Swung by a colleague’s house in a nearby city in the morning to drop off a batch of exams. She lives in a craftsman-style two-story home with a plaque on the front stoop noting that the house is listed in the local historical registry. Between the front gate and the massive front porch was a zen-style rock garden. The porch was not only larger than my living room, but had a cozy couch, overstuffed chair, and a suspended bench swing. I won’t even start to discuss the huge row of rosebushes across the front. Wow. It was so hard to not to just move in on that veranda. CatGirl accompanied me up to the porch just so she could try out the furniture. I was too shy to try out the swing, but it was mighty, might tempting. Intense houselust. Just intense.
While we were in the neighborhood we stopped by the Goodwill to pick up some more glassware. At less than $1/glass it’s the best deal around. IMO even water tastes better in a goblet. I love all of the different shapes, cuts, and colors of stemware. I also pick up a few other good deals (including a darling deep green jacket for me and a bright green hoodie for CatGirl).
From there we had to drop CG off at a friend’s house to work on a school project. We had an address and a vague notion of where said friend lived. As we neared it we realized that it was the gated community that we’ve entered only occasionally before when GameBoy’s had school projects/events. It’s hard to explain how exclusive, upscale and remote this place is. Hidden in a nearby canyon, the surrounding hillsides are craggy and carefully landscaped to resemble a mediterranean village. Each of the expansive homes clings rather precipitously to the hills, each built of old-world stonework and landscaped with lavender, grape arbors, and such. From the website I learned that all of the rockwork is in the “Provence” style, there are “Approximately 400 luxury homes and homesites are dispersed within a total of 1,070 acres of some of the OC’s most pristine real estate. And the luxury custom homesites average 27,000 square feet.” Yah. wow. (this is in a city where a one bedroom condo costs more than $350K)
So this friend of CG’s doesn’t live in just any of these homes. She lives in the furtherstmost tippyity-top home. We went through two different sentry gates to reach her street and then found ourselves at yet another series of gates to actually enter the housesite. We opted to park on the street and I walked CG to the pedestrian gate. We buzzed and her friend soon appeared with her mother. We chatted a few moments about when I would pick up CG later and then I left. Her Mom was dressed super-casually like me : t-shirt, no makeup, sweatpants. But I couldn’t help but marvel and the differences between our two lives. The vista from her front yard–looking out over rolling hills and an open space preserve–it’s a multi-million dollar view. I wondered if her porch had a swing (I wasn’t allowed through the inner gate to actually see the front entrance) and if all of the iron bars make it hard to see the sunset?
So now I am at home curled up barefoot on my groovy purple couch. I just finished a little project on the back porch to hang some candle lanterns from some hooks that I bought 1/2-price at Goodwill. John is cooking up a huge feast for dinner: ratatouille(!), our new favorite leek soup, green bean salad, and an apricot compote. The “new” glasses are lined up on the table for me to scrape off the pricetags and wash before dinner. Some F/friends will probably drop by later and I’m sure a good time will be had by all.
I know that all three of these homes house good people who love each other and have purposefully chosen their particular lifestyle. I’m awed by the size and scale of the two homes that I mentioned earlier when compared to ours. I mean, I would love to live in a historical home–especially one with a grand porch (yes, especially that), but I really can’t imagine myself in such a large space. And the villa lifestyle, whoa. What would it be like to have a yard that’s even larger than my entire community garden? Unfathomable (though you can imagine that I would be growing a heckuva lot of organic food!)….
UPDATE: The price tag of the house adjacent to CG’s friend is 15 million. Gasp.