Detail of one of my palm trees.

Detail of one of our palm trees.

Did I say stillness would follow all the activity? Life is laughing at me. Instead of stillness, I’ve been inundated with editing, meetings, a youth event, keeping up with my daily blog, and that which takes the most time—battling nature.

A hot and extremely wet and humid summer had the plant life here attempting to change our zone to something a little more tropical. The woman who bought and fixed up this house (the previous couple had lived here for more than 30 years) just razed most of the overgrowth. And, now it is all trying to grow back—every tree stump has sprouted leaves; briars and various vines are valiantly trying to take over everything that is still standing—from azaleas to live oaks.

So, as the weather has gotten progressively cooler, we’ve been able to spend a little more time in the yard, slowly taming the wildness into something a little more pleasing to the eye. Battling the mosquitos and fire ants (my husband has dubbed me “Kali, the Destroyer of Fire Ants” because they die by the hundreds; I feel bad, but have you been bitten by them?). Vines and stumps are being uprooted.Gone are the boxwoods (I really don’t like those shrubs–they smell like cat urine), but the camellias, azaleas, hydrangeas, and palm trees remain, though now they are vine-free. The caladiums and ferns are beginning to thrive and there is just one tree left to remove as we prepare the back yard for a goldfish pond.

There is still a lot of work left to do—gutters and rain barrels for the house and detached garage, cross ventilation for the crawl space, which tends toward dampness, and then a raised rose bed alongside the house to further fight yard flooding.

And, in the spring, I hope to plant a small garden behind the garage, but that’s months away. Take it slowly by slowly, I remind myself–a phrase I picked up in Kathmandu–although then it referred to animal sacrifice (to Kali, by the way).

Fortunately, it hasn’t been all work—I am still taking the time to read and write, practicing my yoga and meditation, and watching good movies when I get a chance (just a month until the Savannah Film Festival).

And last night, we had a wonderful dinner with our daughter at her workplace–an iconic British pub downtown. All in all, life is good.

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