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  • A photograph of my backyard on a sunny day after several days of rain and a very warm winter.

    (A) My wife is spring-cleaning. Hanging on the clothesline (K) held up between the Lilac tree (D) and our home is one of two identical quilts. On our fifth anniversary I wanted to mark the occasion with a gift. So I bought a white down feather quilt. We had not talked about bedding. She was equally surprised when she presented a second identical quilt she had purchased as a gift to us.

    (B) Lily of the Valley grew in the yard of my childhood home next to the garage in the shade of the peach tree. Lily of the Valley was the first flower name I learned.

    (C) A lawn ornament given to me by my sister. She gave me two. One was a rabbit and the other a turtle. This she said was a description of my first marriage.

    (D) The trunk of a lilac tree I planted thirty-two years ago. It flowers with white blooms and once had three trunks. As our neighbor's cherry tree grew - one of the trunks of this lilac tree died. The cherry tree grew way too big for the yard and has suffered from disease. Last summer it was cut back. This spring it has no leaves. Now the white lilac tree is flourishing.

    (E) Twenty years ago the Palos lived in the blue house (L) Mrs. Palo was short and wide and Mr. Palo was born a hunchback. Her daughter Rose stole my flowers and tried to sell them to my other neighbor. Who immediately called me on the phone to tell me of the theft and returned the flowers. Mrs. Palo then gave me this Elephant Ear Hosta. The flowers are pure white and smell like a perfume factory. They remind me of the fat lady and and the hunchback.

    (F) This is my lawn. My father was an organic chemist and part of a team that created Agent Orange. When I was a child he would experiment on our lawn with crabgrass killers. I don’t use the stuff myself.

    (G) This is a grafted apple tree. I bought it right before I separated from my first marriage. It stayed in my car for a week or more. When I planted it I knew something had changed. I think it will do better now that the cherry tree has died.

    (H) A wall of arborvitaes I planted when I first bought the house in 1980. It has grown too tall and now obstructs the clothesline accessible from the second story stairwell. This is why the wet quilts are hanging between the now thriving white Lilac tree and our home.

    (I) Iris I saved from death due to the construction of a parking lot on South Main Street. They don't have a smell I can detect with my nose but they are very pretty.

    (J) The spores from the ferns wash down our driveway and begin to grow near the street. Every couple of years I dig them up and plant them on higher ground so they can make the pilgrimage again.

    (K) I need to fix this. The line is at neck height and I am afraid the UPS delivery man will get hurt.

    (L) The blue house where the Palos used to live. They sold the house to the man who cuts hair at Sissorhands. Named after the movie - Its the hair salon where I used to get my hair cut. When I found out who the new owner was and his plan to rent it to students. I started using another barber. The students party at night and don't have any connection to the neighborhood.

    (M) The now hidden pole in the corner of the property where all the neighbor's clotheslines had been tethered.
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