Clouds have wrapped themselves around the city. Rain is hiding in their centers. The morning frogs have sung their songs. The geckos have been busy as I see many of the one-inchers scampering when I open the door. The pond that was full to overflowing is now dry. There’s a crack in the side. Herbs I planted last year that I thought I had lost in the freeze, poked their tiny green arms through the rich black soil of Texas, hoping to embrace blue sky. One week ago, the Caladium was thin dry parchment that crumbled when I tried to pluck the dead leaves. This morning there are three new beautiful white leaves veined in fresh green. Things I thought were dead are showing new life now that I'm leaving.
The new owners will have an herb garden: savory, oregano, sage, basil, lemon grass, rosemary, and mint and chives; and caladium, and pothos, and ferns. I’m taking my potted palm in the large ceramic urn. It will probably die in Nevada, but I’m not leaving it in Texas. Also, going with me will be the seven-foot Ficus I have in the dining room. It was only about four feet high when I bought it.
I threw away the cobalt blue Riesling bottles; one at a time I set them gently in the trash bin. They have been my light in a dark place. As the sun descended and would shine through the slim sculptures, they would signal to me that it was time to prepare for dinner.
The ritual: first, light the candle, unscented of course. Second, put in the CD, Bocelli for a heavier meal, jazz for salmon and salad; solo piano for simple chicken and rice or vegetarian meal, all subject to change depending on my mood.
Once the sounds are dancing through the kitchen, I can begin chopping the red and green bells, draining the canalini beans, and shaving the Parmgiano Reggiano. The garlic vinaigrette is left from last night. I nestle it all on the torn romaine leaves in my favorite nobby yellow bowl, and refrigerate it until dinner.
Today, I dumped a lot of decorating magazines with dog-eared pages marking how I was going to change my home in Nevada. Each page that had circles and lines represented a hope and a dream of returning to the seventy's non-descsript style single- level. I
I tossed half-empty spice bottles and condiments. I won’t be cooking as much now…we have to do too much before we leave. I just want to dump drawers into boxes, seal them and leave. But my better half (that would be the left side of my brain) reminds me that when we arrive in Nevada, we have to unpack some. I will pack carefully, then.
Will I miss Texas? Maybe the cattle lowing in the evening, perhaps the song of the morning frogs, wee things that sound like tiny mockingbirds. Their parents sing at night and sound like they are calling to each other with push button phones. Will I miss the vibrant pink and orange sunsets that blanket the horizon and change by the second, and at the last appeared to be crowned with crushed gold? Maybe I should photograph the houses where one lonely cow is tied in the front yard to chew the grass down to an acceptable height.
The house will be shown off and on all day, so I must keep it tidy bordering on model home status. I was at the kitchen, polishing the sink, watching the neighbors roll out their trash. I never met a neighbor – not one in two years, in spite of my waving and smiling, and calling out "good morning" with my accidentally acquired Texan accent.
I could hear the trash truck rumbling down the bumpy road - potholes and erosion never repaired.
I dried my hands quickly, and ran to the curb, and from the can of trash and dreams, I retrieved one cobalt blue reminder. Perhaps it will be a light in my dark in Uganda.