Saturday, June 28, 2014


When I drive to town or come home by the back way, I pass this house. It never ceases to disturb me. An acre at least of plain grass yard with not a bush or a tree. A straight-up brick house and that cop car is always parked there outside the garage so I suppose a police officer lives there. I don't know how that works. The car parked out front is on a slab of white cement and is a step or two from the front door.
A few months ago one small bit of ornament did show up. Two pots on either side of the entrance filled with plastic flowers. You can't see them for the car.

This disturbs me because it seems so unnatural. Who lives like this? What sort of people who choose to live in a relatively rural area don't want at least a few flowers, a fruit tree or a crepe myrtle? Bushes under the windows? A garden patch? I just don't get it. I swear to you- I worry about that place. Or at least its inhabitants. What does the inside of the house look like? Do they have a couch? A picture on the wall? Rugs? There are the hints of plain white curtains at the windows in front but they could be there simply for privacy. I do not know.
It is certainly nothing like my house. Not one bit. It resembles the place I live as much as a stick and palapa-roofed Mayan house resembles a New York City Brownstone.

I took that picture on the way home from town today where I went swimming with Lily and Jessie and the boys. We went down to a local lake in a State Park, Maclay Gardens and ate our picnic of salads and various other delicious foods from Publix which we'd picked up and there were hundreds of people at the park. At least one major family reunion was going on, maybe more than one. There were kids and babies and adults of every color and shade and proclivity and age and ability and we just floated around and soaked in the warm water, letting the boys splash and play and we talked and laughed.
"Mer!" Owen would say. "Pretend you a little girl and I'm an alligator and you not supposed to be in the deep end but you are and you say, 'I not in the deep end,' and the alligator comes up and..."
I couldn't even follow that one. His pretend scenarios are getting pretty complex. Small little plays which he scripts and I follow his lines and improvise and sometimes he has to step in to correct me, to nudge me back to the story.
Oh, that child.

Anyway, after all of that I drove home to find Mr. Moon and Vergil, drowsing in front of the World Cup. They had spent most of the day trying to sight Glen's bow and were hot and tired. It was after four and they had just had their lunch of leftover chicken and dumplings. Jessie and I had discussed the fact that they probably hadn't eaten, had flat forgotten to eat, which both of them tend to do. Sometimes I get so angry at my husband when he does that. I suppose I worry that if I died, he would never eat at all and would grow faint and follow me into an early and unnecessary grave.
I'm sure that would not happen but for goodness sake! Who in the hell forgets to eat?

I did a few things around here and then laid down on the bed to read. Maurice came and got on the bed with me and I found myself saying something completely idiotic and embarrassing like, "Oh, is that my sweet wittle baby? Does she want to lay down with Mama?"
And I almost gagged but didn't and we snuggled up and I read for awhile and then I had to put the book down and snooze a little.
I got up but Maurice still hasn't. She looks like this.

When I got up, I went out and gathered some eggs and watered the porch plants and took some pictures. I suppose what I'm really thinking about here is the contrast between that bare brick house on that piece of yard and my house and yard which are the very antithesis of minimalism in every way.

This is the circuit breaker box right outside our kitchen porch which of course, everyone who comes into the house passes on their way up the steps except for people running for local office and Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormon boys in their white shirts and ties who knock on the front door.

The east end of my front porch, just after watering.

One of my lady spiders who is growing big in that end of the porch. She has several small males within the world of her web, awaiting her pleasure, I suppose.

My bottle tree and oh! how it needs cleaning. Still, I love it. Can you see Elvis? 

My older chickens getting their evening sips. I love how Miss Trixie's comb looks with the lowering sun shining through it.

Sometimes I look around me and I feel overwhelmed by the so-muchness of it all. The skulls with their teeth and the postcards and cards and pictures and aprons and chickens and phlox and madonnas and mermaids and seashells and Buddhas and books and Fridas and year-round Christmas lights and toys and bad art. And sometimes, like right now, I just revel in all of it.

Might as well.

Life is messy. Clean it up.
Or just enjoy it as much as possible.

Every child who ever comes in this house looks around and says basically what Owen has asked me so many times which is, "Where did you get all this stuff?"
And I just say, "I don't even know."
And they say, "I love it here."

I do too. Maybe I'm just trying to reclaim some bit of childhood which I never had- that which is playful and whimsical and light-hearted and not serious or scary or black-and-white at all but which is colorful and light-shot and silly and mythical and sensuous and which no one in this world would spank you for if you broke it. It would just make room for more.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. That house looks like a funeral home to me. Every day when I get home from work I say to my dog "oh, did you miss your mama?" It is disgusting.

  2. That house is creepy. Perhaps it's a rogue cop who lives there, and he's cooking meth. It looks a lot like houses in New Mexico look, and a lot of them are meth houses.

  3. You're my guru of nap-taking. Haven't learned yet, but...

  4. Jill- Nah, it's not nearly as cheerful as a funeral home. I hear you on the "Mama" thing. We can't help it.

    Elizabeth- I have wondered about the meth thing too! But it's such a small community that I don't know if they could get away with that. But hell yes, it's creepy.

