It was an older home and yet the yard looked as though it had never been landscaped.
The front “lawn” was a lumpy, flattish, foxtail garden that dropped off toward the street. Half the bank was covered with lavender vinka. The other half sloped at a different angle, as if the previous owners used it for a driveway on occasion. That portion was a mass of California poppies, dandelions, and goat heads (a sticker-clad ground cover similar to the sand-spurs that dot Florida).
The only tree on the almost quarter acre lot was a wild plum that had somehow slipped beneath the neighbors’ side of the far back fence to reach for the sunlight where the grass was not greener. Where, in fact, there was no grass at all, only weeds. And, oh yeah, there was a flowering quince which was threatening to take the entire back yard hostage.
From the street, the house appeared tiny. Considering the shape of the lot, I had doubts about the condition of the structure.
But I’ve never been one to judge by outward appearances.
I had to step inside.
From the moment I walked in, I could feel it. Someone had loved this house.
The wood floors had been well-cared for, the kitchen—updated and fit with gorgeous oak cabinets. Everywhere I looked, the woodwork seemed like it was hand-picked to display some striking wood grain. The carpet in the bedrooms was worn but every window and door in the home was new—energy efficient.
So now the house is mine to love.
I’ve been living here for a year and a half. Saturday, at long last, landscaping began. By 8 am, there was a tractor out front, scraping away the lumps, leveling the yard, repairing the slope of the bank, turning back that not-so-attractive outer layer to reveal the rich possibilities beneath.