Sunday, May 15, 2016

Living quarters

It's hard for us to believe, but we've been living in our current house for 13 years.

Even our neighbors are surprised by this. You've been here how long?

It seems like it was just yesterday when we were transporting stuff from our house on the south end of town and hauling it to our present location. It's less than five miles between the two as the blue jay flies.

Maybe it's because we lived on Woodsway Drive for 21 years. It was home. We'd put a lot of work into it, did a lot of repairs and landscaping, and turned it into our own little piece of heaven.

Then, almost by accident and without actively searching for a new place to live, we found our current house. So we traded in a 40-year-old rancher for a nearly 100-year-old cottage.

For some mysterious reason that I can't quite explain, our cottage still feels kind of new to us. This, despite the fact, that we've put a lot of work into it, we've done a lot of repairs and landscaping, and have turned it into our own little piece of heaven.

The cottage does have its appealing quirks: We have an outbuilding, where we can store our lawn and garden things; we have a front-to-back driveway, the only house on the block that can connect the street we live on with the alley behind us; and we have a wonderful rose arbor.

Our roses add a nice welcoming touch to our house.
I'm not sure what kind of roses are blooming on the arbor. They're salmon in color and don't have much of a scent, but there are six or seven blooms on the vine and they're absolutely gorgeous. That's especially true when held in contrast with our Peace Yellow paint scheme.

We've been training this arbor for years, and sometimes it actually listens to us.

We trimmed it back last fall because it was getting a little unruly, but with the mild and moist spring, it's been on something of a growth spurt. The arbor climbs one pillar of our house and is reaching effortlessly toward the pillar on the other side of our front steps. It'll get there soon enough, I suspect.

We love watching the gold finches chow down.
 Kim will occasionally feed it rose food, whatever that is, but mostly I've been throwing banana peels at it. It seems that bananas might be a good source of potassium or whatever it is that roses like and it may be another reason why our arbor appears to be thriving.

We've also tried to turn our backyard into a bird sanctuary with a stand of feeders. I've always been a sucker for birdwatching — a trait inherited from my mom, I think — so one feeder attracts sparrows, hatches and thrashers while the other feeder, filled with thistle, beckons gold finches.

Kim also has a hummingbird feeder hanging from our kitchen window and it's great fun to see those little fellows flitting around. My cat and myself are greatly entertained by these guys.

The finches, I've found, can be very particular. If you let their feeder run out of food, they might disappear for weeks before they return.

Well, when you think about it, Kim and I go to different restaurants all the time.

To be truthful, the cottage actually felt like home the day we moved into it, even though there was a lingering veneer of newness to it all these years.

But it's also home, and home is where the heart is.

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