Sixteen Days and Counting…

For almost every spring of my life I have watched the season give birth on a crazy abundance of land. When we moved into our condo I was unprepared for the shock of condensing my outdoor space to a 186 square foot balcony.

It’s a huge balcony, as balconies go, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but there are things about having solid soil under one’s feet that you don’t fully appreciate until it’s pulled out from under you; especially when you’re an unrepentant gardener.

We’ve been in our apartment for several years now. We have been actively looking for a house with a yard for most of those years.

After all these months of fruitless searching, finally we’ve had success! For the first spring in years I am going to have a garden in the ground again.

Darcy said the house had him from the moment he walked through the front door. I said it had me from when we stepped out of the car and I saw an apple tree on the front lawn still holding its frozen tennis ball-sized orbs from the summer before.

It was kind of strange that the apples hadn’t been picked by either humans or birds.

“Maybe they taste terrible,” I worried to Darcy before the ink was even dry on the offer.

A week later we arrived back at the house to meet with the home inspector and all the apples were gone. It was as if we had imagined the whole thing.

Then the inspector came back from a trip to his truck for some tools and exclaimed, “There must be over three hundred birds that just swooped in and landed in that tree out front.”

We could only grin. The apples were tasty and better yet we had birds! During our house hunt I am sure we caused our realtor to think we were more than a little daffy. We’d walk up to the front door and as he searched for the lock box, we’d suddenly light up like a pair of Christmas trees and say, “Listen! Do you hear that? Birds!

It was as if we had just been freshly imported from a bird-less planet or something. Which we sort of had. Other than the odd croak from a raven passing overhead, we didn’t hear or see many birds from our apartment. The strata didn’t allow bird feeders on the balconies and fair enough. Who wants to live in a building plastered in bird crud? Still, Darcy has missed feeding his birds as much as I have missed digging in a garden.

It was a strange bit of timing though. It’s almost as if the tree held onto its load of apples and the birds held off eating them on purpose, just to show us what the tree was capable of.

Other than a dozen or so mature trees, there doesn’t seem to be any garden to speak of in our new place, which is kind of a bonus. There is scope for imagination as Anne Shirley would say. There will be room for me to grow and sow and slowly make the place my own.

As is the case with homes that have mature trees, the house itself is older, a bit dated, and a little rough around the edges, just like its new owners. In other words, we’re a perfect match.

Possession date happens in 16 days, but whose counting? Well, that would be me, my felt pen sharply poised to mark another X on the calendar.