Sunday, September 19, 2004

turtle ranch

My husband and I currently live in a small, one-bedroom apartment that's the first floor of a house. We just moved here about a month and a half ago. Signed the lease before we knew about my "condition." I hear that babies start out rather small, however. And as we are not the type prone to purchasing large, nonsensical items from (oh the thought turns my stomach…) baby stores (gulp.), we should probably be okay for a bit. That is, if our upstairs neighbor doesn't mind the sound of a crying infant at all hours of the night, but that's another entry entirely.

We live in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. My mother- and father-in-law continually ask us when we'll buy a house. Our repeated explanations of the cost of doing so in this area, are simply met by lists of cousins and various other relatives who have bought houses, or several houses, or built houses, or in some way tackled the American dream (sic) and won.

We don’t have the means to buy a house here at the moment, but nonetheless, we do have a vision. We refer to it as "Turtle Ranch." I'm not exactly sure why. We're weird. We like turtles. I don't know. It's Turtle Ranch, okay? Turtle Ranch is the house we will have someday that we will build without taking down any redwoods or live oaks. It'll be modest in size and sport wide window ledges for the cats. We will outfit it with solar power and throw in a writing studio on the property for moi. It will be kept immaculately landscaped without the aid of leafblowers by the two of us. I will grow beautiful flowers and aromatic gardens. Eventually we will rent out the garden/deck part of the property to small wedding parties and the like, which will serve as income to fund this project and validation for quitting my job and spending all my time gardening.

The other day my husband asked a valid question – namely, will there be turtles on Turtle Ranch? Yes, I said, imagining a stone walled-pond of serenely swimming reptiles. In the next breath, however, I worried about the threat of raccoons. Never fear, I had a solution, we'd make an atrium and the turtles would live in a pond there. Oh, says husband, impressed but adding up the increasing cost of our dream, sure. I decide not to tell him how my vision is still spinning along, and I'm now worried about the little kids from the wedding parties and whether their parents will leave them unattended and if they might harm the turtles. Dream interrupted by eight-year-olds poking sticks at century-old turtles, defenseless but for their chance to exit my vision now, while there's still time. My future child has no such option.

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