Sweet Nostalgia

Sweet Nostalgia

I’m sitting here surrounded by half-packed boxes planning what I’ll take in my truck to the new house tomorrow. The computers and the booze, definitely. Everything else is somewhat incidental to my life. I’ll drain the waterbed tomorrow. I won’t mind sleeping on the couch for a few days.

Memories are running through my head. Five and three quarter years in this place, it’s a record for me. The little house on Cherry Street in Spokane is the second longest running streak of any abode I’ve graced in my years. It was hard to leave there; my son was born in the bedroom of that house.

But not hard to leave here with the leaky roof that the landlord ignored, and the basement where cats would get in and meow to get out. And the living room where Von died. The dining room where Kip would come to chat for a moment; and where I studied while I was in massage school. The bedroom where Wil got Darcy pregnant which will result in my grandson being born next August. (Kids these days! First they’re in a hurry to become parents, then they’re in a hurry to find out what they’re getting…I’m telling ya, in my day…)

I will miss the pecan tree in the back yard, but not much else. I’m starting a new life, you see. It’s somewhat humorous to me that at my age (29 years and 434 months) that I’m beginning something, rather than finishing something. Perhaps my natal chart is true after all. It indicated that my later years would be more satisfying to me than my earlier years.

My friends have been going through changes too. Of those dozen or so with whom I correspond on a regular basis, seven of us have been through major moves within the past six months, and one other is planning one. True, I’m just moving across town, but for me and my fixed nature, this is a big move.

Let me tell you about the new house. Or rather, let me tell you about the back yard. Because that’s where I’ll be spending most of my time, and I’m already dreaming of a wood fired redwood hot tub. I’m a homeowner now, I’ll be able to buy things like this with justification, because it “will add value to the house.”

There is a rickety six foot wooden privacy fence around three sides of the back yard; the west side has a nice four foot block wall. The front 2/3 of the backyard is lawn and there’s a healthy almond tree in the southeast corner, and another unidentified tree in the southwest. The back 1/3 is fenced off with chain link and a gate; it is divided in half. There are three scraggly fruit trees back there, perhaps apricots or plums, I’m not sure. The other half is garden space. Since I don’t need to spend hours in a garden, I’ll till it up and plant the wildflower garden I’ve always dreamed of…scattering seeds on the ground like Onan…I’ll feed my soul instead of my body. I can already see them dancing in the wind; living, dying and renewing again next spring.

When I first moved to this desert valley ten years ago I lived right across the street from my new house. It’s in an area known as “the south fields”, and real estate in this area is somewhat pricey. We rented the big house across the street and it had a 2 acre orchard where I first came to know and love the nature spirits. Like in the Castenada tales, where he rolled across the porch all night until he found “his spot”, that’s how I felt about the south fields of my desert valley. It was fairly unrealistic of me to even hope to buy into this area, but sometimes luck and charm have a way of overcoming our doubts and precious jewels fall into our laps as a fluke of nature. And off I go, back to my spot. I will definitely plant more fruit trees. Definitely.

This is why the house seems somewhat incidental. It’s a nice house, to be sure. Well built and sturdy, a little over nine years old. I may decide to knock out all the walls and make it just one big room. Who knows? It’s my house now; the first house I’ve ever owned in my life. I may decide to draw the blinds one saturday morning in the near future and strip naked and paint flowers on all the walls. If there are any walls left, that is.

Oreo and Lucie will be able to finish out their lives in this house. They are my first two dogs, and my last two dogs. Both around ten years old now, they will be buried in the wildflower garden when their time comes. But until then, they will grace my home with their sweet nature and tenderness; their all consuming love and ill manners. And when they are done with their lives, I will travel, more often and more extensively than I’ve done in the past. I never taught them manners, or to do little doggie tricks, or even to mind. They have never been kenneled. They have just been allowed to be dogs. And so, I’ve made them dependent on me and my absurd whims. I’ll be patient for the travelling, because Oreo and Lucie have been with me when no one else was.

So! A new house, a new life, a new backyard, and old dogs. It’ll be the same, only different. I wonder what the next few months will bring. I’ll keep you posted, as I’m sunning myself with my iBook on my lap, in my new back yard. In my spot. In the desert.

Beth Lock

Leave a Reply