Darren and Dena Fife, self-proclaimed masters of opportunity, have been busy repainting, replacing and recycling at their home on 68th Street since they moved there in 2007.
Most rooms in their home have had some sort of updating — painting the living room, replacing carpeting to hardwood floors, building a playroom for the kids and the recycling — all the recycling.
This dynamic duo has ideas that are creative, valuable, practical and playful. They really are masters of opportunity; found objects quickly find a purpose at the Fife home.
“I usually find some sort of extra lumber or old brick or open bags of mulch — all things with unknown destinations — until I get home, then a new project comes to mind,” says Darren.
So far these unknown destination items have created some pretty cool things in the backyard — an annoying large hole is now a pond with a small deck built around it. The kids’ tree house is scrap lumber that cost $13. The sump pump provides water to a make-shift wetlands area which includes cattails, zebra grass and water plants.
Darren built and painted a small barn. His lawn mower is stored in the center of the structure. One side is a greenhouse. The other side houses their two pet chickens who, by the way, provide one dozen eggs a week for this family.
The compost pile, garden and four rain barrels all, too, have their own stories. The playground equipment does not look like their neighbors’. It’s just different… in a creative, earth-friendly way.
The Fife family has confirmed the meaning of the phrase “bloom where you are planted.” Their wisteria is steadily climbing up its vertical pathway, which just happens to be Darren’s canoe from college, burned in a shed fire. Instead of throwing the canoe away, he repainted it, and it now stands tall in his backyard, lending support to the flowering vine.
Not only do they love their home, but the Fife family loves the area.
“I love Windsor Heights,” says Darren. “I’m very involved in the community, we like living next to Colby Park, and Cowles Elementary is awesome.”
When not busy within the community or playing at the park, the Fife family thoroughly enjoys their backyard, and for good reason.