When I was a kid growing up in Zebulon, GA, the closest thing to actual southern grace in architecture that I ever witnessed was in Griffin, Ga, just down the road a bit. I don’t remember clearly, but I think the houses I loved so much were on Hill Street. Then again, my memory’s a bit muddled on that front. Anyhoo, I loved those stately old homes. I often wondered what they looked like on the insides, and hoped to some day be invited into one. Like a lot of hopes and dreams, that one never came to pass.
One thing I romanticized about the south was Magnolia Trees. I don’t remember fully knowing what they were, but I knew of them. As an adult, I finally became familiar with them and can now spot one at 50 paces. My romantic notions are probably what led me to get overly-excited about the 3 Magnolia Trees growing here at the New Pad. And I do love these 3 trees. They’re evergreens, so they’re beautiful year-round. And when they’re blooming, the flowers smell amazing.
But here’s what I didn’t know about Magnolia Trees: they shed worse than a Maine Coon Kitty. And each year (that we’ve lived with these trees), I forget the shedding is coming. I understand it. I truly do. I get that new leaves want to be born and that room must be made. It’s basic. But damn! For the short spell when those leaves are dropping, clean-up is a be-yotch.
So we muddle through. And we sweep the deck. Over and over again. And just when I think I may be inching toward hating those trees, I look up and see a beautiful flower. And a breeze brings its perfume my way and I drift back to childhood. I’m riding in the backseat, dreaming about the lovely old homes of Griffin as they slide out of view of the car’s window. And I still wonder what lies behind those stately, historic doors…