One Year Later
The white plantation house stood proudly, high on a hill; standing guard over the now flourishing landscape. There had been many decades of sadness in the house, but now there was laughter and joy, and from the gleaming slate tiles on the roof to the pristine whitewash on the siding, to the black-painted wooden shutters proudly flanking the house’s windows, to the wide porch steps, the house seemed to know it and all but sighed with happiness.
Beautiful hedgerows once again encircled the estate like a graceful necklace. The lawns were once again lush and thick, and the trees lining the driveway were once again heavy with green. The cobbled area in front of the house was replaced with a blacktop area, and the massive stable made way for a covered garage.
In the back of the house, English Boxwoods lined the path to the more formal gardens. All of the original plants, Helleri holly shrubbery, Jasmine, lavender, marigolds, and hibiscus: all were blooming fiercely, sending their fragrances to mix in the light summer breeze.
Beyond the low gardens, the elaborate maze, sculpted from privet hedge, was fully restored to its resplendent glory. Interspersed with sweet honeysuckle, the privet wound around to an elaborate fountain that once again lured visitors with the sound of gently falling water.
Along the winding flagstone path, the rhododendron bushes were heavy with pink, purple, and white blooms. The lake regained its ethereal glow, and the man of the house, along with his guests and friends, would spend sticky summer afternoons swimming and frolicking in its cool, clear water.
The man who now lived in the house was young, beautiful, and full of life. He had truly made this house a home. The man’s lady-friend who visited frequently was equally lovely, and the connection between the pair was as strong as the courtship that started the house’s saga all those years ago. The pair had grown very close over the last year; the bond that had formed between them when they first met grew stronger with each passing month. Soon, the man hoped, they would be a family, and once again delightful children would chase each other through the house’s large rooms, and frolic with big, dopey-grinned dogs on the lawn.
This house, this home, was once again a happy place; full of joy and the promise of tomorrow.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who stuck with me through the lo-o-o-ong hiatus while I got this story back on track. Your kind comments and emails were very much appreciated.
And an extra-special thank you to my dear friend T for all her help and encouragement when I took on the task of rewriting this story. T, you offered advice, story ideas, and a kick in the pants when I was lagging on word count :)
Until next time, readers.