Home again, home again jiggidy jig

The plane fills with the noise of pre-take off. Tray tables are stowed, the flight attendants start through their opening monologue, like a 7th grade algebra teacher, no one is really paying attention. My eyes shift to where the exit rows are located, the only part that ever really seems important to me anymore, and I watch out the window as the last of the suitcases are loaded into the belly of the plane. Seatbelts are fastened tight, water is stored in the pocket in front of me, book and laptop are out, ready for the hours ahead, and it’s time to go home.

The last four weeks have been filled with laughter and joy as I have watched the kids turn their new house in Jacksonville into a welcoming “home”. The rugs move around the rooms to find just the right place to live, and the books are gradually being unpacked and placed on the shelves. Most of the trees out in the back yard have been identified, and we even found a lime tree and some raspberries growing off to the side of the property.

Last week we watched in horror as a large piece of machinery started hacking its way into the forest behind their new home. Like a snake in the grass it wound its way deeper and deeper into the forest and started ripping out the large native Florida pines that made up the forest behind the house. Travis ran out and actually stopped the operator to see what was going on. The forest behind them had been a large selling point to Sara. After leaving the forests of Maine, this large part of greenery brought a familiar and welcoming site. It took about 10 minutes for Travis to make his way back to the house, Sara, Cash and I standing at the back door waiting to hear his news. Seems a local timber company was “harvesting” the trees for pulp. The fortunate part was that they intended to leave 50- 60 trees per acre, only taking the smallest and diseased trees. We watched over the next three days as they cleared deeper and deeper into the acreage, filling trailer after trailer with the trees, and with each tree – turning the area into a light filled, airy new forest.

Since Robert’s arrival last week, we have made many more wonderful visits to the Golden Isles of Brunswick to see his parents, visit the beach and even managed to not only surprise the little guy, but also Sara and Travis with a “Big 2” birthday party for Cash. Sharon had made the most amazingly creative fish party hats that we all enjoyed, including seeing his father Bob in his perfect match. My brother David and my niece Catie also made it up for another weekend visit, and I sat and listened as he and Robert regaled the kids with stories of fast cars, rock concerts and their short experience as roommates in the early 70’s. Where have the years gone?

It’s time to return to Fallon. Our gardens will be overflowing with tomatoes and basil, the flowers will more than likely be ready for a good pruning, and my little Boston terrier Chopper will be grateful tomorrow morning to have some company as he surveys his kingdom. The shops have filled my thoughts with new ideas as I traveled around to different garden centers and gift/wine shops on the east coast. ……….I have missed everyone and the times the slow days in July provide for good conversation , Friday salad luncheons and the opportunity to get caught up from the spring season, and Harriet – how I have missed sweet Harriet……….. It’s been a great adventure, but I am ready to return to the beauty of the desert. Thanks for joining me on this amazing adventure, see you in the garden soon, Susan