Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Season of Change

A little over eight years ago, I made a rather hasty decision to move to Columbia, South Carolina. I found a house for rent in a downtown neighborhood on a street lined with towering old oak trees.

The house was old as well - not exactly a showplace, but it had a large, fenced back yard for my dogs, a porch swing and lots of character. It was the end of February when I moved in and the trees were leafless and the grass was brown.

I spent that first month or so getting settled, exploring the neighborhood and looking (unsuccessfully) for a job. Then, one day in late March or early April, it happened - spring arrived.

The dogwood tree that I had never noticed bloomed, as did the giant azalea next to the front porch. What had been a dreary looking street exploded with the whites, greens, pinks, reds and purples of spring. I fell in love with my new neighborhood.

I spent almost every evening that spring sitting on the porch swing with the dogs and a glass of white wine (mostly cheap pinot grigio, since I was unemployed). My hasty decision had been the right one.

Eventually, I moved into the house right next door and ended up buying it. My former residence was purchased by a callous idiot, who murdered that beautiful old azalea. To honor that wonderful memory, I planted an azalea of the same color next to my new front porch. There's no swing, but there's a comfortable chair where I can enjoy the blooms every spring.

For those of you who live in colder climes where spring has not yet arrived, take heart; it's not far away. Soon you'll be enjoying what I've been soaking in for the last week.

I hope the photo above helps hold you over. It's not a bad shot, but it can't begin to capture how it looks from my comfy chair. And, since I did eventually find a job, I can afford better wine now.

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