Don Rogers: Easter move
Geese converse as they cruise just feet over the oaks. Turkey vultures bank silently along the hillside. Roosters in the distance at mid-day put the lie to crowing at sunrise; here, they must sleep in. And wait for it, here come the frogs at sunset clamoring from the pond down the drive.
The rosemary is full of bees getting theirs while the bloom’s on, the drone welcome considering the state of these precious insects. No skeeters, yet, but we know they’re coming when the grass crisps. Evening chill keeps the bugs at bay while we unload the cars of odds and ends the movers missed.
Rough and Ready! “Always makes me laugh hearing it,” a lawyer friend says. Who’d a thunk? We believed we were pine people. Never dreamed we’d fall for this place, light and bright, a football field for a lawn, sunset view all year, whole sky full of moon and stars. Ticks, poison oak, snakes. Can’t have everything, I guess.
No snow to shovel, plenty of warmth. Raised gardens, orchard. No, we’re not planning on that other crop. Whoever becomes our next sheriff, he or she is welcome anytime.
This is a long ways from the Colorado ski town where we lived for 17-18 years, raised the kids. It will take some getting used to. Something about owning makes things feel more permanent.
Lots of plans, lots of work. First, unbury ourselves from the boxes, bags and miscellanea of stuff, everywhere. Build a quick fence for the dogs. Alas these aren’t the good, “find a place in the sun and chill” kind. No, not these punks. I’d say mutts except one’s a purebred papillon, once and always a spoiled New York City apartment pet.
They come running at the slightest whisper of mealtime, faintest crinkling of a bag, a cover lifting. But outside, they turn deaf as posts as they trot to the ends of patience, confident they aren’t mere rescues, but well loved and quickly forgiven. True enough.
Of course the movers don’t listen particularly well, either, and the key guy, the cable guy, water guy, electrician, plumber and whoever else arrive on their schedules, not ours. Easter Sunday around dawn in one case. But it’s a beautiful early morning I would have missed if not for the elbow nudge out of bed. Reverential in the secular as well as sacred sense.
The oleander must go, my wife declares. Stem, root, all of it. Deer die eating that stuff, she says. She doesn’t want it around with a toddler grandson, another on the way, or those damned dogs. Good exercise, anyway. I’ll fill the holes later.
Neighbors drop by with a pickup and cart away the cuttings and roots. Another new neighbor pulls up. She met my wife at a doctor’s office recently and they got to talking. Weeks later she wants to welcome us to the neighborhood. Pretty cool.
I know fire helps bond this community, and our conversations touch on the subject. I’m glad the fire station at the village center looks new and the engines shiny, ready to roll. Our big green lawn helps, as does the NID ditch running behind us, though we have plenty of clearing to do.
I want to get my daughter a pink chainsaw. My wife worries that nostalgia from working in the forest long ago will take hold of me too well. She’ll supervise. The job, after all, is to clear, not level. We don’t really want to see the neighbors or the road.
Rough and Ready might show best at Easter, I’m thinking with a full cup of coffee in hand — grass fuzzing green, trees budding, early morning cool and comfortable, not freezing like the high country, no clue or care where the snow shovels might be buried. A wild turkey works the front lawn, heedless of the new inhabitants of a long-empty house.
This is the time for moving, for planning all those things we couldn’t do living at elevation, with the snow and 20-minute growing seasons, for planting ourselves at last.
Don Rogers is the publisher of The Union, The Wildwood Independent and the Truckee Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4299.
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