My neighborhood goes completely nuts in the spring. Windows open, dogs out for long walks, kids playing basketball, and everything blooms all at once. I noticed before we got a dog, but now I spend time outside every day, wandering the neighborhood, and I’m knocked over by how gorgeous it is. Germantown is largely turn-of-the-(20th)century homes, in varying degrees of grandeur – from four stories extending back half a block to one story shotguns lined up shoulder-to-shoulder with a foot or less of space between, and nearly every front yard has a tree or two going wild right now. Along the sidewalks someone has planted what I think is a sort of cherry blossom – the flowers climb the branches the same way – in purple, one every few feet, so they form an archway over the sidewalks. Low stone walls out front of homes are lined with ivy and gardens have daffodils coming up, low bushes are an insane riot of color. It’s beautiful and every time I walk outside it feels genuinely good, like the world is waking up and I’m a part of it.
Inside our home, everything is familiar, and comfortable, and right where I like it. I’m undertaking a massive spring cleaning and – unusually for my all-or-living-in-filth approach to housekeeping – I’m doing it in stages, but the deadline is the end of this month, because we’ll be having a friend stay with us for a little while, and this house is entirely structured around two people, and needs to shift over to accommodate three.
But that’s the thing – it will be wonderful with three, equally wonderful when it goes back to two. Either way the wood floors will gleam and the light will be stunning in the afternoon and my books will be where I can find them and the front porch will be just right for morning coffee. We’ve got the most perfect little home we could ever imagine, for who we are, and where we are, and our lives right now, so we’re staying. We’re signing a year-long extension to the lease and we’re just not going to pack up any of our boxes, still neatly stacked in the basement, and we’re just not going to rent a moving truck, and we’re just not going to have a single thing to concern ourselves with except living where we like and how we prefer. I haven’t lived in one place longer than a year or so since I left my folks’ house at age 18, but we’re at a year and a half here, two in October, and all told we’ll be at least three. I can’t tell you how wonderful not moving is. How wonderful to leave all of your things right where they are and have a house without cardboard boxes around, peace and no chaos, security and stability, the pure pleasure of being able to find what you want or need in the place where you like to put it. So we’re staying here, and I am so very glad. The gift of the one is the absence of the other, so the flip side of staying here is that we are not leaving, and not leaving is its own lengthy rumination on a theme that may just comprise a great deal of the waking moments of whatever constitutes the rest of my very pleasant life.