Just Visiting



My personal motto is that homes should be lived in and gardens shared. Visitors are a welcome treat. We’re all social creatures, heart and soul, no matter where you land in the social equation. Extroverts like to live large, while introverts find solace in the quiet in between. I’m a little of both.

My friend Jazzy has a day care next door.  In the late afternoon her young charges visit my garden and deck, running up and down the ramp, checking out the fairy garden and swinging from the Magnolia tree. Yesterday they were playing hide and seek.  It makes my heart sing when I hear their squeals and the sound of running feet.  Sometimes they’ll peer in the kitchen window to say hello. I love the open inquisitiveness of the under-five set.

Our neighbor’s cat likes to call our place home. He doesn’t get the attention he craves at his real address a few houses over, so he travels to find it. He sleeps in the garden, plays with one of my cats, and has mastered his way in and out of the yard through a hole I need to fix in the cat fencing. We love him like our own and would be heartbroken if they moved.

Mighty Mouse neighborhood cat

Mighty Mouse Neighborhood Cat

Squirrels, possums, raccoons, hummingbirds, snails and a myriad of other four to six-legged creatures also stop by. Though destructive at times, I’m still honored by the visit.  It tells me they’ve found a bit of nature in my backyard, a place to have a drink from the fountain or to eat a grub under the lawn.  I don’t garden for a living; I’m not selling crops.  So I work through my disappointment when one of them snaps a sunflower or digs up my (sniffle, sniffle) newly planted Snowdrop bulbs.  They’re busy living life to the fullest on a much-encroached planet.

squirrel on the fence

Isn’t he cute?

a pair of snails

A pair of snails heading home for the day

The welcome mat is forever unfurled.  Won’t you please come in?

Halloween Countdown

Ghost Pumpkin

The Ghost of Pumpkins Past


17 thoughts on “Just Visiting

  1. I love your post today Alys, it says so much about your kind and gentle way. A great hostess to every living thing and everybody. Your squirrels are adorable, I could watch them all day. They seem to always be at play even when I’m sure they’re actually working. It’s sort of like being in a garden you love, it’s a little bit of both work and play. You’re pumpkin made me laugh!


    • Thank you so much, Boomdee. I think you and I are kindred spirits. I can’t wait till you are one of the two legged visitors.

      I’m glad the pumpkin/ghost made you laugh. One of my boys insisted on dressing as a ghost many years ago, but hated it because of course he could barely see. We had a back up costume just in case form the year before. I now use it as a table cloth or a chair drape around Halloween and today I dressed up the pumpkin who didn’t seem to mind not seeing.


    • The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” ~Gandhi (1869–1948)

      Thank you for reading and for your gracious comments. Here are three of my favorite quotes from the wise M. Gandhi:

      “I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man” ~M. Gandhi (1869–1948)

      “The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals.” ~Mohandas Gandhi


    • Thank you, Maxim. I appreciate your support and kind words. The first part of this comment disappeared somehow, but below are three of my favorite quotes from Gandhi on the subject of all creatures, great and small.


  2. Alys, you are such a beautiful soul…. I really admire the way you look out for all creatures and love to share your home and garden! I have the best of both worlds here – a hectic work life filled with noise, drama, laughter and extrotroverts. I also have a very peaceful, reflective and creative homelife. I thrive in both worlds but would not do well in one type only!


  3. PJ, what a terrific blending of both worlds. I can sit and read, write, putter and garden for hours in solitude and be quite content. I love my family, friends, small gatherings and the chance to throw on a costume or get silly with a crowd. You’ve said it best: thriving in both worlds.


  4. What a truly kind and generous person you are Alys 🙂 I’ll bet visiting your garden is the highlight of the kids day and what a wonderful way to introduce them to nature.


  5. Such a lovely post, truly reflecting who you are!!! Am priviledged to be among the *many* who’ve enjoyed your one of a kind hospitality!!!! Wish you all the best to continue your warm and loving ways!:)


    • Aww, Nandini! I miss you so much. We had such wonderful early years with our boys. I really grieved your move back to India, though I understood how important it was for you to go. Clearly Anand is thriving there.

      Thanks for your kind words.


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