Today is the 30th anniversary of our move into this house of ours. It's nothing special; in fact, it's getting pretty used up! But it's ours - all ours. No bank involved any more.
I had driven over here almost every day to watch the progress and record it for posterity - and I think I hoped they'd do a better job if I checked up on them every day. I don't think that worked!
On that hot summer day, we were the first ones to invade this cul de sac. The next morning the first thing we noticed was the total lack of bird songs, having moved from an old neighborhood. The second thing we noticed was the very loud sound of an airplane buzzing overhead, very close to the roof of our house. Turns out that we were very close to a farm which was being sprayed by a crop duster. Believe me, there are no farms left anywhere near us now - just hundreds of houses and thousands of people! Kinda sad.
Eventually, all 13 houses were built and inhabited - the kids that moved in a couple at a time had a great time playing on the piles of dirt - and I remember watching every minute to be sure they didn't have too much fun and fall into a newly dug basement!
As the neighborhood grew up, we at one time had 32 children on the street - what a great time the kids had in the evenings, playing with the various daddies. There was one time period for a couple of years or more that every time one baby was born, another pregnancy was announced. It was great fun. We had block parties and everyone watched out for each other. I remember taking a hot loaf of home made bread every time someone moved in.
Alas, the fun didn't last and people began to seek out larger or fancier houses. Some of the houses turned into rentals and the yards didn't look so great any more. We are one of two original owners on the street.
Interestingly, two of the houses now have 3rd generation children of the originals. Kristen lives 3 doors down with our grandchildren. Two doors the other way, a couple has moved back in with the parents and have a child (the man of the house died suddenly at 50 of a heart attack since I originally wrote this - she still lives there with her son and his family). Who would have ever thought?
One of the good things about this longevity is that my very mobile family has always had a place to use as a "permanent address." One of my nieces who has lived in many overseas spots says that it is good to have a place that feels like "home" no matter where she has lived.
I have told DC many times I didn't want to ever move, because I wanted my grandkids to climb those trees that I worked so hard planting. And here that time has arrived. Legacy or Rut? What do you call it?
The next spring, when we first began to put in our yard, I became the landscape "expert," planting the trees and bushes. DC dug a six foot diameter hole. which was filled with water the next morning, as we had one of our frequent rain storms during that night, I had to get this tree in that day or it was going to die. There I was out there early in the morning, while the kids still slept, wearing fishing waders, trying to get this tree to stand up straight (at least 10 feet tall) while I tried to shovel the mud back into the hole. Keep in mind that we had just added a huge supply of "natural fertilizer", if you get my drift, the day before! I found out later that a neighbor was watching this whole fiasco from her window and getting a real bang out of it. Much of the time I was close to falling into that muck, because the waders got stuck and I couldn't move very easily. Oh, what a picture!
And now - as it looks today -- at least as much as I could catch - it is huge.
We had contracted with a nursery in town to create a plan for our yard, and we in turn would buy a percentage of the trees and bushes from them. We ended up buying almost everything from them, if I remember correctly. DC was very busy that spring with his job, so it fell upon me (a totally indoors kind of person), to plant the trees and bushes. I had two small children, but I would faithfully get out there every morning, dig 5-6 holes, and run to the nursery to pick up that many bare root bushes. It was an extremely wet spring that year and every time we'd prepare for a big project, the rain would come and make muck out of our dirt, also filling up any holes we had dug or trenches that had been prepared for the sprinkling system. I remember the day that we finally put in grass seed, trying to beat the coming rainstorm, thinking it would be great to have God give the pre-lawn its first good watering. Well, He sent a gully-washer, and every newly purchased seed ended up against the patio or around the newly-planted trees. We had a great crop of grass in totally inappropriate places! We tried again.
A few years later, DC's parents went back to Wisconsin to the old home place, in the woods up north. Unbelievably, they brought us home two trees for our growing yard. How those trees made the long trip without dying is a miracle in itself. One was a Blue Spruce, about 2 feet tall. It now stands at least 30 feet. What a great memory for my husband of his childhood at his grandma's place. The other one they brought was a maple of some variety.
Amazingly, the next spring, wild flowers and wild raspberries began to sprout around that maple tree - they had come out here from Wisconsin in the ball of dirt that surrounded the roots. They made it through that 1200 mile trip, through replanting, through winter, and came back to life in the spring. God puts amazing spunk into his plants! DC transplanted some, and especially the raspberries thrived. Some of them are in this large raspberry patch.
The little tree in front of the patch is an apple tree - Anakin planted a seed from his apple one day when he was about 4. It began to grow immediately, and two years later, DC transplanted it out of the flower garden. It is at least 8 feet tall now.
Just a few more shots taken today -- 30 years later. I just realized I've lived half my life in this house! Amazing, considering I lived in 23 apartments/houses during my first 30 years. This Austrian Pine was shorter than the fence when we planted it.