Over the weekend we ventured out a little bit after that long week of people in this house being sick. Took a little stroll around the neighborhood. Turned out that a house that I pass every time I walk to Pilates Class was not only for sale, but had an open house. We like open houses so we went in.
I was already familiar with this house because I walk past it a minimum of four times every week. But it's not because of the house at all. I mean to say, there is nothing wrong with the house. It is well kept in appearance and on the small side. From the outside it is a little rectangular, brown box with a questionably chosen deep purple door and a one car garage. That's really all you notice about the house if you walk by. It turns out to be a two bedroom, two bathroom house with a kitchen/family room. That's it. That's the entire house. Sort of like a very nice hotel suite. All updated and well tended. And to my surprise, it had a lovely caged pool and large patio area that I had not been aware of.
The reason this house registered with me at all, was not any of the above. It was the yard. The house could have been utterly invisible and I still would have noticed because of the area around the house. It is a good sized lot which is entirely filled with The Most Enchanted Garden that completely encircles the house. It is an oasis. It seems to be something out of a fairy tale. I do not even have the words sufficient to describe how lovely that garden is.
We made short work of admiring the little house. As cute as it was, the house itself did not really appeal to us. But we couldn't wait to get outside to walk through that garden.
Everywhere we looked as we wandered the meandering pathways there was something new to see. It was not just the enormous variety of trees, shrubs, ground covers and flowers but also the secret little sitting areas, the trellis dripping in fragrant orange blossoms, the gazing balls unexpectedly appearing around a corner. It was the surprise of mosaics and coloured bottles and a variety of stepping stones and the carefully created areas of sun and of shade. There were sculptures and whirlygigs, spinners and tinkling windchimes. I half expected to find elves and fairies folicking under toadstools and a unicorn to step out from behind a tree.
It sounds as if it was "too much", over done, crazy or over the top. I can only assure you that it was not. There was perfect balance. Everything was just enough. Just enough charm, just enough colour and texture. The perfect degrees of both precision and whimsy. It was so well thought out. An artist must have created and maintained this garden.
I wanted to stay. Not in the house, while a perfectly nice house it wasn't our house. The house didn't speak to me at all, but that garden. That garden spoke volumes. It was peaceful and inspirational and delightful. And it beckons each person who visits to stay and enjoy.
The very first thing the realtor said to us when we walked in the door was. "Welcome" the second thing she said was that there was already an offer on the house. We smiled and thanked her and continued on our tour as did carload after carload of others. Clearly we were not the only folks mesmerized by this lovely place.
I was not even remotely disappointed (or surprised) that someone snapped this house up when it had just barely hit the market. If you had seen it in person and had the bank account to support it, you would have been tempted also. But while I so admire that lovely garden, when I see it I also see work. A lot of work, constant and necessary work. To live there and not keep it up would be like defiling a Rembrandt. But I swore when we moved here that never again would I be a slave to a house.
Our Colorado house was gorgeous. We really loved that house. It was also more than twice the size of our current home. With just the two of us living there and both of us working full time, it still took most of the weekend the clean it every week. Keeping the yard and gardens trimmed and weeded and updated and properly maintained was another day out of the week at a minimum. Add to that the normal things that everyone does, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and so forth, leaves no time for any fun. And if I said, "To heck with it" and just didn't do the work required, the following weekend there was twice as much work to do. At times, I felt like a slave to my house.
I hope whoever it is that bought the little house in the enchanted garden is a Master Gardener who will enjoy doing the tons of work necessary to keep that garden thriving. But I'm glad it's not me. I suppose I've gotten lazy in my old age. Or perhaps I've gotten more realistic, more honest with myself. I now know what I'm willing and more likely to do, the amount of effort I'm willing to put in. It's important to me that my house looks nice and I'm well aware of what is involved in keeping it that way.
Our little house doesn't have an enchanted garden. But it looks pretty good for a house that doesn't require a lot of work to keep up. Sort of like me I guess. At this point, I look pretty good for someone my age who isn't interested or willing to put more work in. Yeah, that'll do.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.