|Just recently, a row of apple, plum and pear trees was planted on the boulevard outside the house.|
Every house develops a story when you walk past it every day, and I've been making up stories about this house -- with its spectacular mountain and ocean views at the top of the Dunbar hill -- for many years. In its original incarnation, it was a modest white clapboard bungalow with an ordinary garden, so my story was that an aging couple were living out their lives there, enjoying the view together.
About five or six years ago, it went up for sale, so my story was that one or both of the couple had died. When it sold, the little white house became a gigantic hole in the ground for a long time. The boxy modern one that emerged was occupied for a year -- exactly the length of time it takes to avoid the goods and services tax. As far as I can tell, it's been vacant ever since.
Last winter, somebody started reworking the fencing, redoing the driveway, built an elaborate new gate, and planted -- much to my curiosity -- four apple trees on the north side of the property. The exterior work continued for awhile, then stopped. In the summer, the place took on a deserted look, with construction partly finished, the lawn ragged with weeds and the apple trees struggling. I decided the owner had sold it again, and the new owner was having second thoughts about the renovations.
Then suddenly in late summer, the fancy new gate vanished, and more construction work and landscaping began. One day I passed to see the boulevard grass torn out, and workers planting new sod. By fall, everything was shipshape and shining: Surely the new owner would be settling in soon.
So far, not. But recently, somebody planted a whole row of apple, plum and pear trees on the west side of the house; a little linear orchard marching down the hill. My story is that whoever owns this house -- whether they ever live there or not -- really likes fruit.
|This photo, taken during the summer, shows the overgrown grass and ragged shrubs on the boulevard.|
|This photo shows the unfinished construction that sat awaiting completion for months.|
|Another view of the newly planted little fruit orchard. I hope somebody tends these trees!|