House and Garden

Field and stream

Christiana White


Photo by Jan Huber on Unsplash

Number one on my to-do list today is “See CA Buckeyes in Piedmont.” That’s because I’m considering putting a native California buckeye in the “well” in front of the new home I’m moving to in the next month or so.

Yes, big changes are afoot.

I’m scared. Panicked some days. Filled with creeping dread others. Listening to Daisy, my 16-year-old golden retriever, traipse blithely in and out the back screen door which is always open this time of year… observing 17-year-old Pebbles, our tortoiseshell kitty lying akimbo atop the silvery teak table in the back garden for hours… and knowing these things won’t be possible soon, hurts.

Listening to my cricket in the back garden at night and feeling the fog-cooled breeze float through my open window, and knowing this will soon be gone, hurts.

There are many things I love about my home. And, being human, I’ve taken ever so many of them for granted. Maybe all of them. Yes, I’m certain I’ve taken it all for granted. My lush, mature gardens in the front and back. My lemon tree sprouting all manner of new green leaves after a heavy pruning a couple of years back. My birdbath being visited daily by the comical blue jay who caws raucously as he settles in for a strenuous bath that knocks out half the water.

My friends, in every direction, after 25 years of living on Guido. I have so many friends here, so many people I care about. We’ve raised our kids together, enjoyed block parties and garage sales and dinners, and Christmas caroling and trick-or-treating. We have the best neighborhood in the world for that, and are visited by hundreds of kids dressed to the hilt in all manner of ghoulish and whimsical costumes.

I will miss the trees. We are tucked into a neighborhood of massive evergreen firs, cedars, and redwoods. Also, ubiquitous oaks. And our stream, Peralta Creek. And the road alongside the creek, long ago closed off to traffic after a landslide. The neighborhood rose up and said, no, we do not want this fixed. We do not want a new road. We want this space to remain a retreat from jarring, ugly, polluting cars. Please go away. And, miraculously, they did. Go away, that is. The road is falling apart now. What’s left of it is for feet and paws. For kids and elders to rest and…