And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
While enjoying some retro tunes (rocking the David Bowie & Talking Heads station on Pandora) with Jonas working in the background (making excellent headway on the family bath built-in unit), I started poking around in my photo archives. I was looking for inspirational spring images, you know, to get a burst of color, an inkling of growth, anything that could lift up the winter doldrums that have settled pretty heavily this year. Instead of flowers, or other springtime imagery, I found old pictures of the house, from right after we purchased it in the end of 2006. This house is rapidly becoming the place where I’ve lived the longest, and will probably be the place I think of as home for many years to come (whether or not we still live here).
Though we have spent many, many months remodeling the interior of the home, we originally started with the exterior. The house, when we bought it, was suffocating from overgrown bushes, stale if not stagnant plantings (day lilies, rhododendron, scrappy grass and dead lilac bushes do not make a landscape plan), and a sad, sagging side porch. We poured our first chunk of savings into the yard in 2008 and haven’t ever regretted it. Often people do the exterior last, so that no heavy machinery needed for renovations ever ruins the plantings, but we wanted to make sure that if/when we ever sell, we can have a lush, mature yard to entice buyers with. (Not to mention that we wanted to enjoy a lovely yard while we had it to enjoy.) Almost everything was ripped out (we saved the fence, which was newer) and replaced with plantings that were more informal, less stiff, and generally spoke to the beachy (think Nantucket, or Cape Cod) nature of the original siding on the house.
So now, as I sit looking at what is still arguably about 3′ of snow on the ground, waiting for spring to come, I think back on our yard renovation and remember fondly the excitement, the drama, and the summery-ness that we had while doing it. I’m missing the smell of wet earth, the scent of fresh-cut grass, the sense of discovery with every new blossom or bud, and the peace that comes from being surrounded by greenery. Even last summer, with its overwhelming nature – filled with sawdust, insulation and the sounds of construction everywhere – brought the heat, the swelter, the humidity, the very antithesis of winter. Spring begets summer. And spring isn’t too far off, relatively speaking.
With those warm thoughts in your (our) heads, have a trip down memory lane with me. Enjoy!
*Lyrics from the Talking Heads‘ 1984 hit Once In A Lifetime.