Taking a look back
This house of ours holds a lot of memories. Seeing it now, in it's mid-demolition, torn-up state (like a Pheonix, I keep reminding myself) it's hard to imagine it's past life. But I'll try anyway.
Our neighbors to the north and south sit fairly close to use, but we do have a nice deep yard. The front yard slopes up from the sidewalk about 4 or 5 feet and was always good for rolling down in the summer or sledding down in the winter. When I was a kid there were two big maple trees flanking either side of the front walk -- not particularly good for climbing but lovely nonetheless. I remember when Dad took those trees down (and the ER visit that followed).
The back yard was always a lot busier: vegetable gardens, flower gardens, barbeques, soft ball, tree climbing, countless auto repairs, refinishing old treasures from the attic, trying to dig my way to China -- I could to on & on. As I look at it right now, from my sister's dining room, I see pulled-out railroad ties that were once used to construct our patio, fallen limbs, and earth mover, debris of all varieties, a dumpster, and lots & lots of mud. Mom's old white pine, the one she brought back from Maine when she was a kid and moved to this house when she got married, still stands in the back corner, oddly-shaped from storm damage more than 20 years ago but holding it's place of honor regardless. None of us has the heart to take that tree out, so I suppose it will stand there until another, stronger storm comes along and does it for us.
The peonies are awaiting their return next spring, right now tucked in under quite a stack of firewood. I always loved the day the peonies bloomed, because I knew the end of school was right around the corner. Now I love them because of their heavy, frilly blossoms & familiar, comforting scent. Another reminder of Mom, too.
Dad's vegetable gardens are lots in the track marks left by the parade of machines we've seen over the last few weeks. I think we're going to try something new (raised beds and "square foot gardening") but just the sight of sprouting seeds and ripening tomatoes will be enough to keep Dad's memory alive for me. Sara is so excited about this, too -- she asks me every night to tell her the story about the garden, and wants to plant every tomato she sees in my seed catalogues.
We have big dreams for this yard of our, most of them new twists on old themes. We'd like a new patio, this time with a pergola, and of course a nice big garden. We'd like a play set for Sara and her friends in the neighborhood and feeders to lure back the birds that Mom spent so many years feeding herself. We look forward to barbeques and blooming peonies and another 30 years with that old white pine.
Everything old is new again.