At 7 am on Thursday morning, I walked one of our dogs down the path beside my house. It was -7 C, and, although it was still dark outside, my route was lit by the layer of crispy white snow on the ground. It is a path I have walked before, hundreds of times since we bought the house in 1992, but not once since we sold it in 2010.
Peeking into the yard that I had tended for eighteen years, I could see the trees the kids and I planted. They are strong and decorating the yard as I had pictured. The Magnolia Grandiflora planted in the corner was basically just a four foot stick and it is now sixty feet high. draping twenty feet wide and gracing the yard it protects. The gorgeous arbor E built in the 90’s is still a focal point of the large garden.
There is evidence of the unruly teenagers who walk the path. They were the bane of my existence one summer as they kicked holes in the fence and twice went so far as to light it on fire!!
At the end of the path I look back at the home where we raised our children, and the great memories flood my mind. I still love the colour we chose when we repainted the house from white with red trim to blue with white trim. Although a holiday, and still early in the morning, my neighbour’s lights are on. They are still our friends and come to the island often. I picture him in the kitchen making a morning coffee for her and I am tempted to knock on the door. But friggin’ Covid….
I continue my route around the corner past my Mom’s house. For most of the days we lived on this street, whenever I drove anywhere I would see her in her chair at the window reading a book. Her Yorkshire terrier curled up on her lap.
I continue the walk around the block to return with the puppy to my son’s new home. He and his wife have just bought around the corner from where he was raised and we came over for a couple of days of renovation help and a few cuddles with our granddaughter. Other than constant trips to Home Depot, for plumbing bits, and dog walks we haven’t left the house. We are content to help them get settled while staying as safe as we can. There will be time for visiting our friends again when friggin’ Covid is over, now that we have a place to stay.
It is hard not to be sad that we don’t still live in that house with that garden anymore, especially now that my grandchildren will be around the block. When we first moved to the island, I couldn’t even look at our house when we visited our old neighbours. It made me sick to see the changes they had made to my garden. Time has passed and we now have a beautiful home on the island that I love. We have been gone from this town for ten years. We now have a deck and a guest cabin, a greenhouse, wonderful new neighbours and whales!!! When we go back to the island this week, we will
be going home.