Monday, August 8, 2011

Hey...It's My Castle...

It’s bone dry in Houston with no end in sight.
I was outside watering our front yard oak this evening.  The Man and I had seen quite a few trees in our neighborhood dropping large limbs onto lawns, and worse, onto roofs.  I like our shady tree a lot and don’t want to see it turn on us out of neglect.

Seeing that outdoor maintenance and yard work is my responsibility (The Man does most all of the indoor work: cleaning, cooking, laundry), I am the one to face the brutal Texas heat.  This year I have been exceptionally lazy with it.  The lawn gets no moisture outside of the monthly shower; therefore, the grass is a lovely shade of taupe.  Our dogs have thoroughly trampled any semblance of greenery in the back yard.  It seems as if most of my neighbors are taking the same course, letting the weeds grow in hopes that those will at least protect the topsoil.  But fighting an uphill battle, the brown lawns and the casualties of the flower beds show that we’ve all given up the war on the drought.

A nice surprise that greeting me this evening?  The soil is separating from the foundation of our house, in some sections as much as three or four inches.  It’s like the ground is saying to the structure, “I'm outta here!”  Our house had started its own complaining; doors that suddenly refuse to shut, bathroom tiles that decide they want nothing to do with one another, new cracks in the drywall smiling malevolently down at us from the corners of rooms.

Our little cookie-cutter house in decidedly greener times

The whole situation just got me thinking.  If you let the foundation of your life drift: your beliefs, your friends, your family, your fun, your livelihood, you might get a rude shock.  Suddenly your home, your base, your world may completely come apart.

Life in south Texas has its challenges – drought, hurricanes, fire ants.  We don’t have the challenges of other locales – tornados, earthquakes, blizzards.  Everyone has their own environmental demon to face.  The Man and I will get some soaker hoses this coming weekend to help secure the clay-based terra to the base of our dwelling.   However humble, our house is our home.  We are a bit crazy in love with our little fortress.