Friday, December 16, 2011

Give Me Elbow room

Finding hidden treasures in my old posts that were never posted.  Here is another piece I wrote back when my blog was just in its infancy and my followers numbered a big round zero. 
This post was originally written 2/13/2009 but never published.

I’ve always longed to live in the country, to have trees and natural vegetation as my neighbors. Living in tight clusters of homes where one’s neighbor is so close it feels as though one shares a common patio or garden. This may be fine for a lot of people however for myself I’ve always enjoyed a bit of freedom, cherished my elbow room.

Little less than two years  five years ago we, my husband John and I, lived in a small rental house in a close packed development, it was a temporary arrangement as we were in the process of building a small and unpretentious home. Having earlier purchased a parcel of land, close to 3 acres, in a semi-rural area, we envisioned a simple home, much like a farm house, something that would blend in with the smaller clapboard houses dotting the area. However the people who purchased the property adjacent to us were building a Floridian Mediterranean inspired house with paladin windows and barrel tile roof, very incongruent with the rural neighborhood. Theirs’ was a house you saw in every gated community from Miami to Naples and from Homestead to Tallahassee.

On the other side of this mini mansion sets the original homestead of the farmer who had subdivided this acreage, his was a humble house made of raw wood clapboards. Weathered and gray this homely little house sat low on the land, crouched under the large trees that attempted to protect it and fitted the landscape well. Trucks and tractors littered the farmer’s property...after all he is still a working farmer...had watermelons for sale just last summer...$3 apiece ! So, for myself, no mini mansion. I wanted to feel like I belonged here, a part of the area not apart from the area.

Every day that we lingered in our rental unit, I longed to be able to look outside a window, any window, and not view the wall of a neighboring home. Our patio practically butted up against the property line where a stark white fence divided the two backyards and afforded some privacy but also gave a foreboding sense of confinement. Nothing to look at as we sat out on the patio...only the bland white fence...not a tree, or a garden...hard to have a garden with little less than an 7 foot stripe of land between the patio and that imposing fence ! My only consolation was that it was not our home, it was only a rental and soon we could walk away from it.

When our small house was at last completed and we received our "Certificate of Occupancy" it was cause for celebration. John popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and we toasted our new home, our property, getting out of that claustrophobic neighborhood and most of all toasted having a view and some breathing space. Liberation! Viva la liberation !


  1. Hello Friend I have been so out of the loop! I agree nothing better then a beautiful vista ( we are surrounded by trees) XOXO

  2. I know what you mean about those claustrophobic neighborhoods. We have only 1 acre, but it's so nice to go outside and not hear the conversations of the neighbors.


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