random ramblings week - today: buffer zones - or good fences make good neighbors or if you turn around in my driveway I'll cut ya'

the view of our new fence from our front porch
Every house we've looked at since the idea of moving took root has been built on a busy street

(partly because we have ruled out suburban developments, but mostly I'm sure because we have ruled out busy streets - ugh)

and since we have spent so many years waiting for traffic to stop so we can pull in and out of our driveway, and this feels like something we would like to give up doing, and we have had 3 accidents in front of our house we've been hoping for something different.

I noticed that although every house was built on a busy street- they didn't have that busy street feel our house sometimes does.

I noticed they all had buffers.

They had trees that ran the front of the property line and gave the front yard a more private feeling and really blocked out the noise.

I needed a buffer (in more ways than one and I'll get to that) but I didn't want to plant trees since I'm pretty sure I won't be in this house to watch them grow up (sniffle) and I don't want to just see them through preschool after all - I am a better tree-mother, earth-mama than that.

And I didn't want to spend a gazillion dollars on picket fencing or landscaping.

Anyhoo, to cut to the chase here - we put up an inexpensive split rail fence a couple weeks ago.

The last post wasn't even in the ground on installation day when George and I were looking at each other like - why the hell didn't we do this years ago.

It had nothing to do with the way the fence looked, although it looks pretty good and everything to do with the way the fence felt.

Well, not the way the fence felt since it is rough and weathered and likely to give anyone running their fingers along it splinters - it really affected the way we felt.

For the first time in years (please don't be as slow as me to figure shit like this out) we had a front yard for us.

Our front yard had always felt like it belonged to other people. It was the yard where we cut the grass every week and watched dandelions bloom every spring while disgruntled neighbors looked on in dismay. It was the yard where we planted flowers along the house so they would look nice from the street - the yard where the drivers lined up out front at the nearby traffic light would sometimes throw their cigarette butts and often use our driveway for their u-turns.

(and we are not the kind of people to put up "no u-turn" signs - although it always gave me a funny feeling - and it happened almost daily - I'm not sure if it is because it feels like someone has come to visit and then abruptly decided to leave or it feels like an invasion of our space. I'm not sure what it is that bothered me about it, but it does did)

The front yard felt like something we had to take care of more than something that took care of us - now, I can see that we were looking at the whole thing backwards.

It is exactly the place that takes care of us and it was the fence that created the boundary that let us see this part of our space as ours.

We decided to plant a couple rose bushes - without hesitating we both knew they would be planted on the inside of the fence. The roses are for us.

(which is a good thing since there's no guarantee how long they will last with my not-quite-green thumb)

This buffer zone thing - this "things expanding within boundaries" and not even just within them but because of them is a lesson for my life in so many ways right now.

NOTE - whenever something really works for us or really doesn't work (a loud clear resonation either way) - if we take a moment and really look at it we can often see how this same thing can translate into other areas of our life - aha moments are aha moments for a reason and they are very personal things.

There is a structure creates freedom post I wrote a while back and it all holds true for buffer zones, too, which are the boundaries we create to lay claim to our space. The boundaries that need to come before the place where we get real and vulnerable.

This zone is like the relationship you build with someone before you let it all hang out with them, the space you've built together so you know you will be safe. Real growth only comes from being open and unprotected, but this doesn't mean we need to be stupid.

Yesterday's post about biting off more than we can chew, which was such an aha moment for me, and probably a snore-fest for some (this is really personal stuff after all) shows up in my life in other ways, too.

(which will take us back to next week's series, which I kicked off last week, about do-overs)

It made me think about all the ways I need to slow down and focus and finish my unfinished stuff (or toss it) before piling more on my plate. I don't like to call these things lessons because that feels a little bit like I could pass or fail (although if someone wants to stick a gold star on my forehead I am totally up for that) and that we need to struggle to get it right.

We don't.

These are simply experiences and taking the time to look at what it all means and the way the different parts of our life work together will create clearer, more full experiences for us next time - at the very least we get to feel like the Ewings every time we pull into our driveway (which other cars have stopped turning around in now that we have claimed it ... plus made it harder for them to maneuver into) - we may have to rename this place Northfork.

xo all