As September draws to a close, I find myself preparing the outside of the house for winter: sweeping a carpet of leaves off the deck, pruning the wire vine back, pulling dandelions and nightshade out of the mulch by the back fence. It occurs to me that this work will never be finished: that it moves in a wide, wobbly circle as the seasons change, each transition bringing its own tasks and trials.
In the first downpour of the year, the gutter above the kitchen window overflowed in great sheets of water into the stairwell below, and I had to pull out fistful after fistful of grit to clear it out, blind with rain and cold water funneling down my shirt front.
If this was not my house, I wouldn't have laughed. Because it is my house, I did.
And so, I remain charmed by this little house, with its cobbled-together, chicken coop roots. Each time I dig up a weed or sweep the front walk or pull English ivy off the light pole, I imagine that I am saying thank you. And in the early mornings when the weather grows cold, as I lie in bed and hear the faint click and whoosh as the heater turns on, it's as if the house is saying right back: you're welcome.
Happy Wednesday, friends.