The House on Hazel Lane

A friend of mine from London sent me Autumnal leaves from my garden in Richmond. I cannot say how much that gesture meant to me. Aside from loving and being present in our life in LA, I completely miss my home and life in London. Seeing the red, yellow and orange colors from my garden’s floor took me straight to the acer tree, the maple, the soon to be bare magnolia. And I sat there, in my mind, watching the season’s change, listening to the culling of the deer and wanting to walk in the park surrounded by ancient trees and evergreens lining my path.

I feel far away from London this week. I need the trip back at Christmas. We are going through so many decisions right now and both Husband and I don’t want to disconnect. It’s the hardest thing to explain about our lives, but we actually live in both places with total presence, simultaneously. We have so far paid for each home to be available at a moment’s notice and have offices and a full set-up in each. Madness some would say, and they’d be right. But that is what has given us peace of mind.

And then the call came. It was the estate agent that we employed doing her job, as requested. She found a perfect German family to rent our house. They want it for three years, fully furnished. All we have to do is take out our personal belongings. Take out our personal belongings from my own house that we have a love affair with? Take out what makes it personal?? So we slowly negotiate, asking for this, saying no to that, until alas it is all agreed upon. Except one thing…I don’t want to have anyone else living in my house. There is a break clause, we can break the contract after a certain amount of months. This becomes our focus. Husband and I look at each other in disbelief and uncertainty about whether we are making the right choice. But there’s a break clause…

We can rent in London for the summer. We can stay with friends and family. There’s a coach house with our names secretly stenciled on the bedroom door frame. It’s not that, it’s the feeling that we are letting go of more than our house. But that’s crazy. That really is dramatic and sentimental. But I cry nonetheless. A burst of emotion as I was cooking pounds of chicken stew. I had to get it out, expel what took hold of my heart. Instead of adding more salt to the stew, I phoned a friend. We spoke of the reality of it all. The trips I had already booked back to London and the time that would not change. The only real difference is we were getting some money for a house that shouldn’t be left alone over winter anyway. And once back, our personality and personal belongings will again fill the house on Hazel Lane.

The House on Hazel Lane…now there’s a title. It’s a chapter I didn’t want to embrace, but hey, Hamm is a German name…

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting...
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