It’s the year to get wed. Before P and I will get married this September a handfull of our friends will also say ‘yes’. The farthest trip will be to San Jose, California. And since we have a few friends here from P’s SF year, we’re making it a three week trip! While P will do some extra travelling for work and the bachelor party, I get to just hang out, get my blog running, take photos, do a little work, plan for the wedding, go running, check out a few new and old coffee shops and explore. Our first weekend, we’re spending at Dan and Rogers out in the valley.
While P and Dan were out running errands, Roger and I stayed home – him working and taking breaks feeding the fish and putting out the lounge cushions, and me just taking breaks. He said “You’re on vacation. Go about and create your own reality.” It felt a little like he wasnÄt fully sure I would understand, but I while he still said it, I was already getting there. The jet-lag may have helped.
Spring in California greatied us right where we had left it in München. Only more California-like. The wind blew cherry petals from the trees, ringing in the nearing end of the fruit tree blossoms and the leaves on the other trees was still young and tender.
Theirs is a very thoughtfully laid out garden, newly landscaped so that it was just on the verge of having grown-in, but not quite there yet. The artichokes, however, surely were fully grown-in. The only artichocke plant I had ever seen before was a sad little potted plant on my mum’s loggia that produced a fruit barely large enough to supply enough salad sprinkling for two. These here however were bushes. Wild creatures with rugged, silvery leaves and at least half a dozen artichokes sprouting from each of the plants.
I decided to head to the front lawn. I don’t fully understand the allure of the North-American front lawns. Pruned patches of uniformly green grass, meticulously kept to a constant length and voraciously kept free from any possible type of weeds as if the reputation of the whole neighbourhood depended on it. I remember being rather shocked when my universiyt roommate in Canada told me when I visited her house, that I probably shouldn’t sit on the lawn, because they just had it sprayed with herbicides. Yet the only active use of those lawns seems to be so that they could get watered and mowed and maybe used for a lawn-sale once a year. I can’t quite think of what front-lawns look like in Germany, I’m not even sure that the concepts exists. We more like to used the full extends of our properties nd fence them of towards the streets with Maschendrahtzäunen (wire mesh fences) and poisonous thuja hedges.
But back to California, Dan and Roger’s frontyard is none of that. Well, there is a hedge row of carniferous trees but they clearly belong to that part of the garden that won’t be grown-in for a while. Instead, what first greated me, when I stepped through the porch, was a wilted hibiscus blossom. It had draped itself in a dark corner on the tarmack and was waiting for me.
My vision still felt blurry from spending 20 hours on busses, in cabs, on planes and in Canadian-American pre-clearance at YYZ. As so often, I felt like I was sitting inside myself looking out at this world in quiet amazement. In the background the loudspeakers in the living room bradcasted the parrots’ chuckling and gurgling and occasional “HiRoger”. The humming mechanical sound of lawn-mowers and planes mixed in with the free birds’ songs that they almost sounded natural. And the music Roger was working on in the next room slighly evoked that uplifting feeling you get when the first scenes of a play dance by you on stage, every now and then interrupted by him pausing the music and repeating sequences changing things I could barely notice when I payed close attention.
Holidays should start like this more often.