We moved to Chateau Travolta in 2007. Memorial Day. Which means we're coming up on our five-year anniversary here.
I'm sitting on my deck finishing up work and watching my girl ride bikes in the cul-de-sac with her two neighbor friends.
I never imagined I'd be suburban.
The boom box spewing nineties music is vintage, though. I got it when I was 16. Way to go, JVC.
I remember how much work it was when we moved in. We're still not done, but I understand this is very common.
A friend came over recently when I was staking my lilies and took in the deck we've festooned with bubble lights and hanging baskets and vegetable plants. She watched her daughter and my girl collecting worms for the terrarium, and she looked at me and said, "You've got yourself quite an oasis here."
It was one of the highest compliments I've been paid.
I never set out to be a gardener.
I never set out to be suburban. City, yeah. Rural, I could see. But not a CUL-DE-SAC. Of course, I didn't realize that for an eight-year-old, a cul-de-sac means freedom.
Honestly, I tried to get my tubes tied when I was 18.
I never even set out to be a mother.
Somewhere along the line, I learned the value in things that come back. Neighbors that return the favor. Flowers that sprout back reliably, year after year. Birdfeeders that don't break. Friends who write me after months of silence. Books that continue to fascinate me when my eye catches their spines on my shelves. Songs that bring me back to a golden moment.
I just don't see the point in planting anything that won't last.
I used to see so many of these things as horrifyingly banal.
Now I see no point in doing anything that won't leave a mark, that won't come back after I'm gone and whisper with its existance she was here.