i never promised you a rose garden…or did i?

It’s apparent that the elderly couple who owned our home previous to us really loved roses. The window next to the front door is stained glass featuring a rose, and just off the back deck they dedicated a whole little area – complete with pavers going through the middle – to their own version of Portland’s rose garden. Perhaps they took the whole “City of Roses” thing to heart. Whatever it was, like the rest of our garden, the roses are all starting to come into bloom and wow – what fun. We pulled out some bud vases and are just now starting to enjoy fresh roses in the house, but aside from that – seeing them blooming in the yard is fun. I mean, who doesn’t like the look and smell of a blooming rose?

a million bucks

In some ways we are still in recovery mode from our housing exploits of 2011. Still, it’s easy to forget how our whole adventure got started, particularly given that we ended up a mere 18 blocks from where we started and in the same schools – which was entirely not our original intention. Funny how real life happens that way, huh?

So, just what was our intention for those who may not remember or heck, even have cared? In our dream of dreams, it was to find a gem. A diamond in the rough, if you will. Yes, we had some very specific ideas in our head of what that might look like – lots of glass, light, built in the 60s, maybe, mid-centuryish, clean lines, something that was cheap enough to take and make our own. That was, well, as I just mentioned – our dream of dreams. The flip side – and this is where Jeff and I didn’t always agree – was that I’ve always personally really liked ranch-style homes – if not built in the 60s, then the 50s could work, too. (Jeff’s issue with many ranches was their long, narrow, closed in-feeling.)

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My kaleidoscope

Last month my boss decided to start our staff meeting by having everyone tell the best gift they had ever received or had ever given – in honor of Packy the elephant’s upcoming 50th birthday celebration at the zoo.

I immediately thought of the kaleidoscope that Jeff had given to me not long after we started dating around 13 years ago now. It was made of green stained glass welded in the shape of a triangle. At the end was a small tube with glitter-like stuff in clear liquid. The beautiful colors came from flipping it around. I thought it was a nice gift until he explained that he was giving it to me because it symbolized how I made him feel. That’s when I think it became the best gift I have ever received.

For several years, I kept that kaleidoscope front and center on the bookshelf in my little den in two different houses, until one day a couple of years ago I was moving things around and it fell, shattering everywhere. And by the way, I don’t know what kind of liquid is in those things, but it makes a mess! Needless to say, I was pretty bummed that my special gift was no longer. That is, until my next birthday when I opened a small, long white box to find the most beautiful new kaleidoscope inside. Heck, it even had its own little stand! My new kaleidoscope sits on the dresser in our room, in a place of honor along with newborn pictures of Ian and Elena, and another beautiful gift from Jeff – a handcrafted wooden jewelry box that’s as much art as jewelry holder.

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