Her garden, though, is her hallmark. Packed with perennials that start with crocus and daffodils before the snows have melted away, she has a pallet of ever-changing colors blooming through October. Trees, flowers, and grasses explode like summer fireworks expanding in the sky before they slowly die out to make room for the next show of color. Sitting in my sunroom, I mark the changing seasons by the state of her garden.
I think my next door neighbor has a boyfriend. I first noticed something going on a few weeks ago. A silver pick-up would drive slowly by several times a day. Up the street, down the street, moving at a snail's pace, the pick-up once slowed to a stop in front of her house before driving away.
Spring has been slow to arrive this year. Snow, heavy rain, cold temperatures and winds have forced the intrepid crocus and bold daffodils to hide out a bit longer. Last week, a break in the weather brought her out to the garden. She assessed its state, trudged to her shed and pulled out the tools of her passion. She only worked for a few minutes before she disappeared into the house. Perhaps an hour later, she reappeared, a man following behind. She led him to the shed and I watched as he pulled out the heavier gardening equipment and together, they worked the garden. He followed her cues and instructions and slowly the garden was cleaned up and ready for spring. They laughed together, worked quietly together and then she led him to the memorial stone the neighbors bought to remember her deceased husband. He stood in respect. He put his arm around her and gave her a hug and then they walked back to the house where he started the grill while she retired to the kitchen to prep burgers.
They ate out on the deck. In her driveway, a silver pick-up.
My neighbor is in her mid 70s. Ain't life grand?