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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Spring Is A Distant Memory


The end of July is Summer in New England. There's no bones about it. The air is heavy with moisture, the heat more like a sauna than an open oven door. The plants get crazy, pushing and shoving in the beds, reaching out to grab at you when you go by. At night, the bugs on the screens blot out the moon.

The ocean is at the foot of the street, mere miles away, and when the breeze tacks, you can catch a whiff of the salt in it. No siren can compose a more alluring sales pitch. It's delightful to be on the water in July, and there's always the breeze you need to banish the motor. The sun is like a velvet hammer.

I'm a late summer man. I'm not old, but I'm not young. There's as much wake behind the boat as horizon in front of it. I don't mind really. Consider my house.

That's it there, in the picture, this spring. When I was younger, I dreamed of this house, and having the family in it. I had no idea how to get it. I wandered the earth, and had many adventures. And eventually, I figured things out, and did an end around, and made the thing happen. I am happy here.

According to the cult of the adolescent, to which we are all expected to pay obeisance unto death, it's the wanting phase of my life I'm supposed to prolong as long as I can manage it. I'm supposed to pretend there is no finish line, and simply ask the starter to fire the pistol over and over again, so I can know the thrill of beginning over and over again. I demur.

Life is a career, and then it is over. I do not wish to be an entry level employee until the day I am fired, as it were.

That picture is supposed to encapsulate all that I am supposed to abhor about owning a home. It is no longer new. It requires attention, and effort, to keep it standing and presentable. I'm supposed to want a new one by now, or have covered it with plastic to avoid paying any attention to it. But why would I not want to pay attention to it? It holds everything I've ever really wanted. I run my hands over it like a lover, because that's what I am.

It needs painting. I don't mind, because I don't want to go back to the starting line just to hear the pistol.

7 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Aw. A Luddite with a heart of gold.

Mark Daniels said...

Well-written post. I liked the image of the bugs blocking out the moon.

But for me, a house is a place where I live. I share it with the people I love. But I could live and share my life anywhere. If I could not only cover my house but my yard with plastic, that would suit me just fine. It wouldn't be aesthetically pleasing. But I could live with that state of affairs, no problem.

One exception to this indifference to having a place of my own: I do like trees and have gotten attached to them on our property. I haven't liked it when we've had to cut them down.

Other than that, it's hard for me to identify with Sippican's post. I remember when my wife and I bought our current house, the first place we'd ever owned. People congratualted us. I said, "Thank you," but apart from the building of equity, I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. I still don't.

SippicanCottage said...

I like it when intelligent people tell me what they are thinking.

A. Eteraz said...

beautifully done maestro

SippicanCottage said...

a. eteraz- The term "maestro" has a real and wonderful meaning to me. In Italy, it is an expression of both respect and a kind of affection. I'd be hard pressed to come up with its exact duplicate in English. My relatives of Italian extraction still use it, as do I.

Thanks.

Aspasia M. said...

Your sentiment reminds me of my father! I think it's really sweet.

Growing up - I remember my dad telling me that the happiest time of his life was "right now" -- raising his children with my mother.

I'm happy that before he passed away he also got to raise us in his dream house with his garden, pets, and his fruit trees! He nutured his family the same way he cared for his garden and his trees.

(He was a member of the local fruit and nut club! I loved eating apples & walnuts from those trees.)

SippicanCottage said...

Geoduck- Your father is of course a better man then me, because he was qualified to raise a female of the species. The mysteries of these creatures to me are profound; god in his wisdom hasn't given me any to fumble around with.

As far as what we grow in the yard, we have an exceptionally fine crop of mosquitoes this year.