Apple Orchard Lane

There’s a little yellow house set back in the trees near a lake; it’s rundown and available for a song. I just need to find it. The front porch sags a bit, but the bones are strong and the black and white linoleum in the kitchen still has a sheen to it. Outside the kitchen window, lilacs and wisteria grow in tangles and there are footprints in the cement near the step; little girl foot and handprints; the name and date aren’t visible anymore. I open the back screen door and there’s a rush of pungent weeds filling my nostrils; through the trees, I can see a sparkle of water and even though it’s too far to see, I know there’s a little dock down there with an old rowboat tied up, probably not seaworthy any longer, but it’s there, bobbing in the chilly water. This little place has been sitting for at least 20 years, waiting for hands on the doorknobs and feet on the linoleum, for the smell of coffee to waft through the lilacs and warm old fashioned music to curl around the corners and fill all the rooms, making those spirits that still linger here feel at home and happy. Apple Orchard Lane.

Along the threshold on the closed in porch, there’s mud and fluff, possibly from sheep or llamas being sheared, old ropes hang on the wall and a (Tennessee?) license plate rusted. Down the hall into the bedroom, I feel the energy and warmth of a brass bed with a yellow and white comforter, now moved along to wherever the family went; but the squeak, the feel and the softness of the cloth stitched together, still hangs in the air. I feel the arthritis in my fingers and imagine the quilting frame on the table with women around, chatting, tea cups and lemon cake.

Out in the back, under weeds and brush, is a brick patio, nicely laid, no cracks. I’ll clear out the brush and set my blue and green and yellow pots at the corners, fill them with poppies and coriander. Paint will be needed for the house but not now. Now, it’s just time to visit the house, feel it, smell it. The little town needs a newspaper editor; just 3 days a week, and just enough to pay for the monthly rent/mortgage payments. I’ll land that job, no problem.

Possibly this is a silly exercise, but I am sitting here and that little house is sitting THERE… it is there and it is calling out to me. Somehow, I will find it or it will find me.


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