Skip to Content

Dirt Road Adventures – The Ponds Before & After

Today I’m taking a look back at the Ponds before and sharing some photo’s you may have not seen.

If you are new to my blog, here’s a quick back story. My dad created The Ponds in 1953, well before I was born. As a little girl, I loved spending time at The Ponds, having cook outs and swimming. It was beautiful and my dad allowed visitors to fish in the ponds for a dollar a day.

Then during my teen age years, the property was leased to someone outside the family. This lease lasted for approx. 25 years until we acquired the property.

I never dreamed that one day The Ponds would belong to me and my husband. I also never dreamed we would one day live here.

We started work on the property in 2006 and it was a wilderness.

This is a view of what is now our patio area and bar in front of the outdoor kitchen.

Photo: July 2006

The previous boat dock is the only thing identifiable.

Alfresco Dining - summer views of our outdoor entertaining area and bar.
Photo: July 2020

the Ponds Outdoor Kitchen

This view of the old cabin was taken as we surveyed our new property for the first time, after so many year. It was suggested that it be bulldozed down. However, we had other plans.

Before - The cabin before it was transformed into an outdoor kitchen
Photo: July 2005


The cabin was transformed into an outdoor kitchen and here’s a view from the front today. You can see more of how this area has developed over the years on DIY Outdoor Kitchen Before & After.

Summer Vibes and entertaining ideas for an outside dining. The after view of the DIY Outdoor Kitchen and Outdoor Entertaining Area.
Photo: 2020

We moved a mobile home to this location in April of 2007. Our plan was to work on the property during weekends spent here in the country. We wanted to bring it back to it’s former glory.

Photo: 2008

The Pier Before & After

The center pond had a pier that had fallen into the pond by the time we started our work.

Here is my mom and dad on the original pier in 1957. If you read Memories of Mom, you’ll see that this was before I was born also.

Photo from 1957 of my mom and dad.

We rebuilt the pier and added a gazebo in 2009. This is taken just after the farmhouse was built in 2016. After working on the property for several years, we decided that we wanted to downsize and make The Ponds our home.

Photo: 2016


This was what the pond and yard looked like after the property was cleared of overgrown trees and brush.

Photo: 2008

We added a pool just above the middle pond and pier in 2017. After moving here full time, we wanted another area to entertain our family and friends.

We have been working on the property for approx. 19 years and we have been living here full time for just over 6 years. We lived in the guest cottage, aka mobile home, while the house was under construction.

Although we had spent most of our married life living in town, we don’t have any regrets about down sizing and moving to the end of the dirt road. This is our happy place.

Thanks for following along on my walk down memory lane.

This is a look back at all my adventures this past week.

I began getting my plans and ideas ready for Fall. I’m not ready to give up on summer yet, however I know that new fall decor will disappear off the shelves quickly. So I wanted to share some Budget Friendly Front Porch Ideas with you from the Christmas Tree Shop and That.

In addition, I took a look back at last year and shared Easy Hydrangea Basket Tutorial and Cheap & Easy Wild Flower Arrangement using Queen Anne’s Lace and Wild Fern.

The pool area is perfect for an impromptu picnic!

Adventures off the Dirt Road

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Each week, there are so many wonderful blog posts, and I’m sharing some of my favorites with you today.

There are so many creative ideas, and I’m always asking myself, “Why didn’t I think of that”? LOL

I love old homes. The character and attention to detail is what is missing in most new construction homes these days. Take a mini tour of this beautiful home from Mary at Life at Bella Terra.

I love a cute potting bench and you can see how Jennifer at Cottage on Bunkerhill, up-cycled this potting bench here.

french country potting bench
More Bits and Pieces

How to Shop the World’s Longest Yard Sale – I’d love to go. See Robyn at Robyn’s French Nest tips here.

See how my friend Ann from Dabbling & Decorating had the best luck finding FREE Thrifted items.

If you love repurposed decor, check out Cindy at Reinvented Delaware for these great Repurposed and Creative Home Decor ideas.

My two favorite gardening experts both shared some great information this week. Stacy Ling shared 7 Lessons She Learned About Growing Cut Flowers and Kim at Shiplap and Shells shared Transitioning The Garden from Summer to Fall. Both of these posts were very helpful.

I hope you enjoyed today’s adventures. I look forward to sharing more with you soon.


Sunday 15th of August 2021

This was such a wonderful post! I so enjoyed the before & after photos. What an incredible transformation.

[email protected]

Monday 16th of August 2021

Erin, Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed this.

Mary from Life at Bella Terra

Monday 9th of August 2021

Rachel, I LOVE the before and after pictures of your renovation. I didn't realize the property had been in your family for so long. What wonderful memories. And I nearly cried when I saw the picture of your parents on the dock~I'm sure they were filled with hopes and dreams for their future. What you and your husband have done to the property is nothing short of amazing. And my sweet friend, thank you for sharing my historic home. I'm with you on fall decor....especially since it's a million degrees here, but if I don't start thinking about it all the stuff will be gone! Love your Sunday posts.

[email protected]

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Mary, I've always wanted a home to renovate and that dream has never worked out. I have to settle for this slice of heaven that we are so fortunate to own. I loved your home and look forward to more tours.

Cindy Rust

Monday 9th of August 2021

I enjoyed your story about your property! It's so cool that you have that history and that you are continuing the story of your property! Thanks for including our post showing some creatively repurposed home decor pieces! I really appreciated it!

[email protected]

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Cindy, Thanks for your sweet compliments and for allowing me to share your talents.


Sunday 8th of August 2021

Rachel, I love when you share the history of your place and your family. It makes it all that more special ❤️❤️❤️

[email protected]

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Ann, We are both sentimental and love our family histories.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Sunday 8th of August 2021

I LOVED reading about your property and seeing the before and after pictures. I'm so glad you shared this with us Rachel! You've done such an amazing job. Thank you for sharing my garden post. Have a great week!

[email protected]

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Kim, Thanks for stopping by. It's always a pleasure to share your photos