When we moved into our new-to-us house last year I wasn’t sure I would like it. One year later, both Tim and I are celebrating life in what has become a comfortable and secure home. What made the difference?
The most amazing things about this home include grass in the backyard and the multitude of hummingbirds that live along the canal that runs behind us. But best of all, this home has actually improved our lives in ways I could not imagine.
I’ve always had my writing and art to keep me busy and enrich my life, but Tim and I have had very few activities in the last several years that we could enjoy together. Tim had almost nothing outside of work at which he could relax and enjoy…until he became intrigued with nurturing and creating a lawn…growing grass.
He rakes, sprays weeds, waters and inspects just about every blade of grass in the backyard…and beware all birds! If caught feasting on the banquet of multiple layers of grass seed you will be subject to sudden scare tactics. Tim fully expects all of us to take part in protecting his domain…including Daisy, our mini-doxie.
So, the positives about this home are the creation of hobbies: creating a beautiful green lawn for Tim, caring for and feeding the hummers for the both of us, and bird-doggin’ for Daisy. Except Daisy isn’t into bird-doggin’…she just enjoys watching Daddy dash outside and run around the yard flapping his arms.
Daisy and I enjoyed a beautiful break outside this morning, relaxing in cooler temperatures, and she in her signature position on her own lounger.
The pose below is known in our house as the ‘The Sphinx,’ or sometimes ‘Chicken Legs.’ To my daughter’s young ESL students in S. Korea, Daisy is known as the ‘Hotdog Dog’ accompanied by much giggling and merriment. She certainly has her own personality!
As I was eating breakfast this morning I gazed out my kitchen window, thinking about how the angle of the sun had dropped. Not in those exact words, mind you. I was noticing how long the shadows were so early in the day.
In the Southwest, longer shadows translate into cooler weather and looking out at my backyard the view was perfect. It was one of those visions that encourage you to daydream, or imagine there might be some place just like this in a ‘far off place’ where you could retire to perfection.
It struck me quite suddenly that this was reality, why dream about it? The grass is not always greener elsewhere. I was reminded to count the blessings I already have and was inspired to capture my view on paper in pencil. Now if I could just bottle it…
South Mountain, AZ © Wendy Fallon
When my husband and I moved to Arizona from the East Coast in 1995, I was horrified to discover the popular practice of ‘dove hunting season.’
These small, grey and gentle birds with the distinctive call are known as mourning doves. To be perfectly honest, I never knew if they were ‘morning’ or ‘mourning,’ but to me they will always be ‘mourning.’
They were literally a voice from my childhood. As a child I would spend nights with my grandparents. I would climb out of bed early in the morning and hear the dove calls through the open windows. Grandma’s yard backed up to the Church cemetery, where my Uncle was buried and his gravesite could be seen from the house. That is where the doves lived.
Since then I’ve always associated these birds with reverence and peace, and to a lonely child and perhaps even to my Uncle, companionship.
How was I to know that in the American Southwest, many other parts of the U.S. and the world, they were used as living targets?! I refuse to relinquish my benevolent childhood memory.