a walk, a house and a challenge

It is spring, and then it’s not, and then it is, and we get to open the windows for one day.  

Last Saturday was that day.  I almost wished I could have spent it in my little garden plot. —Yes, indeed, I can once again plant tomatoes and basil, a pumpkin, some chard and salad greens.  I did nothing to enhance the soil last year but as this is my second year, I am thinking.  But last Saturday was for walking and walk we did in The Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley.

Elm Bank was a private residence built in the 17th century. At the turn of the 20th Century, the owner engaged architects to build a neo-Georgian manor house and hired the Olmsted Brothers to design and improve the gardens. After various owners and various uses, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and it is now owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In April of 1996, after a public process that included thoughtful consideration of all aspects of the sited leased Massachusetts Horticultural Society. The old manor house is in need of deep restoration but the garden beds are laid out and ready to be worked on for spring.  We enjoyed the bulb flowers and the flowering trees, and I enjoyed just being in a working garden on the verge of a season. 

The way the manor was shut up, just waiting for restoration, reminded me of the the Villa Grazioli that was down the lane from where were lived just outside of Frascati. Thirty- seven years ago, the villa was abandoned and looking very sad behind fencing and signs that threatened trespassers. Today, it is an incredible looking hotel with gardens and a pool. Ah, to see it again. To see any of Italy again!

It has been awhile since Cheshire and Justin moved into their house.  Ownership has some complications right now but it was finally warm enough to take a picture without snow.  The house is incredibly interesting and will occupy them for a long time.  Their enthusiasm for the work reminds me of our Washington Blvd. adventures. Back when we moved in, we found a library book to help us fix almost anything.  Cheshire and Justin have youtube which I think is a slight improvement. 

At the beginning of last week I had a much overdue optometrist visit and walked out of her office after a battery of tests with a diagnosis of cataracts.  Now, I know I am old!  I remember Great Nana’s cataract operation in the 70’s. Days in the hospital and weeks of recuperation.  I will have day surgery on one eye at a time with two weeks to heal in between.  I will need someone to drive me home and spend the night with me but absolutely no chance of hospital food. I had a preliminary surgeon visit on Friday for eye ball measurements and an appointment to discuss options and surgery in July.  I am not the only one who put off what seemed to be unnecessary medical visits this past year.  Hopefully, surgery will be done within 90 days of the July visit.  

I hate the waiting, now that I know the problem.  For months, I have imagined that I had severe eye strain with drastically changing vision.  At times reading and decorating eggs has been very difficult.  Now, that I know why, I’d like it to be fixed immediately.  Yesterday, actually.  However, have a problem that actually has a solution is a rather giddy feeling of freedom.  I can be fixed.

And I am writing for my memoir class—a piece every week.  I am grateful for the group and the critiques.  I feel daring as I work on and send in pieces mainly centered on death and disability, with a few lighter entries on the side.  When life gets closer to normal, I need a writing group to be responsible to and in whole judgment I can trust.  

I should also add that I am grateful to some of my dear friends who have read my words for years on this blog and who have always encouraged me to “do more with it.”  I am finally daring enough to plunge in and see where it leads!

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