It had been exactly one year to this day since I have provided a big update on all things happening at Fidelia Hall and it just feels like it is time to do so. But before I do, I would like to thank everyone that’s helped with this Fidelia Hall idea, those that have helped in person, those that have helped with their sweat and time, and those that have helped from afar. This project and idea has truly been something that could not have begun or still exist without the love and support of so many. You know who you are and I hope that if you are reading this know that the Hoenke Family loves you and appreciates you very much.
We officially moved into the “old church but now it’s Fidelia Hall” space in late December. Since we celebrated the holidays late this year we decided to focus every bit of energy inside of us this past November and December into getting this space ready to go for living. While not everything has been completed, the walls have been painted, the floors have been sanded and stained, and our home looks the most like any home we’ve had since we left Chattanooga in 2015. We’ve been very happy settling into the space and getting back to being a family of five (awesome mother in law included). We cook, we play, we create, and we enjoy life together. Haley and I have started sending off the kids to bed with reading time right before lights out while we enjoy good to average shows on Netflix. Life has improved greatly since we’ve moved into the lower level of Fidelia Hall. We’ve learned so much since we’ve moved into this space…that a working and functional home, the physical side of it all, is so very necessary to be happy in life and to accomplish things like day to day activities and work. This has given us a lot more patience and understanding about the world and everyone around us and for that we are grateful that we can learn and grow and give back in different ways.
We continue to do what we can to use the space upstairs in Fidelia Hall. The biggest event we had recently was a Holiday Contra Dance put together by Haley and co-sponsored by our local YWCA. It was lovely to see so many people dancing and to hear such great live music provided by the band Toppish.
We hosted what we’re calling A Day of Music & Conversation in November. This brought together community members and local musicians over a nice Sunday afternoon. We hope to make this a reoccurring event.
This Sunday we’ll once again host our yearly Mother’s Day Plant Swap. This event was conceived by Haley and is designed to bring people together over their love of plants, gardens, and making the world beautiful. This is always a lovely event because there’s so much great conversation happening and everyone gets to share such beautiful plants with each other. Haley is also co-hosting some invite only free yoga classes for women in our community. This will be going on through the rest of May. This summer we’ve got a local band rehearsing in the space this summer. All in all, there’s activity happening at the space and it is just so lovely to see the location full of people. This is what this space needs. It needs community.
Speaking of plants…the gardens of Fidelia Hall continue to grow! It felt very dreary and cold this spring, but for some reason our plants are thriving. Garlic and various herbs are popping up everywhere. As seen in the photo above, our sole kiwi plant is really taking off and now we’re very inspired to find it a mate so it can produce some fruit. Haley put A LOT of work into these gardens through the years and each year these gardens have brought so much inspiration to life. They’re already so green and beautiful this year that I cannot wait to see what joy they bring to our family and our guests in the next few months.
Haley and one of our friends cleared out a row of huge, ugly bushes in front of the property to give some breathing room to the space and to grow new beautiful things. It was when we cleared up this space that we found the cornerstone of our building, which is pictured at the top of this post. What a great find!
At the moment, I am fully committed to repainting the front door of Fidelia Hall. It’s a giant wooden door that was painted a very nice red, but we’ve had our eyes on improving it for a few years and this year just feels like the year. What’s gonna be the end result? You might not be able to see it in the photo above but somebody did a very simple but nice wooden sun on the top of that door. Imagine a rainbow where that sun is, bringing color to the world in a time when it very much needs it. The door itself will be a darker blue. This is to draw emphasis towards the rainbow sun up top. The location of this door and the rainbow sun is very important. It is at the head of a major road in our town. This is a road that many travel down. A lot of people will see this sun. We hope it will give them a moment to stop and think about the beautiful things in life.
We’re still trying to figure out what Fidelia Hall can “officially” be. But for now, we’re adopting the same mantra and outlook that we came up with last year.
Fidelia Hall is first and foremost the homestead of the Hoenke family. It is our hope that through our passion for family, community, creativity, sustainability, flowers, bees, art, fun, and food, that our contributions to the world will chip a tiny crack in the massive wall of negativity, fear, and greed that drives our culture.
We are not a business. We are not a non-profit. We are not a church. We are not a social club. We have explored every avenue and consulted every consultant and nothing fits. So we’ve decided to just be us.
Once again, thanks for following along, for listening, for sharing, for visiting, and overall for just being so kind and lovely. From all of us, Haley, Finn, Aero, Haley’s Mom, and myself….thank you for your love.