One of My Favorite Things.
My grandparent's house was the one place I always felt I was 'home'. Lots of love there, growing up.
Theirs was a great place to be a kid, too...big yard with trees and a garden. I loved the white birch tree in the front yard, tearing those strips of 'paper' off and pretending it was a secret message (see, odds are I was pretending to be an undercover agent during World War II...). There were places to hide, enough space to play kick-ball with the neighborhood kids, a good front porch for sitting and reading, everything you could want.
But one thing I remember most: the lilacs growing in the front yard, right at the edge of the property that sloped down from the neighbor, Althea.
Even as a child, I looked forward to those two or so weeks when the lilacs would bloom. I'm not the girliest of girls; I don't go ga-ga over flowers. But something about those lilacs drew me in. Their scent was intoxicating. I didn't even mind sharing space with the bees. I just wanted to dance and sing and play around those beautiful light purple flower bunches so I could inhale their beauty.
When we first looked at this house, it was June. Everywhere we looked, the property was a gorgeous and vibrant green.
We bought the place in September, and busied ourselves with numerous indoor projects (rooms with nine and eleven layers of wallpaper; I kid you not) and just basically getting settled.
When March & April came around, that first spring in the house, every morning was a discovery. A joyous, fragrant, discovery.
Every time I looked at the property, I found some new flower, or tree...with buds in white, pink, and even a couple shades of purple! I remember thinking "purple trees, how perfect for me".
There's a rose bush just beyond the kitchen window that, without fail, blooms within a day or two of Mother's day. Every year.
The yard itself is a wonderland, with all the wild violets and spring onions and other sweet smells.
But it was the day I realized I had my own lilacs that I truly felt this place was 'home'.
Tucked into a corner, where the semi-wrap-around porch joins the walls to the kitchen and dining room, is an eight or so foot tall beauty, with a bounty of lilacs. I can see them from the window above the kitchen sink, I can watch them from the dining room.
The pair of cardinals who live here spend a great deal of time there. We can eat dinner and listen to Mr. Cardinal sing his beautiful song, perched on a lilac branch.
They're a wonder to look upon, and the smell? Oh, the smell of lilacs. Any excuse to walk by will do, and when I do pass them, I find myself lingering, inhaling that earthy, sweet scent.
The smell of 'home'.