The other day, my man scanned UnitedCountry.com for homes and land across America. He found something far away that sounded fabulous, read the description, and we said, “Oh, that would be great,” then he found another even farther away and it sounded so very nice, too, and we said, “Oh, that would be great,” and so on. We did this for quite a while. We do this often.
As he read yet another description of an even more fabulous place, I thought, why are we never happy where we are? I lost my entire family, except one brother who parked himself in California and never saw this state as a resident anyway, to a grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence thing. They’re all now many, many miles away, and I’m sort of left wondering why it’s so much dandier there (blog it, y’all!).
Our area has mostly flat land. There are no mountains and very few hills from which to view anything. The forests are full of tangly vines (think kudzu) and gnarled branches, making them nearly impassible. There is a very thin 1/4″ of topsoil, meaning we’re really just living on sand, and gardening is tough. We have very humid, very hot summers. The sun is hot here. Very hot. And we have hurricanes. Or at least the threat of them. Some people complain of a lack of seasons. There is no snow, that’s for sure. We have the dreaded fireants in every yard. They hurt. Oh, and we have cockroaches. Not the invading-the-house kind, but the come-into-the-house-occasionally kind that scares you crazy because they are 2-3 inches long. And some fly.
Sigh, our beaches: pure white sand, and emerald waters. Close proximity to those beaches might mean an occasional hurricane, but it – and the flat land – means we get sea breezes miles inland. Lemons, bananas, and oranges grow well in sandy soil. Our gardens produce year-round, with enough soil amendments. We have birds year-round, too, the prettiest during winter. Winter? Yes, we have our winter, which is cool, not cold. The sun shines almost every day, through blue skies. We have miles upon miles of bayous, creeks, rivers, inlets, lagoons, bays, and gulfs to explore. Much of the area is preserved, so there are nature trails, forests, and beach preserves in all directions.
I didn’t even get around to mentioning the people or the cities, but I could do the mud and stars on both of those subjects, too. Do you get what I mean? It’s all perspective.
Thinking all this over, I finally said to my man, “What if. What if we could find a place within a half hour of the beach, yet nestled between two mid-sized American cities with their arts and cultural centers and deep history? What if it had enough tourism to keep the shopping and entertainment options great, yet it also had lots of nature preserves? What if the weather was mild and we could garden all year? Oh! And what if the house was not fancy, but comfortable enough, and situated on a river?!”
He sent me his smirk. The one that makes me giggle. But I knew that he got it. He knew I was describing home.
You’ll find stars or mud in any place because you’ll find whichever one you’re looking for.