Photo: The Azaleas were a big surprise this season. They didn’t last very long, so I didn’t get a good picture of them in full bloom. Oh well…
I’ve been excited about writing this post since Tuesday. I’m just going to share my cool awesome surprise and then start yapping away. Let’s do it.
Check these out.
I’ve written this before, but my next door neighbor was actually born in my house. Her family had owned it for a century before it was finally sold to us. In her mid-80s, the woman next door is so very sweet and kind, but she has trouble walking, so I rarely get to see her. After school on Tuesday, the boys decided that they wanted to play in the front yard so I got out my project basket to get a few rows of knitting in. Next thing I know, here comes my dear neighbor with a gift bag and a large manila envelope.
Of course, this was the day when my house was a total and unprecedented disaster, as we were still recovering from our travel to Maryland. But still, because I didn’t know when next I’d have the opportunity, I invited her to come in to see the work that we had done. Seriously–the floors hadn’t been swept, there was laundry piled in the living room chair, there were toys everywhere… that woman thinks we’re a slob, I’m sure. I just couldn’t stop apologizing in embarrassment, and she really didn’t seem to care. She didn’t get up the second floor, but she was impressed with what we’d done with the kitchen, dining room and playroom. The kitchen, especially, surprised her.
She told me that the windows in the 3-season porch (now the playroom) used to open back in the day. They used to sleep down there in the summer time and let the nice breeze roll over them. The hinges and whatnot are long gone, and the windows are sealed by paint… so I don’t know how possible it would be to make that happen again. We spoke about the possibilities for a few minutes before she decided to sit down and hand me the gift bag.
She’d framed the pictures of the barn with the out-house, the pretty garden with the bird bath, and the picture of the house with the front porch open. I was so excited and amazed for words. She explained that the front yard had a driveway that wrapped all the way around the front yard toward the barn. The yard had two beautiful apple trees that the my neighbor and her siblings used to climb. She showed me one more picture that she didn’t let me keep: the two trees twisted and destroyed by The Great New England Hurricane of 1938. She was 6 years old when the hurricane came through, and picture featured her, her sister and her brother standing next to the mangled mess. The house was still standing, though, unharmed.
I am so grateful for these pictures because it is so nice to see this house in its former glory. It looks so proud and beautiful. Not a lot has changed about the house itself, though change has happened all around it. It’s wonderful to see it for what it was, appreciate it for what it is, and dream about what it can be again.
And so my Quiet Thoughts are about inspiration and the energy that it can give you. I’ve been looking at this house differently all week long, even in my frustration and exhaustion over the lead problem. These pictures make me love this house all the more and make me dream of what it was, is, and can be. It makes me appreciate time. My Quiet Thoughts are also about what happens when you choose to open the door and let something new in. I feel like gifts like this come early and often in our days, not always wrapped and framed, but sometimes whispered or flashed before us. How receptive are we to the little pokes at the heart and soul that the universe likes to send us?
It is yet another cold and rainy Friday in Massachusetts. On this day, I wish you better weather than what I’m experiencing. As a matter of fact, I wish you toes in cool sand, and a sun setting over water on the western horizon. I wish you your favorite pullover, a fire burning, the plucking of guitar strings and the sound of crashing waves. Or maybe the sound of crickets chirping in the moonlight, the flash of the first fireflies just outside your window. I wish you the sweetness of your first summer peach, the salty delight of your first summer corn, and the heavenly scent of smoked brisket in your nostrils. I wish you the screams of delight at a summer fair, the crunch of a candied apple, the the sizzle of half-smoke that you know you shouldn’t eat (but you’re totally gonna). I wish you an invitation to tea that turns into an afternoon of giggles and gossip. I wish you a sincere moment of connection, an epiphany realized through a good and honest talk.
I wish you a weekend full of joy. And love. And Summer Peace.
Until Monday, take care.