Harford Magazine - Page 34 - Becoming The Grey Lady (5)

Harford Magazine
- Page 34
Becoming The Grey Lady (5)
cemented the house’s new identity.

“When we painted her grey I just had to name her the Grey Lady — because she’s so elegant-looking. She’s got such a presence,” Karen said.

Once the Garonos moved in in May 2016, they still had to redo the 40-yearold concrete pool — a $30,000 expense. It had been sitting covered and full for many years.

And there are still projects on deck, like finishing attic bedrooms, adding more landscaping and building a detached garage — a feature the Garonos miss from their home in Darlington.

The Garonos joke about teaching the public that someone lives in the house: The neighbors don’t cut through the lawn anymore. Although the Garonos’ only child lives in Baltimore, the couple often share the house with friends, family and the occasional uninvited guest.

“One night we had a few friends over. We were all in here and all of a sudden I heard the front door open and I didn’t recognize the people,” said Karen. “I walked over to them and they thought it was a bed-and-breakfast. They wanted to know if we had any vacancies.”

The couple laughs about the fishbowl effect of a corner lot. People often photograph their house or walk up the porch to tell them how lovely it is. But they don’t mind the attention: Sharing the house with the community is what it’s all about. Through the Grey Lady, the Garonos have left their mark on Havre de Grace, while the town imprints on them.

“We have the beautiful lighthouse, we have the water, we have water sports. It’s really fun,” Karen said. “You can sit out on the porch at 4 o’clock in the morning and you’re always going to see somebody either running, walking their animals, boats coming in, fishermen coming in. It’s almost like living in a little beach town.”

It’s also changed the way the Garonos live. In Darlington, they drove half an hour to get to the grocery store. Now, they walk to the water and to downtown shops and restaurants.

“People really want to come live here now. We hear that all the time. There is some kind of attraction to Havre de Grace that is a fairly recent phenomenon,” Ed said. “I’m not saying we started it, but we’re a product of whatever’s going on here. We felt it, too.”