© Bruce Goodman 17 June 2015
Old Mrs Greville leaned over her garden gate and surveyed the street. She was eighty-four and had lived in the same house for sixty-two years. The street hadn’t changed much. Some hedges had come and gone. New owners had planted others.
Three children; nine grandchildren. That was satisfying. Her husband had died now nigh on thirteen years. And the garden here! Goodness! She had planted yellow climbing roses at the gate early in the marriage. Long gone, the roses. Long gone. But the pansies had wept a stint of sixty-two generations. They’d reverted to a common blue but each with different flecks of black. Year after year. Never the same. It used to be a cottage garden, but now it was too much work and quite overgrown.
Two dogs, three cats and a canary all buried in that garden. Pets. Little crosses had once marked the spots. Rotted away, the crosses, some time ago.
And the cook-outs. The fun! The kids playing ball and camping in the back garden in summer. Pretending to be in some great national park with bear and moose and chattering wolf, but with nothing scarier than a cat or a dog. And mumps and measles and chicken pox. Year after year of kids’ home works and sports games and girlfriends and boyfriends… And then their weddings celebrated in the garden…
And friends. Young Mr and Mrs Greville’s friends on the back porch. Calling and drinking and laughing on occasion, sometimes till almost the sun came up. Most passed now. Most long passed.
Old Mrs Greville left the gate and went into the house. She made a nice cup of tea.
The house was sold. Tomorrow she would move to the retirement home.