Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Amid the Stress

There are also some quiet, beautiful moments about having the house, hereafter known as the Hathaway House.

It's cottoning season in west Logan Square. There is at least one cottonwood tree in the neighborhood, which has started snowing. The air is thick with swirling white "flakes." Drifts form at the edges of yards, against the spiderwebs of fences and gates. Hathaway is missing several window screens, so the cotton floats in and has gathered in billowing clouds in the corners of each room. In researching the phenomenon online, I read people's complaints, how the cotton smothers other plants, and prevents moisture from reaching them, or likewise traps it, but I can only remember growing up in Kansas, and marvel at a little bit of the Flint Hills filling my new house.

Monday, our new mower arrived, and Tim muscled it through the dense grass- and dandelion-choked backyard, then moved on to the front yard. The front has a small patch of grass, but is mostly dirt waiting for flowers and plants. I sat on the front porch, eating pasta salad out of a mug, on the antique arm chair some past tenant left. The chair is a former beauty queen who has spent too many summers in the sun, and now waits simply for the long-haired black cat who will only curl up when she thinks we're not home. She doesn't know it yet, but she will love us.

I sat on the front porch, eating my pasta salad, and watching Tim do yard work, and neighbors across and down the street leave, come home, laugh, and call out to each other, and I felt belonging settle into my bones.

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