Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gathering sticks and threads.

We had hoped to eventually have a table in the dining room that could accommodate 6 and a drop-leaf table in the library that could seat more when open. We thought it would be great to have the option to have holidays at our house, but that it might be a while before we could afford two such tables.

Shortly after we came to think this would be a great thing, three different friends and neighbors offered us lovely tables. We ended with a wonderful mahogany veneered, claw-footed affair in need of a little repair from Wes and Levante, and I knew as soon as I saw the color of the finish that I would love it. Then Brian (the Brian who reminds me of a faun) made a gift to us of a table and six chairs that had been in his family for some time. Both tables are amazing and coordinate beautifully with each other.

Tonight Roderick and I had the first sit-down meal at an actual table since we bought our house. It felt a bit odd to be veering toward the current century again after nearly a year with partial utilities and no kitchen or proper bathroom, but I think we’ll adjust in time and the holidays should be interesting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leaves and things.

Brian Smith and I were at Begick’s to pick up the trees Lori had purchased for the 500 block of Millard and we took our time wending through the plants – touching this leaf and that – and comparing gentle notes on the people we mutually knew and cared about. We talked about the need for watering and nourishing, how some things transplant better than others, how some respond to a little adjustment of light or location more than others.

We were joined back at the houses by Gary and Rick in the planting of a maple in front of 519 and two liquid amber trees – sweet gums they’re called up here – for the opposite side of the street. Bryan helped plant the weeping birch Roderick and I bought for our yard and Rick helped plant a couple hundred daffodils in the mostly-round penny park where Owen, Sheridan and Millard meet.

The world grew bigger by four trees and so many bulbs that day and bits of the conversation with Brian drifted through my mind as we worked. After a time it became apparent that most people and plants were alike: They had very simple needs and could all be beautiful when given the proper amount of care. The trick was observing them, quietly and neutrally, and discerning what that amount might be…