Less than five miles from my house, there is a young woman who lives in a refurbished one-room schoolhouse. I’m not sure of the history or age of this building, but on the roof of her house still rests the bell which I assume saw the start of many new mornings, clanging loudly to announce the start of a new school day way back when.
It is a charming house, and if you peered at it through a photo instead of from your car window on the high-traffic road that zips by her front yard, you’d think it was the cottage of a princess-in-hiding found in a fairy tale. There is a consistently colorful garden of flowers exploding around and partially obscuring the large rocks that everyone landscapes with, primordial rocks that hide under two inches of topsoil and which prevent simple tasks like banging in tent stakes for a backyard campout in nearly every lawn in town.
I’ve never seen a car in the driveway of this home. No scrap of trash, empty flower pot, or errant toy has ever been seen marring the tranquility of this home and its setting. I have never seen a dog running through or digging up the flower beds and no cats stalking mice, but keeping pets might not be such a great idea in this location due to the proximity of the road and the cars speeding by.
I’ve seen the owner mowing her lawn when I drive past. Once, she was wearing a flowered-and-checked apron dress with a matching sun bonnet on her head, work boots and long-sleeved t-shirt. Her dress could be handmade, and the bonnet is decorated with yellow silk flowers. She was muscling her push mower up the bank that met the road that my car was driving on. She is a small woman, and when I drove past, she looked at me, probably because I was looking at her. I felt her determination to make a beautiful yard to surround her pleasant house in this town, no matter who stared at her and her unusual clothing, and was happy for her.
To me, she is Little House on the Prairie, Holly Hobbie, and Pioneer Woman all in one. I love how she has created this beautiful home in a busy location, beside mid-twentieth century homes and a road teeming with most people going too fast to notice her efforts. I love her home, her garden, her haven. I can only assume that she loves it too.