Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Shift of a Sweet Scent

There was a little dry rot in the top railing of my deck that needed to be repaired. It is a fungus much like mushrooms that can spread through the wood. Like termites it turns wood to sawdust. The carpenter dude came to look to see what needed replacing and my fifteen year old Confederate Jasmine Vine that was going to get a little haircut ended up being completely removed from the railings of my deck.

Long ago one of these vines had been planted on a pine tree in the house where I grew up. Thirty five years later when my sister sold the house that vine had long since climbed to the top of that eighty foot tall pine tree and grown to a diameter of ten feet around. Every spring it was a solid white mass of heavenly scented bloom that people wandered the neighborhood looking for the source.

Last month when I went home I drove by our old house and there was not a tree, not a bush, not a blade of grass left in the garden where I started. It was a dirt parking lot from end to end. The pine tree and its scented cloak were gone.

Every spring my Confederate Jasmine Vine on Maui bloomed its sweet scent for me. It cloaked my deck and living room in privacy and blocked the view of my neighbor below who likes to store his overflowing collectibles at the top of his driveway right up to the property line in two storage sheds and one hideous plastic house.

There was a house under that vine. It always had threatened to engulf the house and I had to trim it three times a year to keep it a bay. Lately it had taken to regularly grabbing hold of the patio chairs. I was not as shocked by its removal as I thought I would be. Though I am feeling a bit exposed and left out in the blazing sun at the moment, I did gain a great view of my own garden from up on the deck. Now it will taunt me even more to get out there and get busy.

At first I thought I would let the vine grow back, but much smaller this time. It will quickly. My landlord fussed at me about having to do repairs on a sixteen year old house for the first time and I had second thoughts.

Things are changing for me. I am pretty sure I have made a decision to move and my garden will have to be dismantled. It is not a garden for the timid or the uninterested. It will have to be simplified and made ready for a mow, blow and go crew.

I will buy some heavy curtains to replace the sheer ones I have now to block the sun from heating up the house on this full sun western exposure and dig up the Confederate Jasmine Vine. To everything there is a season and the sweet scent has moved on with the wind.


christin m p in massachusetts said...

Is it that the "sweet scent" used to be on Maui, and now it has "shifted" to somewhere on the mainland -- North Carolina perhaps?

Why I ask is that it looks like a really attractive place to live, with the nice, cooler mountain weather. Besides that, a lot of our people here have moved to North Carolina for the housing affordability and jobs growth. My brother (the one who does golf course grooming) and one of his best friends are planning to move to the Charlotte area before the year is out.

I'm still undecided. My Mom wants to take me, my sister, and my little niece Rachel on vacation with her to Savannah, GA in hopes that we'll choose to live there. But I don't think I could take that humidity for months on end. My Mom and my sister like to live near the ocean (my sister's house is oceanfront, and my Mom's is less than two miles from the nearest beach). As for me, I require the cool, crisp air of the mountain forests.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Yes it is North Carolina. My parents have made an offer I don't want to refuse. Land!

And of course you would have a niece named Rachel. Me too.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Do you plan to build a house on the land as soon as you get resettled?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Yes I plan to build a shared house for myself and my best friend Annie for us to grow old in and a place for friends to come and visit. When and how is to be determined. There is this pesky thing called money that will be needed.

I will need to get an income going first and may try to build a seperate garage/storage shed to live in intially or buy a small prefab one room cabin.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Wow, you would be able -- even temporarily -- to live in a one-room cabin? You're even more ascetic than I am... I'm perfectly content as long as the place I live in is clean, sound, and peaceful. But around here, even that costs a fortune. I've just gotta move South, like everyone else...

Since the cost of living in North Carolina is a hell of a lot less expensive than in Hawaii, you probably won't have much trouble making enough income to cover expenses and move forward with your plans.