Isn’t if funny how one thought leads to another which leads to another and so on, then back in some roundabout way to a previous thought? Well, this is what happened Friday morning while I was out on a bike ride; actually it’s a trike, a hand peddled three wheeled squatty trike, but I like to call it a ‘bike’ because it sounds more athletic than a trike which sounds more kid like and in reality the way this trike sits is sort of like a Big Wheel which was once what all the cool kids had; so my point, why I call it a ‘bike’, because I’m riding for an athletic, conditioning purpose opposed to being a cool kinda kid.
My first stop along this funny train of thought occurred while transferring from my wheelchair to the ‘bike’. For some reason I recalled my 10 speed bike. Now, I might not have been a cool kid with a Big Wheel but as a young teen I did have a way cool, burnt orange 10 speed bike, that was a bit too tall for my 5’ self. My feet never could touch the ground without me doing an odd little lean and slide off the seat all the while being very careful to watch my balance and the center bar. This was a ‘boys’ 10 speed bike so the center bar went straight from the seat to the handle bar area; not a ‘girls’ 10 speed with a curved center bar. I chuckled as I thought how the ‘bike’ I have now sits maybe 6” from the ground and my feet still can’t touch the ground.
As I got myself fastened in the ‘bike’ and started to ride, I wondered whatever happened to the burnt orange 10 speed bike. Oh the miles and miles that bike and I covered. We rode all over the stomping grounds of my youth, and beyond. One street I really liked to ride along was called Wisteria Lane. I had no idea, at the time, what a Wisteria was but whatever it was, I knew it was enchanting. On this ‘enchanted’ street there was a little house which reminded me of a gingerbread house. It had a white picket fence, big full trees, lots of flowers, and all kinds of treasures in the yard. I always wondered what the inside of the house looked like and I imagined it different each time I passed by. I could see myself living in this house, knowing it was even more magical on the inside than the out. To me it was the perfect little house situated perfectly on the most perfect street, Wisteria Lane.
The thought of Wisteria Lane, lead me to the thought of my Las Vegas house which has just sold and hopefully will close in the next week or so. Now, I suppose my thought could have gotten hung up with the idea of selling the house 50% below what it cost us to buy the land, build the house, put the landscape and pool in 10 years ago. But no, thank goodness, my thought went to the one thing I may miss the most; a little climbing wisteria vine outside my bedroom window. Though it yet has to bloom, it came from great stock. This vine was started from a pod which I had taken from the house we previously lived in. I nurtured the little pod, loved it through season after season until he was big enough to be planted in the ground. I would often tell the new spout how beautiful and strong its mother was. With my final visit to this house, I wish I would have taken my picture with the little, climbing, brave, wisteria vine.
Where else would this little wisteria vine lead me but to its mother plant. Everyone has a home they lived in that seemed to be choicest of all. You know what I mean; the home you run to in your dreams where you felt the safest, most welcomed, and comfortable. Besides the house I grew up in, this is the house, the first house Jeff and I made our family home. One spring day in the early ‘90’s, Jeff decided he wanted to plant a wisteria outside the front door. (By now I knew what a wisteria was; just not sure I’d ever seen one in bloom.) Our front door faced dead west and I kept thinking the Las Vegas summer was going to roast the poor vine, but Jeff was certain the front door was the perfect place to plant it. Much to my surprise it not only survived its first summer at the front door but it thrived. Come the following spring I was able to behold the beauty of a blooming wisteria. She exploded with many voluptuous, lavender colored, fragrant, clusters dripping down from her vine. Everyone who came to the front door would linger within her midst. Her beauty, fragrance, and touch were inviting and welcoming. Once autumn arrived and she lost her foliage, Jeff decided to prune her back. Oh it was painful to watch, I thought for sure this would be the end of our beautiful climbing vine but the next spring she came back even greater than the previous. This went on year after year. The last time my grandma came to visit, I had to draw her out of an intoxicated wisteria trance. I have no idea how long she was standing under the blooming vine. But I will forever recall how beautiful she looked standing there, framed by the wisteria's tendrils, her eyes closed, a delicate smile on her petite face, big black bees busily humming and dancing about her, the grand purple flower clusters mingling in her salt and pepper hair; absolute beauty.
The first spring after we sold, needing to see her in bloom, I drove to our old house. I was shocked, heartbroken, and burst into tears when I saw the new homeowners had ripped her out. Why? Okay, so she tended to get a bit unruly and messy, but why would anyone rip out such splendor? I sat there crying in disbelief for several minutes. I had to call Jeff…yes, Jeff, this is where my thought lead to next. Peddling my ‘bike’ back towards home I decided to turn into the cemetery. Once I arrived near the resting place of Jeff’s mortal body, I rolled off the ‘bike’ and crawled to his side. Closing my eyes, I sat there, taking in the morning, feeling the grass below me, smelling the scents of spring, I even thought I detected a faint wisteria scent wafting through the breeze. I listened to the whispers and had conversation with Jeff, we parted with a hug and I promised a wisteria would be the first thing I planted this season. As I was scooting back to the ‘bike’ I noticed, just beyond his head stone, a cluster of dandelions…