We were out of town this weekend, celebrating the legacy left by a lovely woman, and so we can take no credit for any improvements at Old House or Oldest House.

By improvements, I mean the stairs at Old House are no longer trying to actively hurt people. They’ve been rebuilt from the steep 9″ risers we once had to stairs that meet modern code. And Oldest House is now nested in an embarrassment of daffodils, showy and fluorescent. Yellow times yellow times yellow.

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We had no idea the daffodils were there, patiently waiting out the winter. Or their cousin the dandelion, which sprouted at the front door, and which pulled me back to summertime walks with my great-grandmother when I was a child. Every few feet we paused while she plucked dandelions from sidewalk cracks and tossed them into a plastic bag, so that she—an Italian farm girl—could later turn those Bronx weeds into a salad.

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So while at work the motto of my office is no surprises, and I embrace that whole-heartedly, in life I want to say: yes, surprises. Yes to things left behind and unfinished edges and a little bit of messiness. Yes to memories like weeds, rooting in whatever sliver of space they find. So today Mango and I sat on the limestone walkway of Oldest House, right between the daffodils left by the previous owners and the uninvited dandelions, and we let the hot sun soak in. Welcoming those unexpected things, all of them.

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And, okay: maybe one of us didn’t sit so much as sprawl.

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