Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bulk Collection Week

I was in the front garden smashing aphids which have infested the iceberg roses, when I looked up to see Bertha, my 90-year old neighbor arriving at her curb with a handtruck bearing a concrete birdbath basin. The base was already at the curb.
Now even with a dolly, there has to have been some lifting involved. I have a 90-year old aunt, so I know what 90 looks like and Bertha looks around 75. Yet even most 75-year old folks would hesitate before manhandling an unwieldy and heavy piece of concrete. I have a hard time righting my own birdbath after the squirrels knock it over.

Bertha’s lived on the street for more than 50 years, since before it was paved. Her garden is very minimal but charming; her son dug up all the Sabal Minor palms in Beaumont and brought them to Austin. I can’t wait til my Sabals get as big as Bertha’s.

It’s nice to think about sleepy little Austin in 1941, the year my house was built. In this picture presumably taken that year, you can see the house and garage, the unpaved street, and what appears to be a cedar break beyond. What amazes me is that the spectacular liveoak that shelters my front yard is nowhere to be seen in this photo. I always thought of liveoaks as slow growers, but apparently in 60 years they can become giants.

I found this photo in a box with old mortgage papers; the house originally cost $2300.

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