It’s been 18 years since Stacy and her husband moved into their central Austin home. They were drawn to the neighborhood and its large, graceful lots – a favorite among area walkers. They welcomed a daughter, then a son, and enjoyed the active, outdoor life of parents with young children.
The neighborhood was a good fit, a blend of other families as well as many older, original homeowners.
“We have community events a couple of times a year, neighborhood block parties and stuff like that,” Stacy said.
As the years passed, Stacy noticed a change. Increasingly busy lives and older kids meant more time scheduled, and less time outdoors. It was a bit different from Stacy’s more free-range childhood, where her afternoons were filled with scavenger hunts, hide-and-seek, and learning to skateboard and ride bikes.
“We would just leave after school and head out, then come home at dark,” she recalled. Stacy craved that outside freedom for her family, too.
Last spring, Stacy saw a friend’s Facebook post about The Turquoise Table. She loved the idea of staying connected with neighbors and maintaining her close community. And she especially loved the tie to the ReWork Project, which trains homeless men and women to build handmade crafts and furniture in its south Austin wood shop – a mission mirroring Stacy’s longtime experience in the non-profit sector, currently as executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Feeling inspired, and as a way to celebrate her May birthday, Stacy ordered a Turquoise Table from the ReWork Project.
Her family introduced the neighborhood to the Turquoise Table movement with a morning gathering, welcoming a few dozen people for coffee and donuts. And it’s grown from there.
“It’s a perfect place for picnics and lemonade stands,” Stacy said. “Often I’ll come home and there will be people sitting there.”
The family placed the table close to the street, in between two large shade trees, so people felt welcome to just pop into the yard and take a seat.
“As our children have gotten older, we have spent less time outside as a family, versus when they were very little and we were outside all the time,” Stacy said. “The table has allowed us the opportunity to go back outside.”
Now, nearly two decades after living in their house, Stacy and her family are putting their home up for sale. But it likely won’t be the end of her Turquoise Table story as their real estate hunt has her drawn to some specific properties.
“We’re attracted to the houses with a Turquoise Table,” Stacy said with a chuckle. “It’s like a little secret stamp that says, ‘Hey, cool people live here!’”