>Memories of a Year Ago

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     Its funny how we can just be going along on our routine and something appears to jog a memory. While I was out walking at lunchtime yesterday I realized that my favorite bushes are in bloom.

The bushes themselves aren’t much to look at but they have these pretty little blossoms and the fragrance is intoxicating.

This fragrance brought me back to a year ago. The last time that these bushes were in bloom I was pre-approved for my home and was itching to find it. My search was in full swing and I was full of excitement as I toured each of my possible new homes, apprehension as I signed documents and disappointment as time went on and I received no communication from any of the banks holding the properties. You see, in my town, foreclosures and short sales rule right now and homes for sale by the owner are few and far between. I remember that until I had the key in my hand, my stress level was astronomical. I found relief when I went out on my mid-day walks and as I would stroll past these bushes I made landscaping and decor plans for a house that I hadn’t found yet. I wanted these homely little bushes with the fragrant flowers, lots of roses, fruit trees and a vegetable garden. We would eat what we grew and fill the home with fresh flowers from the garden.

Sweet italian fennel grows wild in California. Fennel had grown in the kitchen gardens of the Italian immigrants of long ago.
I would also grow sweet Italian fennel.

The first bloom I have seen this year. The nectar of the fennel flower tastes like honey.
My road up until this point hasn’t been easy. I’ve been twice divorced and the second one was financially ruinous. My ex and I had built this nice little life – we were renting a house on 20 acres, we were making plans to purchase a home together, we traveled a bit and we had our pick up truck and mom-van that we were paying for. Unfortunately, his whole life was a lie and as his stories unraveled, so did his job and our relationship. He quit paying on his pickup and I had no choice but to stop paying on my minivan. He moved out of the house and I got a roommate to help cover the bills. In a crazy whirlwind of bad timing I lost my job (layoff), my house (owners were moving back in) and my car, all in a three month period. My grandmother died during this time too.

All of this had taken place only 3 1/2 years before I began house hunting. The only way that it became possible for me to purchase my own home was when the market crashed. Before that, ownership was completely unattainable for me, a single woman living in the San Francisco Bay Area without a cushy dot-com job or stock option payouts. I have been reading stories of financial problems and loss of homes of other bloggers out there. I can really empathize and when I think of how far I have come in the past few years it is not without a twinge of sadness for those who are going through hard times right now.
Fast forwarding from a year ago, I do have roses and fruit trees. The came with the house. I am making an herb garden under my kitchen window and am going to plant veggies out back. I planted the seeds of the sweet italian fennel that grows wild on my walking path in my front yard. I haven’t found a place yet for those homely little bushes though.  

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