This is what it looks like when I have gotten to my driveway on my way home from my walk. Can you see all of my dead ferns? They will come back. There are many brown Crocosmia too. Quite unfortunately they will also come back and in fact, in parts of my yard they already have, sending up their leaves with green vigor, ready to do battle with me again in my never-ending attempt to get rid of them.
I have been in the best spirits today. I have no idea why but I have. Just a real and true feeling of contentment and peace. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened but it has been an almost perfect day, weather-wise, and my walk was fine. No Man Lord has created a huge cross in his yard with hundreds of aluminum cans. He appears to be in one of his religious phases again with signs about Jesus and the coming days of reckoning propped up against his fence, and his fence, too, has messages written on it. For those of you who have not been reading here long, No Man Lord is what I've been calling this neighbor for many years because he had a cross in his yard for a long time with a sign that said just that- NO MAN LORD.
He is so interesting. Always, always doing something.
When I reach the point in my walk pictured above I can either turn in and end my walk or go on to the post office which is just past the intersection up there. The decision is often made on how badly I have to pee. If I stop and go into the house to do that, I find that my momentum has faded and I just say, "Oh, fuck it. I'm home."
But today I had peed in the woods as I often do and was fine in that regard and walked on. My newish-neighbor was on a ladder in his front yard, cutting vines hanging from a magnolia tree. I stopped and called out to him and we ended up talking for quite awhile. I really feel that he may have changed since moving to Lloyd. He seems softer, more open. And in fact he told me that he has been building things and loving that as well as working in his yard and loving that too.
"It might be my age," he said. He is fifty-one.
I asked, "Have you started bird-watching yet?"
He laughed. "Not yet"
"You will," I said with all the confidence and experience of my years. He admitted that his wife had hung a hummingbird feeder and he does like watching those birds come and go.
I asked him if they were planning on building a fence, now that they've cleared all the fence lines and he said that maybe they would but they weren't sure. He sort of apologized for infringing on our privacy which I appreciated. I think he just wants every square inch of his yard to do with as he wants and I understand that and I told him so. I have a feeling that neatness and tidiness is important to him in ways that do not worry me at all.
The rest of the day I have spent hanging laundry on the line, instructing Ralph to vacuum my floors, and making a lemon pie with Meyer's lemon juice that my across-the-street neighbor brought me. It is a beautiful thing.
"All right," I said. And there are billowy clouds of whipped cream in a container in the refrigerator now.
I could only imagine that my engineer's-brained grandson was thinking, "MerMer is an idiot."
When I talked to Levon we chatted for a bit and then I asked if there was anything else he wanted to tell me.
"Yes!" he said.
I waited a few seconds.