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I'm Erin.  Gardening addict, incurable maker, insatiable reader, closet author, chronicler of childhood, wanderer, wonderer.  I'm glad you've come to sit a while with me.

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Offhand comments:

9.y.o.-"I have three ant bites.  Can I use this stuff I found in the first aid kit on them?  It's called ant-acid." 

9.y.o.-"It would be awesome if we had a 3-d printer because then we could print anything.  Like...like a tiny little model of Angkor Wat!"

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Wednesday
Apr012015

road ends

"Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders.

(“What does ‘under the name’ mean?” asked Christopher Robin.

“It means he had the name over the door in gold letters, and lived under it.”)" --Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne

Is it hokey, I wonder, to name one's home?  They do it all the time in books: Wuthering Heights, Tara, Green Gables.  Farms that want to do business often have names, so that customers can remember an image and share the name with others.  Beds-and-Breakfast (how on earth do you really pluralize that?) always have charming names, Rose Cottage, Paisley Place.

I've thought about this before, as homes where I've lived have begun to take on personalities to me.  There's magic in a name, in having something to call something or someone.  If you share the name with someone else, you'll both know immediately what you're talking about.  If you keep a name to yourself, it's a secret, a way to label something in the silence of your own thoughts.  

I laughed when I first saw the sign at the end of our road/beginning of our driveway.  Road Ends.  Go any farther and you're off the beaten path, you're in my world.  Who knows what could happen to you here?  Many of my guests comment on the Road Ends sign, saying variously that it's forbidding, funny, confusing, helpful.  I laugh with them, because it is fun, trying to figure out exactly what it means.  "We live behind the Road Ends sign," I can tell them, and if they've found our road, they can find our house easily enough.

But in the quiet back of my mind, in my heart where I'm not laughing, I wonder.  Road Ends.  Can it be true?  Our road has been winding, stopping and starting, losing and gaining, hurting, hoping, and healing.  If we could just settle down, we keep saying.  Dare we hope?  Dare we trust the sign?  

Or maybe the sign isn't making a promise.  Maybe the sign itself is an incantation, casting its spell over this place, our friendly wizard at the end of the drive, telling the forces of upheaval that they shall not pass.  Maybe, most probably, it's a prayer.  Road Ends.  Oh please. 

Or maybe it's just a sign.  Not a sign, but a sign.  A road sign.  And I've almost begun to think of it as the name badge it kind of looks like for our home-I'm going shopping and then I'm heading back to Road Ends, why don't you come over to Road Ends for the evening, we'll be at Road Ends all day... 

A name, as evocative as it is, carries no real promise.  "Butch" may be a timid little boy, "Flora" a tomboy.  It's just a handle, a way to remember what we're talking about, after all.  If "Road Ends" were the name of our home, it wouldn't necessarily mean that we expect it to come true.  

But then again, it might.

~E~

Reader Comments (8)

Beds-and-Breakfast plural: B&Bs
"where we're going we don't need roads"
As much as I'd like to see you settle, I hope this isn't the end of the road if only so that we can be neighbors again.

April 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCC

But if we settled, and you didn't...

Remember how nice Georgia was? How they said there was a drought when the green was so blinding that none of us could believe them? Call me biased, and trying to make things work out, but if possible, SC is even nicer. Pack your books. We're waiting for you. Never again has life been so good as when you were down the street from us.

As an aside, J was sick the other day and watching Back to the Future in bed on his laptop and I was overhearing snatches of it from time to time. I was struck by the realization that their vision of the future had nothing even anticipating the internet or handheld devices. Did nobody at all see those coming? They define our age, and were completely absent from their predictions. For whatever the predictions of Back to the Future are worth. Still, it seemed odd.

April 2, 2015 | Registered CommenterErin

Naming our place has been a thought since we moved only because of fb and the fact that we have all this greenery now. It is something to consider but not sure ours is anywhere near the roads end. However, we do like telling people that if you passed the fire hydrant or the cemetery you have gone to far. If you are happy I hope this is the end but I miss you still.

April 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

What a lovely thought...though I find myself in the interesting position of half hoping that this is our road ends (because the thought of doing this ever again is so agonizing) and half still feeling like this was not the place I chose to be...

April 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Shannon-now that you mention the cemetery I'm wistful. I've put some work into that cemetery! And I miss you too. Why can't we just make a commune with all our friends?

Cindy-I know that intersection. I don't know whether it's better or worse than deliberately choosing a place and putting your stake in and saying, here is where I'm saying because I chose this. Does that really make you less likely to move away from it, or does it just make it hurt more when you do? Be flexible, I tell myself, with a big, deep sigh. Flexible. I don't do flexible so well...

April 4, 2015 | Registered CommenterErin

I enjoyed the way you explored all of the implications of your sign. How lucky you are to be at the end of the road. It made me think of the sign on my road. The one I keep wanting to take a picture of, but never stop the car to do so. It says Dead End. It makes me want to laugh. Sometimes I want to sing that song: "going 90 miles an hour down a dead end street." Other times I venture into its implications. I like that people have to want to be on the street to go down it. There are only a few people who live on this road -- 4 families. So there's very little traffic. It's a bit more ominous if you explore any other possible meanings. I think I will stick with a kind of "road less travelled by" sense of it. For now.

April 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoy Howe

I am not completely unwilling to move across the country again...

April 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Joy-I keep thinking that if you were sitting on the porch with a rifle, "Dead End" would have a very literal meaning. Funny how a few words can cause so much reflection!

April 13, 2015 | Registered CommenterErin

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