I’m originally from the west coast, but my family moved to the Washington, D.C. suburbs in 1969. Since then I have lived in 8 homes in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s true, I always heard you should never go back to see your old house, yet I am drawn to my childhood home every once in while.
I just went by the house my family first moved to in Alexandria. My parents lived there for 25 years, before retiring from the area. It was always tended with the utmost care when my family lived there, and the yard was filled with special plants and trees commemorating certain events. There were two apple trees we planted when our great aunts visited from California, my mother’s favorite little peach tree in the front side garden, a pretty row of ilex and azalea bushes grew in front of the front porch, a weeping cherry tree we planted to mark our family pet cemetery area. It was kind of a living tribute to our family’s history.
It’s now been 17 years since they moved, and the yard is an overgrown jumble of vines, weeds and untrimmed bushes. I guess I’ll never learn not to go back, but when I do next time, maybe I will put a picture in their mailbox of what the house used to look like all those years ago. Who knows, maybe they will take heart and bring it back to its once beautiful appearance. At least that’s what I’ll hope, and in my mind’s eye it will always look like it did back then.
For me gardening is a time to connect with nature, not just the plants I tend, but spending time with family and my furry and winged friends, both past and present.
This year we have 12 nests (that I know of), in the trees, vines and bushes in the yard. We have already had more than one round of hatchlings in several of them. Whenever we sit on our deck we can hear the baby birds squawking for more worms. I try to keep the bird baths full of fresh water, especially in the heat that we have had. Robins, finches and doves mostly, and they seem to come back to the same spots year after year.
Also, my beautiful kitties, Mischief and Stinky, who loved to birdwatch from the roof of the garden shed my father built for me. There are so many memories to reflect on when out in the garden, another reason I treasure my time there.