A final post from my Connecticut garden:

Laurrie's Garden Diary

Sad to leave. Excited to go.

Jim Says Goodbye . . .

. . . to his John Deere riding mower.

Chris came on Monday night to take it, and was grateful to have it. We loved knowing it was going to a good home and that it will be well used. It's not new, it's got some miles on it, but its last years will be spent mowing the yard of a good plantsman.

The truck wasn't big enough for the trailer too, so he had to make two trips, but he came back and got the trailer and gas can and all the odd attachments that mystified me but were critical to the efficient functioning of the John Deere here in our garden all these years.

A Dryland Look

It's unbelievably hard to look at the beautiful gardens I built here and know I won't see them again. It all looks so good now, with maturing trees, some shade finally, and a pleasing composition.

And it's so New England -- green and leafy and surrounded by woods. In just a few days time we will be in our new home in New Mexico, far from the eastern woodland world I grew up in and lived in all my life.

We won't have any lawn out there. This view of the side of our garage shows the strip of untended space next to the community walking path. While our home has enclosed courtyards where I will garden, and shady trees near the house, the surrounding open area is dry, mostly untreed and scrubby looking.

Despite growing up in an eastern woodland, I love this look. I like the clean, unfussy, wide open, dryland look, where the sky is the feature that draws you, not the state of the landscaping around you.

I love the fact that we won't have to mow, fertilize, irrigate, trim…

Habitat for Humanity

In the end I could not sell any of our furniture at consignment or at auction. Everything we decided not to take with us to New Mexico went, instead, to Habitat for Humanity's "ReStore" outlet here in town.

They sent a young man and woman and a big truck.

Some of our furniture was pretty big and heavy, but the two of them managed, and Jim -- bad back and all, toted smaller tables and mid sized boxes out to the truck. I helped too.

It was 93 degrees out. An unbelievably humid and unbearably hot summer afternoon, with a blazing sun.

They couldn't take the sleeper sofa -- some things you simply cannot reuse or recycle, so that will end up at the dump. But they took our bedroom sets (we have no bedroom furniture any more, our mattresses are all on the floor), and they took our kitchen table and chairs, and all sorts of dressers and lamps and rockers and a wing chair and the den couch (I have no place to sit and watch TV) and end tables and much miscellany.

I'm hoping…

Walking Rain

I said I would not move to another planned urban development, or P.U.D., after living in one for 13 years, but here we are, moving to a homeowner's association in Santa Fe.

I guess it's our comfort zone; we want the amenities and we can abide the rules and the dues, and it's hard to find nice neighborhoods in the city that are not in associations. We are too old for a rural life outside of town and our means are too modest for freestanding big homes in more upscale neighborhoods

So, an association. A development. 

It's called Nava Adé , which is a Tewa Indian phrase meaning “belonging to the land.” It's a tidy subdivision of single-family houses with plenty of open space and streets laid out to respect the rolling terrain. 

What differentiates Nava Adé from similar subdivisons, however, is its provision for 35 percent of the 600 units to be classified as “affordable.” 

That the developer accomplished this with house designs, amenities, sizes, and materials associated w…

It's Only Stuff

Everything came together so brilliantly in the sale-and-purchase of this home and our new house at the same time. The timing worked, we found what we wanted, the complicated steps to move cross country are falling into place . . . .

So it was bound to happen, a snag had to arise. And here it is: we can't get rid of our furniture.

Last winter we had an auction house clear out a lot of stuff in the basement and sell some of it. We did well financially on that. They also reviewed all the furniture we knew we would not take to a smaller home, and they said when the time came to move, they would pick it all up and auction the pieces.

Well, the time has now come to move, and now they can't take it. They are short handed or understaffed or the trucks imploded or something, and they can not take our furniture. We now have three weeks to make other arrangements.

I tried two other auction places and they were not interested in what we have. I tried two furniture consignment shops, but o…

Lotsa Boxes

Recently a new neighbor moved in down the street. They bought the house last winter, but just moved in a few weeks ago. I met him (haven't met his wife yet) a week or so ago.

Today he showed up in our driveway with tons and tons of big empty packing boxes from his move, all filled with great volumes of packing paper.

Dish boxes, wardrobe boxes (tall ones with a bar to hang clothes on) and square boxes.
We are going to have plenty of supplies for our move. Great timing -- just as he was emptying the contents from his move, we are needing to fill up boxes with all the contents of our home.

Thanks, new neighbor!