More Rory Jones: Creating and Maintaining Hospitable Spaces

by | Apr 3, 2021 | The Good Neighbor Experience

Rory Jones paintingIf you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to read my blog post from last week that introduced Mr. Rory Jones to the Good Neighbor Community. Mr. Jones is the Board Member in charge of the Maintenance Cluster, so he’s had a front row seat to all of the physical changes Good Neighbor House has undergone in the last two and a half years (in addition to being a full-time Doctoral student @ Baylor). In addition to seeing all of the visible, physical changes, though, Mr. Jones, probably more than any other Board Member, has a unique opportunity to compare those changes to the intangible changes he’s seen as well.

Some of the physical changes to Good Neighbor House in the last two and a half years include the following: 

  • building the new white front steps that welcome visitors into the house (which makes entering a lot easier and safer); 
  • converting one of the Cottage rooms to a bedroom where Libby Feray (Resident Volunteer) lives; 
  • remodeling another room in the Cottage to create more space for another Resident Volunteer;
  • handling the contracting and oversight of remodeling the upstairs of the main house;
  • setting up a donated storage shed in the backyard for yard tools and bicycles; and 
  • just recently building a large closet to help store various items and creating more free space in the Sun Room.

Mr. Jones said that the driving questions for all these changes to Good Neighbor House are “How can we create more space for people to share and live more comfortably?” and “How can we make the best use of the space we have?” 

Listening to Mr. Jones ask these questions was eye-opening for me because it gave me another view of  focused everyone at Good Neighbor House is with making sure that the people who use the House have the best experience possible, with the space and resources we have available.

It’s in this way that Mr. Jones describes the intangible changes as well: the Good Neighbor RVs and board members want to make Good Neighbor House as hospitable and accessible for patrons as possible. He said he’s seen the House become increasingly popular since he’s been one of the Board Members. He said he’s loved watching the way LuAnn and Joelle take care of the garden, and how inviting the garden has become. He also enjoys watching the Resident Volunteers grow in community with each other, and he says you can always see one or two of them relaxing outside, enjoying the hammock and creating a friendly atmosphere. He loves the atmosphere that everyone is creating inside the house, which he described as an oasis-like atmosphere where people can share their time together and feel rejuvenated. 

Mr. Jones said he hopes that once COVID protocols lift, others from the community will be able to gather again at Good Neighbor House and enjoy the physical and intangible changes that all of the Board Members and Resident Volunteers have been working to create. “If Good Neighbor House exists to be a welcoming space to all people,” Mr. Jones told me, “then the ‘space’ part is literally what I do. And I hope that everyone in the community enjoys the space as much as I have come to.”