The neighbors have started to return as the North turns cooler, the leaves change, and the season approaches. The Cleveland Avenue Bungalow has started to transform in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Idea House, projects dwindle, plans consolidate and the menu unfolds. The fall colors are already giving way to the shimmering gold and silvers of the Christmas season, and the new lighting and greenery plans are taking shape.
Our gardens past what most would consider prime, with the heavy rains of the summer behind them, quietly blossom into a new brilliance, the Cypress hang heavy with ornament like balls and trails of cascading seed pods. The strong structure of the oaks silhouetted with the setting of a crimson sky and the bromeliad's torch fade with each dropping Oak leaf. The ever changing landscape of old Florida never ceases to amaze me, who ever said Florida has no season must have had a very short visit.
The cool of the nights, now dipping below 60 warrant a right of passage, a right so vivid in my memory, whether the stone fireplace on Lake Washington Road with a mantle stretching wall to wall, or the formality of The Old Starkey House surrounded by a grand staircase, this right of passage now belongs to a little bungalow in Punta Gorda, and on this night in a quiet little corner a fire burns . . .