A Movable Wall That Makes Way for Dreams

Several years ago, we had an opportunity to buy into a dream we had: to own an old farmhouse that needed a little work, fix it up and create our own little paradise complete with lovely gardens and our own flock of chickens (reference the photo below). So, full disclosure, it wasn’t that straightforward – it never is, right? The house we landed on needed a lot of work (even as I type today, some projects have been done and some haven’t because…life!). As we walked through the house those years ago, I had no problem with its condition because it was ridiculously charming and came with a deep history. The fact that I was head over heels in love with the land it sat on probably did a little to keep my negative criticism at bay during that time too. This was the first working farm on our street and there were hints from its past on the property: a cement foundation where a chicken coop once stood, an incredible barn that clearly housed its share of livestock, a little meadow where horses once plowed the land for planting. By the time the possibility of living at “The Farm” became a discussion in our house, no one could talk me out of it.

image1Fast forward to today: It’s been a work in progress finishing interior spaces as we want (or need) to, but as we continue to check things off our master list, quite often more slowly than I would hope, I find myself daydreaming about the same thing: My Future Kitchen Garden. This “icing on the cake” project will symbolize the end of our long list of interior work and mark the transition to making the outside of our little slice of the world our own. In my mind, I know exactly where this garden will go and my daydreams are unaffected by the fact that the space is currently a pile of stones, branches and weeds encased, in areas, in a solid layer of poison ivy. This vision of a dream garden is my motivation to keep plugging away on the house – it gives me something to plan around and it motivates me to explore ideas for how we should integrate this outdoor space into life inside our home. Because, given the time I’ve had to think about this garden, when I do it, I am going to do it right.

Inside the house, abutting the “garden”, is a space that was transformed at the hands of various previous owners. It was kind of like a Frankenstein kitchen/living room/dining room/laundry/museum. Think cobalt blue laminate counter tops with cabinet fronts to match, a dishwasher, washer and dryer all in a row, the tops of which served as counter space for kitchen prep. This arrangement sat below a set of brand-name-not-to-be-mentioned casement windows that were very well on their way to the window retirement community, or a landfill somewhere. Within this very funky interior space, we created a “modern living area” including a real kitchen, laundry room, powder room and living room. The living room space used to be the actual farm kitchen when the family in residence still cooked over fire in a fireplace or beehive oven. It also happened to be where the aforementioned row of rotten casements lived, too. Now, I don’t know about you, but, as a member of the window and door industry, when I see a bank of rotten windows I don’t feel disappointed, I think “Ah, possibilities!” When the time came to transform this space, I knew immediately that this entire wall – from the kitchen to the laundry, powder and living room – would be a living frame for My Future Kitchen Garden. That fact led to careful consideration about how to maximize glass space and minimize plain, old wall. I spent a lot of time checking out other people’s ideas for inside-outside transitions (Check out this “Kitchen Gardens” Ideabook I created on the site Houzz.com – there are plenty that aren’t my style, but I couldn’t resist some of the creative ways people used doors to extend their interiors and bring their special outdoor spaces inside the home).

Today the Marvin Ultimate Inswing French Doors we chose serve as a frame for a (very special) patch of weeds, rocks and dirt, but they’re the first thing I see when I come through the door every day after work: and in reality, it’s the fact that I don’t see them that pleases me the most. These beautiful doors have allowed me to visually move through the living room wall in order to access my daydream. That’s the most pleasing promise that any design or construction element could offer: the ability to get out of the way to let my hopes and dreams be the star of the home.

Imagine the possibilities that some of Marvin’s more impressive doors, like the forthcoming Multislide, or the available four panel sliding door from Integrity will offer customers like me who want access to their dreams from inside their homes.

MHDMiana Hoyt Dawson
Marketing Brand Manager
A.W. Hastings

Hastings Signature Services “Quick Fix” Video Series: Marvin French Door – How to Adjust the Hinges

Hastings Signature Services surrounds the Marvin Window and Door ownership experience with a comprehensive suite of product care related services. We want to make it easy for you to find answers to common service questions for Marvin windows and doors.

In the third installment of the Hastings Signature Services “Quick Fix” video series, Becky Dorfman from the Hastings Signature Services Support team demonstrates how to adjust the hinges on a Marvin French Door. This adjustment can return a door to proper function after normal settling occurs.


Stay tuned for more videos in this “Quick Fix” series from Hastings Signature Services.

 

Hastings Signature Services “Quick Fix” Video Series: Marvin French Door – Removing & Replacing the Handleset Hardware

Hastings Signature Services surrounds the Marvin Window and Door ownership experience with a comprehensive suite of product care related services. We want to make it easy for you to find answers to common service questions for Marvin windows and doors.

In the next installment of our “Quick Fix” video series, Becky Dorfman from the Hastings Signature Support team demonstrates how to remove and replace handleset hardware from a Marvin French Door. Not just for malfunctioning hardware, this simple fix can also be used to change up the look of the door by updating the hardware.


