Hollyhocks

You just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?

"Old Town Window" by Dee Sanchez
“Old Town Window”
by Dee Sanchez

My mom won the lottery when I was about 11 or 12 – and it was a terrible time for me.  You see, all I wanted was that we move away from where we were currently living then, which was right next door to my grandparents and aunts and uncles in a busy street that belonged to my mother’s grandfather.   You couldn’t sneeze without anyone knowing about it – and neither could my mother.

I remember how we looked at houses in the nicer parts of town, where all my other school friends lived.  They were sprawling houses, with big rooms and airy spaces, so unlike the busy street we lived in, where houses were so close together and medical students were everywhere for there was a university just a stone’s throw away.

All I wanted when my mother won the lottery was her independence.  And with each house she looked at, freedom for me – the air, the space – was within reach.

But then my mother did what her parents and all her brothers and sisters told her to do.  Instead of moving into a beautiful house in a subdivision away from all the crowded and always-flooded streets, she stayed where she was.  She renovated her little duplex, with illusions that made it larger than it was, and then gambled the rest of the money away, including the duplex itself.

So if I inherited a million dollars, this is what I would do.  I will know who my friends are, first of all – and that includes relatives and those who will claim to be so (because they will come out from the woodwork the way they did when my mother won) – and I will hire a financial adviser to take care of all my money.  I will pay off my debts and with the money left over, set aside a decent amount for my son that will earn interest as he grows up.  Then from whatever left over, buy a little house somewhere where there is a lot of sun and trees, not too far from neighbors, and with a yard where I can put up a hammock and read a book, and maybe grow hollyhocks that will grow as high as the rooftops.

For even hollyhocks know how much they need the sun and the space in order to survive and most of all, to bloom.

Daily Prompt

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

In this week’s photo challenge, share your take on the idea of room — it could be an actual room in your house, a favorite gallery in your local museum, a cubicle at work. You could also take this challenge in a more abstract direction, and show us where you feel like you have room — or lack it.

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This was my first ever brand new car, and I drove it everywhere!  It took me places I never thought I’d go and actually enjoy myself (you know, for a city girl), like up in the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas where you saw all the stars at night and hear the deer munching on the apples outside your window.

To me, the world was wherever I found myself in.  If all else failed, there was always my mind palace…

Which takes me to the next picture I took while sitting in LA traffic right by the take off and landing strip at LAX.  Though it might be a bit constricting inside that car, I always knew it would take me anywhere I’d want to go (within driving distance, of course).

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The next picture is of the Taos, New Mexico skyline.  I have so many other pictures of the skyline but this was the one I could grab quickly without having to reduce resolution in another program.  This was in the outskirts of Taos, where people lived in earthships outside of the grid.  All around us are sage brush and at night you heard the coyotes howling.

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Another view of the sky, although this one has been cropped to center the walkway with the cross.  Writing often means I’m cooped up indoors the entire time so getting outside is really important for me – even though I don’t get to get outside of the city as much as I’d like.  But when I do, I go for places where I can see the sky and smell the trees.

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One of my favorite rooms that I wished I could have spent more time in was this master bedroom at the Phoenix earthship, also in Taos.  I loved the red adobe walls with mica that glistened.

It was so cool, temperature-wise, inside that room because part of the area where the bed is located is bermed against and partly under a hill of sorts, to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  And oh, the bed was divine.  I could have just written in that room all day – oh, and do other stuff, too, of course.

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Weekly Photo Challenge