

I wanted a good photo of him just as he crashed into the window, but it is a difficult shot to catch.  You have to be stealthy so he doesn’t get scared away, and it all happens so quickly that you have to click the camera at just the right moment.  I was proud of my action series until later that day Shannon presented me with a couple of pictures she caught on her iPhone.  Two outstanding shots captured by walking right up to the window; close up and perfectly timed, I’m impressed!

Many people have asked when we plan to get back out on the road.  Our immediate response is always, “Oh, about two to three weeks from now.”  However, the truth is, the timing is more driven by a few critical things on our “to do” list.  First on that list is healing, but not far behind is getting our house in the city back on the market.  Tuesday afternoon we met with the realtor and got everything in order to make this happen.  This was our first house and excited about restoring an old city home we poured our lives into it.  We replaced three layers of roof with copper and Grand Manor Shingles, brought the courtyard back to life and added a fountain, restored the front porch back to original, and uprooted an acre worth of ivy and replaced it with fresh gardens.  It has been difficult to let this house go, but hopefully it will go to someone excited about continuing our efforts.  If you know anyone interested in owning a piece of Rochester history, more info is available by contacting The Petix Group of Park Avenue Realtors.

Watching over the house for us is one of Shannon’s best friends, Jennifer.  We celebrated her upcoming birthday that evening with a Mexican fiesta followed by cannolis and fruit tarts at our place.  And we are still adhering to our new diet, the chicken and veggies were organic.  Happy Birthday JLag!


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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11 Responses to Persistence

  1. Makiko says:

    The inside of that house is breath-taking as well… People who walk through that house will be floored by its superior elegance. I’ll be a bit sad too, once that house gets in some other person’s ownership. You guys did an amazing job with it. It’s one of your masterpieces.

  2. Ashley says:

    These could be some of the coolest photos – EVER! I can’t believe you two got such great action shots!

    On another note, what a great house. My parents restored an old victorian home (the house my brother, sister and I grew up in) – the pictures you posted remind me a lot of my home. I have a feeling you will find the right buyer who will continue the restoration process 🙂

    I hope you have been getting lots of rest and have been enjoying time with family and friends.

  3. Pam says:

    Beautiful place.

  4. Uncle Kevin & Aunt Judy says:

    Bret, We had a robin doing the same thing at our window several days last week. She sat in the tree and just pounded on the window all day long. We figured she had a good headache by the time she left! Your cardinal pictures are awesome

  5. jlag says:

    Hey you two! Thanks for a great pre-bday celebration! Arrived in Cali and have already raised a glass (ok, maybe two…) to keep this celebration going. Love you guys. See you soon. JLAG

  6. Cousin Mike says:

    Don’t forget to have the realitor include that your house has cinema history:
    As long as people don’t actually watch “After Image” they will be interested…

  7. Cousin Michelle, Mario, and Simona says:

    Hmmm…… tempting… should we move back to Rochester?

  8. Mom says:

    Awesome photos…but I would have enjoyed seeing the other side of the camera even more…a rapid-fire series of you in the military crawl sneaking up on the cardinal!
    …and Makiko is right…we will all feel sad when you sell this amazing home. It has been such a privilege to visit there…and enjoy it vicariously through both of you. Saying “Bringing the courtyard back to life” does not do justice to the enormity of that project! …the barrels of concrete you broke up…deepening the pond…making the mold to match the original shape of the surround…removing all the gravel and choking vines…you both did a TON of work.
    OK…I know…I sound like a Mom…

  9. Jessica says:

    Wow – those pictures are amazing (so is that camera)! I do agree with Bets, though, it would have been entertaining to see your army crawl!

    Whoever is lucky enough to buy your house will certainly reap the fruit of your labors. Good luck with the sale – I hope you find just the right buyer who will enjoy the house as much as you did.

  10. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    Sounds like everyone has a good bird story or two……….we also have had birds (I think predominately, robins) crash into our large family room window and literally knock themselves out cold! We’d hear the thud and go investigating and find the bird lying motionless on the deck. Now that would be a heck of a headache! We were sure he was a goner, but we’d later go back to check and he’d be gone. So even birds have amazing resilence! Looks like your beautiful cardinal is smarter than our robins! Great photo attempts – you both captured him beautifully!

    Loved seeing the old photo of your city home compared to the updated. In both photos, it reminds me of a castle – such a unique and beautiful design. You definitely poured your heart and soul into it, as evidenced by the way it looks today and the gorgeous gardens and courtyard that you created. I remember we and Michelle found you hard at work one Saturday afternoon when we popped in for a quick visit,
    several years ago now. Be reassured, it is definitely a property that will be sought after by someone who will truly appreciate it’s worth and all the love that went into its restoration. 🙂

  11. Jenn Ng'andu says:

    Good luck selling your first home. I’ve always admired its rich history and beauty.

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