Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The Big Reveal
The house is peeking out behind the corner, ready, at any minute, to step out and show itself like a child in the leaves who has given up and jumps up—Here I am! I am right here! I was here the whole time!
Every day it reveals itself more and more. Daffodils are popping up everywhere.
Trees I thought were dead, are blooming. There are flowering trees and flowering bushes. We tie orange baling twine around the trees that have white flowers so we don’t inadvertently chop down a tree that flowers when it’s not, when it looks like every other scrubby sapling that has gotten out of hand and sprouted up where it shouldn’t because no one loved this place for so long.
I have a weeping cherry. I like saying I have things. Trees. Flowers. A garden. My tomatoes. My blackberry bushes. My crocuses are coming up. Like a person could really own these things that come up out of the earth on the whim of the sun and the rain or someone’s decision to get out a hose and start sprinkling. Like you could own a child. Even though it’s your child, you don’t own it any more than you own the bud on the oak tree. But I still have them. They are mine. Children. Trees. Flowers.
I didn’t know it was a weeping cherry right outside my kitchen window when we bought this place but that’s what I was hoping it was when I was having my coffee in the wintertime and I noticed the drooping branches and the bark that was similar to my cherry trees back in Virginia. And now there are pink blossoms, so I think I was right.
Another one in front of the window has white blossoms on it but I’m not sure what that one is. The one I thought was a lilac, is not. I’m not sure what it’s going to be.
Like the flowers, bricks and stones and slate are popping up in the grass. We walk back and forth so much from the barn and the driveway to the house that we wore down a path on the lawn. We knew that one day we would have to buy some concrete, or pavers, something, to make a walkway. It’s very hard trying to keep your shoes clean when you have to go somewhere when you’re walking across the grass. Try tiptoeing across the grass in high heels when it’s raining. Okay, that’s a lie. I haven’t worn high heels in years. But what if I wanted to?
One day I noticed a brick in the dirt. A little flash of red. First one. Then another. Then a whole section about one foot square. I told Kelly to cool out her horse there. There’s nothing better for wearing down a path than walking your horse back and forth. Might as well utilize this horse power!
It wasn’t long before there were so many bricks showing that Kelly couldn’t stand it anymore and so she got out the shovel and started digging.
She uncovered a beautiful brick walkway. Now we don’t have to build one! It was there the whole time! And a nice one! Nice old bricks. I think about Mr. Apple laying those bricks, and all those years they were buried, covered with dirt and grass for so long that no one even remembered that they were there.
We found the original well. It’s in the basement. I can see it through a big hole in the brick wall that leads to the crawl space. The only reason I noticed it was because I was chasing a bird and he flew in there. (Don’t ask; that’s another story.) It’s about the size of a hot tub and is made out of yellow bricks in a staggered pattern like the Yellow Brick Road. Someday I’ll crawl in there and look inside. Not the well. The crawlspace. Well, maybe the well if I see something glittering inside. Maybe that’s where the treasure is.
We also discovered two automatic waterers on the property. I’m assuming they’re automatic waterers. That’s what they look like they’d be. But I don’t know for sure since I’ve never seen an automatic waterer in real life. I’ve only heard about them like I’ve heard about Haflingers. I’d probably recognize a Haflinger if I ran across one but I have no first-hand knowledge.
There are two of these contraptions; one in one field and the other on the other side. We found them when we were clearing brush. One of them is covered by a fiberglass dome. In the basin on top there is plumbing. If you tip it over, there is a round hole in the ground filled with water like the hole the sump pump is in. The other one is a rusty metal box and we haven’t been able to budge it. The real estate agent never said anything about these and of course we were not allowed to speak to the seller until after the closing when the coast was clear, evidently to prevent him from blurting out something he shouldn’t and causing us to not want to buy the place. But this plan backfired because there is nothing he could have said about it that would have made us ask for our deposit back. Everything that was bad about it, we already knew. In fact, if we had been allowed to talk to him and learned about the automatic waterers, like how we later learned just how much of a horse community this is, we might have paid more for the house. Automatic waterers was a selling point the real estate agent never mentioned.
And a danger. Luckily we stumbled upon them before a horse broke his leg stepping into the hole, or worse, someone’s toddler visiting us fell down it. Since we have no idea what we’ve really got on our hands, though I’m sure it’s something good even though it’s obviously going to require some work to get it up and running again, this will have to wait until we have more time. In the meantime, no small children will be allowed to run around unsupervised. Small children tend to crawl under things and hide inside things so they can pop out and say, Here I am! I am right here! I was here the whole time! Just like neglected houses that begin to reveal themselves when they are loved.