Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where I Live

Oh, I am so lazy! That bottle of polish and the rag on the piano, waiting to be used?
Still gathering dust.
I look into the library and slink away, back down the hallway. The kitchen floor is dusty, everything is dusty. The dry, black dirt of Lloyd is attaching itself to everything and I merely sigh and let it.

It has been the grayest day. Like being entombed in a world of stone. And yet, it is so warm. The walls of my house where the night's chill remains are sweating. A smoke-alarm in my bedroom was beeping with it's change-my-battery shrill announcement and when I got on a chair to reach up to get it, my hands found slick wetness.
Condensation- a cloud in my own house.

Dry, dry. So very dry and yet- those wet walls. There is a little place on my walk which has always, since I've been here, held water. And now it hasn't a drop in it. The bottom is a leaf-covered bowl with the dead limbs which have fallen in it over the years lying across it like a Japanese arrangement of wood and twigs. Beautiful in its own way, but sad, too. I remember once when we had a tropical storm which brought a huge amount of rain to us that Mr. Moon and I walked out in it when the rain slacked and the water was rushing into that pond, sheeting the pathway I walk every day in a sort of river and it was suddenly clear to me how people can drown in seemingly insignificant amounts of water.

And now- dry. Completely dry. The squirrels can scamper across where there were fish.

I have not seen deer on my walk in a long time. It is almost but not quite rutting season. Now isn't that a term? "Rutting season."
Sounds like a good name for a single's bar if you ask me. Get right to the point of it.
I have seen a few sharp-pointed hoof prints in the soft sand of the path but not as many as I will be seeing soon.

Someone has taken to dumping their fucking trash on the path where I walk in the woods. The pile is growing every day. I just have to wonder why- the trash depot is less than a mile from that spot. Yard trash, tires. Sickening. Humans. God. We can be the most disgusting creatures. There is another pile a few hundred feet from that one with high heels and sofa cushions and children's toys in it. It feels like a crime scene. For all I know, it is.

When I walked past the trash depot today, speaking of that highly-used spot in our community, I saw that they are putting up a huge board fence around it. There were three workers. They were cutting the boards on the back of a truck which smelled wonderful- fresh pine- and the fence was rising nicely.
"Nice fence!" I said, as I walked by. And it was. Inside of it shall still be the garbage and recycle containers, the smell will be the same or even worse. But on the outside- oh, it shall look so much better. Not that it will matter much to me. Lloyd is Lloyd. I love it here, despite the trash in the woods, despite the trash place in the center of the community. But it will give us something to talk about here- Have you seen the new fence?

The other day when I was at the end of my walk and going into the post office which is in a very old former train depot, there were people using the old outside brick walls as a photo backdrop. I went in and gathered my mail and thought about how picturesque this old place is. How people slow down and gawk at our beautiful old houses. How they wonder what the lives of the people are like who live in them. One of the men from the group went into the post office too and he came out, not with mail like me, but with the words, "Man! You should see it in there! Old fashioned boxes where people get their mail!"

I laughed to myself. Yes. Here we are. People who get their mail in old-fashioned mail boxes with those tiny dial-combinations which open up to reveal what we have gotten. We get our mail in an old train depot, we live beneath some of the largest moss-draped live oaks I've ever seen in houses that stood when the Civil War was fought. We have refrigerators and high-speed internet and running water. Some of us have gardens and some of us have goats and mules and some of us have chickens and some of us have pampered dogs and we all have cars and we all have secrets and we all have joys and we all have sorrows.

We gather at tables and eat meals. We lay down in the darkness and sleep. It is pretty quiet except when the train goes by and its thunder-chugging is so familiar to us that we do not even wake up when it passes, even though the very glass in the windows right above our beds shakes.

The train kicks up the dust. The black dry dust which drifts into my house. Which I am ignoring.

I just went outside to shut up my chickens for the night to that they will be safe in their blind sleep on their roosts. It is so dark outside. I came back in and got the camera and went back outside and took that picture.

I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a grandmother. I am so very grateful that I live in a place which is as real as real can be. I think I would die if I lived in a cement-block apartment or a gated community where everyone lives in contrasting/matching McMansions. I am so grateful that my husband could see us living here and made that happen.
I need dirt. Even when that dirt sifts in through the screens and layers everything in my house.
I need wood floors and walls with the skeletons of wood in them.
I need trees right outside my windows.
I need porches where lizards wait for insect-prey on screens. Where giant spiders spin webs of incredible strength and beauty.
I need sky and birds that fly into it.

I have what I need.

How did that happen?

I have no idea.

But as the evening falls, even in this dark-dusty place where people dump their trash in the woods, I am grateful.

And we shall discuss the new fence when we meet at the post office tomorrow. And tonight I shall sleep in the darkness.


  1. Very nice. There is little in the world that will give me a warmer feeling than looking into a house with the lights on. That lovely warm glow.

  2. OOOhhh... what an inviting sight. Looks soooo cozy. Just the kind of house that I would want to live in except I might end up in an newish adobe one or fake adobe. Your house looks very real.
    How nice it must feel to come "home".

  3. I love the photo of your house. I used to love going for a walk at night and looking into my house.
    Now I live in "beige world" behind a gate. A rash decision mad with a muddled mind. But I'm working on a plan to get out.
    Humans. We mean well, but there is a happy place between ridiculously sterile and piles of trash. I aim to find it.

  4. Oh, that's beautiful ! What I'd give to be sitting on that porch under that light chatting with you...sigh.

    What's a little dust when there's Love a'plenty? I'm sure that old house is so glad you are there to take care of it and fill it with the beautiful Moon clan and all that Love :)

  5. Oh Mary, I agree.

    There is nothing wrong with dirt (my house would attest to that.) I hope you know that you have a life that makes so many of us dream a little bigger, a little realer: chickens, goats, mules, beautiful grandbabies. And that you worked so damn hard for it? That's why it counts, that's why it's so beautiful.

    We had weird fog today too in Michigan, and unseasonable warmth. And fat coyotes in the woods and it's opening day of deer season. It's a beautiful world, isn't it?

  6. I could not live in a gated community in one of the McMansions either. I live in the country and love the dirt road, the trees, the animals, the garden, and the solitude. It is wonderful.

  7. I hate McMansions. Run your dehumidifer...if you don't have one, tell Mr. Moon to get one.

    I finally updated and blogged. I love you.

  8. Love the photo. Dirt or no dirt, it looks so warm and welcoming.
    I like the comfort and history of antiques so I'm sure I would find Lloyd just charming.

  9. I lived in a house once in upstate New York where mold grew in my shoes and in my pockets. Wild. Sounds like you need a bucket of charcoal sitting around, here and there.

    It seems lonely without Mr. Moon. When is he coming home?

  10. Such abundance in your life, right down to the dirt and dust. I also live in the countryside and can't imagine living in gated communities or a city apartment. When I have lived overseas at times, I found myself desperately homesick of the heat and dust and even the flies of Africa.

  11. Stephanie- Me too.

    Photocat- All I can say is that it truly feels like "coming home."

    Denise- I understand why you would make that choice. We all do what we think we should do and sometimes we need different things. And...we are all so very different.

    liv- Well, at this point it's more than a "little dust." Sigh.

    Sara- That makes me happy. Thank-you.

    Syd- Same-same.

    Mary LA- Funny how even what could be perceived as flaws are what catch our hearts sometimes and draw us in.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.