Stay tuned for more videos in this “Quick Fix” series from Hastings Signature Services.

 

Hastings Signature Services “Quick Fix” Video Series: Marvin French Door – How to Operate the Multipoint Hardware

Hastings Signature Services surrounds the Marvin Window and Door ownership experience with a comprehensive suite of product care related services. We want to make it easy for you to find answers to common service questions for Marvin windows and doors.

Over the coming weeks, we will release a series of “Quick Fix” videos that you can share with your customers. In the first video, Becky Dorfman from the Hastings Signature Support team demonstrates how to operate the multi-point hardware on Marvin French Doors to ensure the door is properly locked.


Stay tuned for more videos in this “Quick Fix” series from Hastings Signature Services.

 

Keep on Truckin’ – On the Road with Hastings

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Riding shotgun with Kevin P.

For years I was that kid (or in my case – that adult) who rode past tractor trailers on the highway motioning with my arm, begging to hear that air horn.

This was my chance.

My alarm went off at 3:55 a.m. on Thursday, March 19th. I was joining Kevin Perzanowski (one of Hastings’ finest CDL A drivers) for a ride-along. I could not have been more excited.

I thought long and hard about what I could bring my new friend at 5:30 a.m. to start our time off together right. The first thing that came to mind was donuts. Everyone loves donuts, right?

I arrived in a timely fashion at the Distribution Center to start my day with donuts in hand. Kevin arrived a few minutes later and looked a bit taken aback by my smiles, excitement, enthusiasm and energy. But I proudly said, “Hi. I’m Kim and we are going to get to know each other very well today.” At first he looked quite hesitant, but I think I had him at—donuts.

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Bonding over donuts…

In normal woman-fashion, I arrived very prepared. Coffee. Lunch packed. Extra sweatshirt. Gloves. Sunglasses. Phone charger. With all my belongings in tow, I hopped into the truck. Okay—it was not really a “hop,” it was more like a climb up into the truck’s cab. I looked around and took it all in, placed the donuts down in the area between our seats, buckled up and off we went.

I was a bit surprised how loud it was in the truck, but nonetheless, I settled in and Kevin and I were not even on 91 northbound before our conversation was flowing and donuts were being enjoyed.

Today’s route was South of Boston. We had four stops: Chace Building Supply, Mozzone, Cape Cod Lumber and Hingham Lumber. Our truckload consisted of 113 units; 106 of them were going to Hingham Lumber.

As a member of the recruitment team, the reason for this trip was to gain a better understanding of the role of our drivers. I wanted to experience firsthand what their day looked like and what some of the challenges were. This will be extremely helpful information to have when speaking to future candidates seeking employment with Hastings.

Kevin and I spoke a lot about our time at Hastings, how long we have been working here and what our roles are. I had a lot of questions for Kevin and he was gracious enough to answer ALL of them. Kevin typically arrives at the Distribution Center at approximately 5:45 am each day. He looks at his route, obtains the appropriate paperwork, prepares his truck and gets on the road. Our first stop on Thursday was Chace Lumber in Foxboro, MA, which is approximately 95 miles from Enfield, CT. That was a very quick stop consisting of only a few units, as were our stops at Mozzone and Cape Cod Lumber. The big stop of the day was Hingham Lumber.

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You know what they say – “Lift with your legs!”

Upon arriving at Hingham, a plan was immediately in place. There were 2 large orders to be unloaded from the truck—one would be stacked in the warehouse to the left, the other to the right. The back of the truck was lifted and our work began. Luckily for me, many of the smaller units were towards the front of the truck and I was able to jump in and start unloading.

I then transitioned to the “list checker”; as units were unloaded a number was read off to me and I would check it off from the packing list. A couple of employees from Hingham assisted in the unloading, which in turn made the job go much quicker. Once the job was complete and the list was signed off on—we hit the road.

It was time for lunch–finally! I had worked up an appetite.

The plan was to hit the nearest “nap trap” (for those of you who don’t know this bit of truck driver lingo—that is another word for rest stop). Now although I mentioned I had packed my lunch, Kevin and I worked hard and felt we deserved something better than the lame sandwiches we had packed in our lunch bags. So McDonald’s it was.

After lunch, we got back on the road with our dead-head truck (this is a truck operating with an empty trailer). We were approximately 120 miles from our starting point in Enfield, CT. This gave us 2 full hours to talk about the day’s work we had just completed and life in general. I promised Kevin I would not fall asleep on the ride home and I kept my promise. However, I was VERY tired—it was a long day at work.

Kevin is wonderful at his job. He is a safe driver and we are lucky to have him out there representing our company. Being a CDL A  driver is not easy work. There are challenges such as long days, traffic, weather and problems with the performance of the truck. Yet, Kevin takes it all in stride and does his job with a smile on his face.

Although I never got to hear that air horn—I made a new friend, learned about his job and enjoyed his company—all 275 miles worth. I would be honored to take another trip with Kevin P. any day.

 

kim v

Kim Viviano
Sourcing and Recruitment Support Specialist