Monday, August 17, 2009

In my own home, at last

I returned to France a week ago, but I only came home to my house today. I saw off the renters this weekend, and now, slowly but surely, I'm taking back possession of my home. All the little things that add up to a relationship between an individual and his/her place of rest. I look around, I take stock and I begin to take care of, fix, clean, and more.

I've got the pool back to perfection, in a calm and leisurely way. It is time consuming to vacuum the bottom of a pool, but it is also a very soothing activity on a beastly hot day. Having found and killed a nest of wasps (not before being stung quite painfully on a finger/knuckle however), I then turned my wet, bathing suit-adorned body to weeding the tremendously over-grown vegetable patch. Now last week and the week before, I lent my hand at some little weeds, in soft sandy soil, easily removed from around some lovely strawberries and tiny carrots. Amidst my crowded tomato and potato plants, the weeds were anything but dainty. I felt I was removing baby trees. The soil was soft though, and the roots came easily (excepting my hardy crop of dandelion greens, but as I eat these, I'm not too worried by their very determined root system).

The front garden is truly a mess, so I soaked it and will work on it tomorrow morning. I think I just need to cut everything back. The rose bushes are straggly and in numerous cases diseased, and grass a passing memory. The jasmine and a huge orange flowered plant in front of my door are happily growing and growing and growing -- dwarfing a small rose bush or two beneath them. I clearly need to put some lavender plants out front -- something that is not too thirsty, but that will look nice through the summer (or at least through early August). I can see that I'm lacking summer flowering plants, having a predominantly spring garden. Ah, projects for the future.

The cane is so overgrown I have to duck under it to get to the pool, and the bay laurel and thyme laurel are trees in the making. I'm not looking forward to cutting back that sturdy cane with my sorry clippers, but I'll nonetheless make a go of it tomorrow morning.

The lawn has not enjoyed this hot and dry summer, so I'm soaking it progressively, from spot to spot. Happily I've a well, and a functioning pump! What more? Mail to go through, clothing to put away, and a shower to scrub. What is it about renters that they don't clean the shower before their departure? What part of "put everything back into the state you found it" is incomprehensible? But I'm not complaining. All the renters enjoyed my home this summer and were lovely and complimentary at their departure. So, though yes, there are minor things broken, some water soaked wood around my kitchen sinks (to be replaced next summer...), etc., the house seems to have come through fine.

One more thing, there is a day-long battle to wage against some very happy and prolific spiders in this house before Jonas enters it next week. And then, this quiet space where I'm all alone will be filled with my two kids plus four. I'm enjoying this peaceful moment for what it is -- brief and nourishing.

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