Last weekend I returned home and the boxes had arrived. A ginormous stack of cardboard was piled several feet high.
I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing, but the symbol of change had arrived on the dusty driveway where I park my car.
My co-worker heard I have begun the search for a house to buy. Her son recently moved and she asked if I wanted his boxes.
Sure, I’ll need them someday, I hope.
Funny how that heap of tan, sturdy, paper containers felt like the deciding moment.
I have paid off my debts, saved a little money, found an agent, received pre-approval and driven by dozens of lovely homes I can’t afford. Yet, the stack of boxes in my driveway made it all seem real.
I’m going to do this.
I want to do this.
I might just be able to do this.
I’ve lived in my little cottage for a third of my life. The landlord has kept the rent cheap. I have all that I need, primarily a little space to myself, tucked away behind a giant maple tree and privet. Here I grow flowers and vegetables.
I call it Heather’s hovel and it’s strange to imagine waking up somewhere new.
But it’s time to find a new place to grow.
I hope it will be so.
It’s hard to daydream too much, because I know whatever I buy will be less than cosmetically pristine. But that’s part of the fantasy as well, to invest in all those add-ons that make a house an extension of your inner sanctum.
Will it have a porch where I can wave to the neighbors as they push strollers? Will potted plants be safe from theft or pranksters? Would I buy a metal rooster and park it on the roof?
Oh, the things I would grow.
I have a Japanese maple tree in a one-gallon pot that is in survival mode.
The Meyer lemon tree (also contained) is probably dead. I bought it years ago thinking I would have surely moved by now.
Hydrangeas await a permanent home, as do the bulbs also planted in pots these past several years.
Maybe there will soon be a shed to protect my tools; the lawn mower would no longer need to be under a tarp and chained to the walnut tree. Perhaps I’ll get a dog who will stick his nose through the fence when he hears my car in the driveway.
And then there are the favorite plants that will come along for the ride.
My “nephew” is now 16. Umpteen years ago I held his mom’s hand when he was born. As a thank-you, my best friend gave me a yellow rose bush, which is about to bloom.
The yellow rose bush needs to always be in a yard where I live.
Other plants I’d need to entrust to the future resident of my current cottage.
The purple rose bush is planted above my kitty Hollywood, who was so old he couldn’t move away from a car zipping down the alley.
He’ll be left with the cottage, and all other bad memories.
Most other plants are too entrenched to take along. I’d need a second trip in the rental truck to move them all.
I’ll also build a new raised bed at a fresh location. This time I’ll line it with metal mesh that really will keep out the gophers.
And, of course, I’ll miss the towering maple tree that has been witness to so many of my joys and sorrows.
I guess that’s how the person who will be selling me my “new” house must feel.
That homeowner is making plans for a new phase of their life, and probably wondering what parts of their life to bring along in cardboard boxes.
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