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The Stone Fence Accord

12 months ago

1190 words

Photo: My friend was so generous as to bring me a beautifully arranged vase full of fresh-cut flowers from her garden. Tulips, lilacs, this thing… I forgot what she said this thing is. Another tulip? No… it’s different than a tulip. Still pretty, though. But there is just so much more I wanted to capture…



I have never seen a tulip with such a deep and gorgeous color before. Frankly, tulips aren’t really my favorite color because I feel like they come in lame colors. Furthermore, we planted tulips in our own garden and they always come out so small and puny and uninteresting. And they die within a day of their blooming. Dumb. But this… ahhh… so lovely. The plum color is simply everything. It’s luxurious, really. It makes it feel like a completely different color. Your eye can’t help but linger on it and it steals the show from the rest of the flowers in the vase.


It’s the inside of the flower that I find the most fascinating . My camera actually had a hard time capturing the details of the inside of the flower because of the darkness of the petals versus the brightness of the stigma and the anthers.


I love how obvious the plant is. Might as well put up a billboard: “THE BEE GOES HERE!” or even “LOOKING FOR POLLEN?” I could probably think of more vulgar things (“get up on this!”) but I’d hate to attract the wrong crowd. Anyway, I’m reminded that allure in nature comes with purpose. There is no point in simply being beautiful. Function matters. The beauty of this flower will soon fade, but I do hope that it will live on via some bee who got to its pollen before it was cut and brought to grace my dining room.

Thank goodness for the fleeting beauty of fresh-cut flowers because my boys sure aren’t giving me a moment of rest. I encountered an unanticipated complication from Ursa Major riding the bus to and from school: he’s making neighborhood friends on the bus.

I heard your laughter. Don’t snicker at me. I have a good explanation!

We don’t really live in a neighborhood that’s built for community. It’s not walking friendly at all. Sidewalks are sporadic and our street is really busy. The houses are kinda far apart, too.  Let’s just say you can’t go trick-or-treating where I live because it’s just not a good place for kids to be walking. So the houses are lovely, but there isn’t a warm neighborhood feel and we only know a few of the people who live directly near us and all the rest of our friends are located in other parts of town. We’ve been pretty ok with that. We’ve got a good little network going, as you well know.  But our  next-door neighbor’s property abuts a little cul-de-sac that has a bunch of little houses and seems to be home to a good sized group of mixed-aged kids. Not all of them go to Major’s school, but a few of them do, and two of them just happen to ride the bus. As things go, and it took almost the whole school year, but the kids all figured out how to get to each other. Raise a huzzah for the handy ancient stone fence delineating a separation of properties!

So they are now in the business of planning their own playdates. This is a thing.

“[Neighbor kid] and I have decided that we are going to play on her side of the fence after school,” I was informed by my eldest today as I picked him up from school.

“Is that so?” I huffed indignantly. “Well let me consult The Google to see if that playdate was scheduled.”

I made a big show out of digging out my phone and opening up my calendar.

“It’s not in The Google,” my eldest casually replied. “We decided it this morning on the bus.”

“Well, little sir, if it’s not in The Google, it ain’t gonna happen,” I quipped. This is the golden rule of motherhood in 2017. You say you’ll be at a thing, you put the thing in The Google, The Google tells you where you are supposed to be and when you are supposed to be there. The Google will even tell you what time to leave for the thing if you treat it nice!

I was good humored about it all, but I made it pretty clear: there would be no venturing into the neighborhood until I meet some parents and we figure things out. The two kids he wants to hang out with are older than he is (8, it turns out). I’m glad that they want to include him in stuff, and I know that the school we chose is big on the older kids including the younger ones… but there are still rules, ya’ll!

“If they want to come up and play in our yard, they can do that. But you aren’t going over there today,” I finally conceded.

Major was disappointed, as I’m sure you can imagine. We went to guitar today, we got home and I fired up the grill to make dinner. Major would stop from time to time and longingly glance over toward the far stone fence. As the afternoon went on and dinner was almost ready, I thought I’d gotten away with something.

Then two heads popped up from beyond the stone fence. “[Major!] Hey! [Ursa Major!] Come over and play!”

Lordy. I told that boy to go over there and tell his new friends they could play in our yard if they asked for permission from their parents. Why I thought a 6 year-old could adequately convey that is beyond me. I wish I could have taken a picture of the little gathering of kids trying to negotiate the terms of this parental intervention.

Eventually, I had to go over there. The good news? I met one of the dads of one of the children. Good guy. We were both on the same page. Everyone is trying to do the right thing here. The bad news? Lord, this is another social circle I’m going to have to deal with. The worst news? If this really goes down the way it looks like it’s going to go down, the boys are gonna want to hop the stone fence all the time and play in the other neighborhood! (Easy remedy: “Nope. You can’t.”) OR, even worse than that, there are always gonna be random kids in my yard all summer long! (Easy remedy: get an attack dog!)

We’re gonna have to move.

I had moments today where I was like, “Lord. It’s only Wednesday.” and then I had other moments when I shrieked, “Oh my God, it’s already Wednesday!” Are you having one of those days, Dear Reader? It’s Wednesday and that’s a fact. It’s all downhill from here. Maybe you want to pump the breaks a bit. Maybe you want to speed right on through to the weekend. Either way, I’m with you. What a week!

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.


4 Replies to “The Stone Fence Accord”

  1. When they’re older not having to drive them to friends will be great. Too bad 6 year olds just don’t get how little they are.

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