Change of my view

Published 4:47 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The tallow trees on the dam stand starkly with their naked arms reaching upward toward a cloudless sky. Only one remains in his yellow and crimson coat of fall. A young turtle climbs atop a swollen log floating on the lake. He joins several others lazily sunbathing as the afternoon slips by. A gaggle of geese rest in the shade, letting their food digest after enjoying their catch of the day.

Unlike my home in the country where I could hear a leaf falling to the ground, here I notice the sound of traffic on the street nearby. It interrupts the lovely sound of my chimes and Old Glory flapping in the breeze. I’m told that others don’t notice the traffic sounds, but I always do. I suppose I notice most things.

The lilypads near the water’s edge have changed from green to a pretty shade of almost purple. The geese, tired of napping, mosey down the bank for an afternoon swim and conversation. Their beautiful trumpets almost drown out the sound of a dump truck rumbling down the road to the sight of a new home coming up one street over.

Earlier today, my son, Robby, and I took a jaunt to woodland nearby to look at a piece of land for sale. We do that on occasion just for fun. We both love a country ride, and enjoy each other’s company. I am quietly reminded of what a blessing it is to have three wonderful children who love God, their families, their Mama, and each other.

If I lived in the country, I would truly enjoy the quiet, and the animal sounds from the woods. It used to be fun to be able to shoot guns in the backyard and light up the night sky with fireworks on a whim. The starlit sky was so much more beautiful away from town where other lights didn’t compete.

All these things about the country are true, but I have much to be thankful for where I am. I love being at the grocery in a jiffy, especially when I’ve forgotten to pick up one little item for a meal. If I decide to see a movie, I can be at the theatre in less than five minutes, and my neighbors are wonderful.

The properties around the lake can’t have privacy fences, but I’ve been steadily creating a border that will soon provide a more secluded outdoor area while adding backyard beauty. Already, I have enjoyed butterflies sipping the nectar from my newly planted Encore azaleas. I love watching the landscape change, and looking forward to witnessing the shrubbery mature is an added bonus. Also, it is much more convenient for people to pop in for a cup of coffee or a quick visit this close to town.

Suddenly, I’m feeling pretty satisfied in my backyard swing and haven’t noticed the traffic in a while. It’s amazing what counting my blessings can do!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at