Tag Archives: front porch

moving right along…*


Photo taken of the grapevines on the front fence of our current home. I’m sad to know that we’ll be leaving these behind, but the new house has a huge avocado tree, orange tree, and a well-developed herb garden…

Last night my son and I were watering our vegetable/herb garden at dusk and the smell was so achingly familiar. Of lavender and tomatoes and sage and basil.  And dark wet soil. Grassy and fecund.  It was the smell of the community garden plot that I nurtured for a decade.  What rich and pleasant memories that scent evoked.

Oddly enough, our garden is not at the wee corner bungalow where we moved last fall.  Our garden is at a house down the street, where we will move at the end of this month.  After eight months of living on this busy corner we realized that it was time to seek somewhere a bit quieter, with a bit more space and no grass (because who wants grass when there are so many other lovely less-thirsty plants to enjoy?).  It also has a pergola-covered back patio for our late summer evening parties and a small back house for a robotics workshop/guest lodging.

So, a few weeks ago we moved our raised garden bed plantings over to the new place, a barrow-full at a time.  Everything survived the move and is thriving in its new raised-bed location.  We even picked our first tomatoes and peppers yesterday!

While I am over-the-moon excited about the new house, lately I’ve been wondering whether I simply move too much.  At last count, I’ve moved 14 (soon to be 15) times in the past two decades, which doesn’t even account for my sabbatical wanderings last summer. There’s no moss growing on this rolling stone, that’s for sure!  But…I am starting to think that it’s time to put down roots for awhile, rather than living lightly and moving on so readily.

Being mobile is exciting and freeing, but it also has its consequences–one never has to invest much when one knows that everything is only temporary.  In so many ways, my mobility has been a defense mechanism, to prevent me from caring too much about any one place or any specific community. It also simply doesn’t seem to fit me anymore.  After all these years of being able to pack up and move on a dime, I want to stay put for awhile and accumulate a bit too many things and let myself settle into a home and a community.  I want to know my neighbors.  And their kids and their dogs.  And whether they like red or white…so when I see them coming I can make sure that I have a bottle at the ready.

*this phrase always reminds me of Super-Sara.  I still miss her so much.

that things can happen…

“When in the end, the day came on which I was going away, I learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them.” – Karen Blixen Out of Africa, 1937

I’ve had the thought lately that I shouldn’t speak about how satisfied I am with my life right now, because that will somehow jinx the goodness of things.  But on the other hand, it seems a shame not to acknowledge beauty and joy when they occur, or to keep too great a worry of “what ifs” in my mind that I can’t appreciate the present state of things.

So I will just say it.  Things are really good.  Unimaginably good.  And it’s hard for me to think of a time that I’ve been any happier than I am right now.  When I sit on my back porch in the mornings and reflect about the various comings-and-goings of people and events at chez Remy, I often feel as though this is just a happy bubble of a dream that turned into a life much more interesting and enjoyable than any I’d ever imagined for myself.  It’s a strange feeling, indeed.  But also very very good.

Right now my mind’s awhirl with memories as I’m packing for our move to a house that’s a few blocks away from where we live now.  As I do so I’m shedding even more weight from the past (things not used in over a year are being given away), and being intentional about the kind of home that I want… Simple.  Comfortable.  Clean.  Bright.  Warm.  Organized. Artful.  Roomy.  At the beginning of 2012 I expressed a wish to find a home that was truly home, and I’ve found that now.  Do you remember what I said?:

my biggest goal of 2012 is to find a home–not a rented temporary space like where I now live, but a place where I walk in the door at night and know just where I am. Where the kitchen is familiar, where morning light comes in the front window, where there’s a garden of flowers and herbs. In my imagination my home has plaster walls and creaky wood floors and a porch with a wicker chair.

This new house has all of the above–rich wood floors throughout the downstairs, a broad front porch with a swing(!) and plenty of room for a wicker chair, a backyard landscaped with native plants, more types of lavender than I could keep track of, and an ample kitchen herb garden as well as several fruit trees. And of course it has some rosebushes, too.

Perhaps it feels a bit superficial to be so excited about our new house–because I know it won’t necessarily make me any happier than I am now.  But at the same time, it’s also satisfying to see the simple desires that I expressed so clearly just a few months ago coming to fruition.  Perhaps the last piece of my life that’s felt unsettled since the divorce was the finding of a home-place.  And this is it.  And I think it’s about time.