Sometimes I wonder if the black dust comes from the century or so of the trains going by. I suppose it's possible. I used to live about eight miles down the road from here back in the seventies and the track wasn't near that house and the dirt there was red clay. Just a different vein of geography, I guess. I sure could grow cucumbers in that red clay. No clay here except for that which Mr. Moon washes off his truck after he gets back from the hunting camp in Georgia. I do not find the black dirt here to be that fertile although it sure as shit can grow some powerful big oak trees. We must be on top of easy access to the aquifer or something. What I know about geology could be stuck up an ant's butt and it wouldn't even know it was there.
I, too, worked in the yard today, trimming and cutting and pulling the spent stuff of summer. I trimmed the sago palms and the Canary Island date palms and the Sabal Palms. I pulled dead and leaning rooster lilies and the damn Mexican bluebells which I wish with all of my heart had never been started here. Same with the rooster lilies and the Canary Island date palms, if you want to know the truth and I myself planted those fuckers. The rooster lilies are a fine green plant but the bloom is insignificant and then they keel over and I have to pull them and once started, there is no getting rid of them. The Canary Island date palms are spiky instruments of torture and indeed, I ran one of the spines through my glove and into my finger today and I cursed it.
Anyway, the yard looks a tiny bit more civilized and working in it, I thought, as I always do, of what the it must have looked like over a hundred and fifty years ago when the house was built by this guy.
Mrs. Miller is dead now but she grew up in this house and raised her children here and then moved across the street in her later years with her husband and son and wife and their children.
We're a funny little village and I am glad to have contributed in some small way to it with my palms and my camellias and my love of this house which my grandsons love so very much. I hope with all of my heart that they remember it when they get grown. The chickens, the goats next door, the ancient oaks, the tilting floors of the house and the many hiding places it holds.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with it all. I tell Owen about how my office used to be the kitchen and how they cooked on wood stoves and we talk about how, if he was a boy who had lived here all of those years ago, he would have had to collect wood and bring it in to warm the house, to cook the food, and how he would have been tasked to tend the animals. He doesn't really understand, but maybe someday he will.
I'm about to make some pesto pasta and I think we will sleep good tonight. We are both tired from tending boys and yard and house. It's a good tired.
We sat out on the porch and had a martini and talked about it all, me and the man who bought me this dream house. We talked about Lloyd and the black dust and we talked about our grandsons and all the funny and sweet things they did and said last night. Time stretched back and forth and we chewed on it as we rocked in our chairs on the porch. At our age it is the natural and good thing to do.
I better get to it.
May we all sleep well tonight.