    A- Naps are my religion. Submit!

  5. I thought that house was a church at first, but it does look more like a funeral home. Gail

  6. Thanks Mary, for tempering that creepy house with such a calming post.

  7. Gail- Well whatever it is, it's weird.

    Bluesmtn- You are so welcome!

  8. Your corner of the world is so very vibrant!

  9. Here's my take on that creepy house: It is the home of someone who is entirely inwardly-focused. They don't want to spend any time outside, no time on yardwork, no time socializing. They want to go inside and sit in their dark man-cave and play video games. I bet the inside is a mess.

  10. P.S. -- It just looks really HOT, doesn't it? All that yard with no tree? And I realize a lot of mowing is involved but one can mow an unlandscaped yard pretty fast.

  11. On the way to my kids school there is a house like that. A house in the middle of nowhere on an acre or two of land stripped bare. All the houses around it can't be seen for the trees and then this creepy house. I always ask why when I drive by.

  12. Your garden is paradise!
    Last year a house in our street was sold after the previous owner died. She was elderly and spent most of her time tending her lovely gorgeous flower beds in the front. The new owner got rid of all of that, put down a lawn and regularly mows said lawn with the latest gadgets. He got visibly agitated when snowdrops appeared in spring - he had forgotten or maybe never knew a thing about bulbs. He thinks we are riff raff and has complained about our untrimmed hedge recently. I told him nicely to get lost. He now thinks we are suspicious. The story continues.

  13. My first thought on the house was that the policeman cares for his aging parents or parent. He's not married and spends all his time working or caregiving. Getting on the mower and cutting the grass is all he has time or energy for. He spends his work days out in the heat and prefers to stay inside.

    Mary, I 'get' your house and REALLY want to visit sometime soon! My house is much the same way. I'm in "let's get this place under control" mode right now and going thru lots of stuff. It's history. I love history. Love reading your blog. Makes me feel glad I'm your cuz!

  14. My house is low maintenance but we have real flowers and trees planted around it. If I had just a smidge more room, I'd plant more.
    My guess is that they are workaholics in a loveless marriage that have to stay together because they have this huge pile of debt and they can't afford to leave, lest he lose out on the trust fund. He's a cop working his beat and he fulfills his needs from the prostitutes he picks up. They have a treadmill in front of their big screen tv in their bedroom and it's always on Fox News or CNN.

  15. I love reading everyone's stories about the inhabitants of the sad brick house.

    And Mary, I feel like I've been to your home. It's sparkly and warm, humid and smells like pancakes. It's a very good place.

  16. of course you have a bottle tree. I love that.
    the creepy house... may have a woman inside it like Alison Janey in American Beauty.

  17. My next door neighbor's house in the city was like that for 30 years (or more, before I got there). Nothing but grass, not a shrub or tree or flower to be seen. My yard, by comparison was like a wild flower prairie that oozed out onto, into the city easement and ditch. I would regularly post signs not to mow when it looked trashy so the city wouldn't mow down next years flowers in the making. I had people stop all the time and tell me how pretty it was, how much they liked it. One day a city inspector came by and issued me a ticket, told me they had had complaints, and I had ten days to mow. so I marshaled my backyard habitat materials and when the inspector came by next time, we agreed that if I kept the ditch mowed they would accept that even though the plants that grew in the ditch actually helped keep the ditch stable and helped with water absorption. the inspector lady wanted my yard to look like my neighbor's, the completely sterile yard. I asked her that if people could complain about the unsightly nature of my yard could I complain about the unsightly sterility of my neighbor's yard? she just looked at me like I was crazy and we made out agreement and I kept the ditch clear but also kept the other wildness in the easement. and my yard, of course.

  18. I don't get how people live without trees for shade and flowers and a garden. The house is ugly and reminds me of a funeral home. I hear supposedly sane people talking all the time about cutting down their trees because they get sap on the car and leaves fall on the car. I can't imagine a yard without trees.

  19. I saw a youtube video about a house that looked just like a house except for the details, like this one--no sidewalk leading to the door, etc. It was somewhere in North Carolina. Well it turned out it wasn't a house but the city's water treatment plant or electric hub or something or other. I got in touch with my younger self today and brought out some of my pagany things I bought as a teenager and hid away. It felt good. I love all your trinkets and shrines.

  20. I almost couldn't read fast enough to get the fear of that being J and V's new dream home out of my head. Whew. Only way that could be worse would be if the lawn was really astroturf.

  21. Sometimes I think, oh my, I forgot to eat! And then I realise that no, I actually had a fairly substantial lunch and really I should be less hungry.

    Your place is beautiful. I dreamed this morning I'd gone on holiday and taken all my clutter-crap with me, and I was trying to pack it somehow and just couldn't face it. I was sweeping a shelf of junk into my handbag. Sigh.

  22. The outside of my mother's house and yard look exactly like that.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.