How Are We So Lucky?

Is it early summer or late spring? The leaves, fully mature, tell a summer story. The weather—thankfully a little cool after an unprecedented heat wave the end of May—speaks of late spring.

Whatever the case, it is a time of beauty. The biting blackflies are gone, and the mosquitoes are few in numbers. We can sit on the patio until six and not be bothered. Not at all usual for this time of year when the mosquitoes are generally out in force. I expect it’s because May has been dry. While we surely need the rain, I am grateful that this weather is keeping the mosquitoes down. Last year, with a cold, rainy June, it was just the reverse, and the mosquitoes came in hordes, tormenting us until fall.

Therefore, at the end of the day, Clif and I relax on the patio with a snack and a drink, sometimes alcoholic, most times not. In the woods, in the distance, a wood thrush sings its ethereal song. Closer to us on the edge of the yard are the goldfinches, tweeting and quarreling. There are woodpeckers and hummingbirds. Cardinals. Nuthatches. Sometimes, from the nearby Narrows, we hear loons. Dragonflies zoom with astonishing precision. Chipmunks race after each other.

Surrounded by the flutter and dash of life, I ask Clif, “How are we so lucky?”

After a few moments of silence, he replies, “We made the right choice.”

That we did. Not always a given as Clif and I are not known for our practicality. But when we moved to Winthrop, weย  were debating between two houses—one in a little development and one in the woods.

We chose the home in the woods.

Here are some pictures taken in the last day or two at our home in the woods:

The flash of red, a cardinal at the feeder.

The bubbling of the blue fountain.

A dandelion poking its head up among the ferns.

And finally, the front yard, green against red, edged by many hostas.

For years and years, I yearned for a cottage garden bursting with color. While this love of color will never go away, my home in the woods, surrounded by green, is the place I want to be.

 

71 thoughts on “How Are We So Lucky?”

  1. I like Clif’s answer. So often we have a hand in creating our own luck. Thank you for your wonderful description, I feel like I’m sitting there with you in peaceful quiet reflection listening to the birds.

  2. I can picture you guys sitting on the patio and enjoying the early evening hours. It’s a good thing. The Cardinal is a handsome fellow, the ferns are beautiful, and your blue fountain would go quite well with my blue bottle tree. Happy June, Laurie, and may the good temps and the lack of mosquitoes continue. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. We sure did, and at the time it wasn’t as clear as it is now. When we had young children, the other house had its merits, too. But I’m glad I am here.

  3. Fabulous photos and I love your beautiful home in the woods!๐Ÿ™‚ What a perfect ending to the day relaxing on the patio with the soundtrack of nature and all those wonderful visitors.๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Your house is surrounded by so much lovely greenery, it must be something special to be so close to trees and greenery, especially in the summer. I love the red cardinal!

    1. Many thanks! We always love seeing the cardinal. Until recently, they were rare in Maine. Once they were a southern bird, but they have been moving up the coast. I didn’t see one until I was an adult.

  5. It’s a beautiful house in lovely surroundings, and your contentment and happiness make me happy, too. I’m glad you expressed it!

  6. I really smiled at the photo of the dandelion and the ferns. That’s the kind of combination an HOA probably would frown on, but there in your wonderful woods-home, they have the freedom to grow together, and you have the freedom to enjoy them.

    1. So glad I live in the woods and don’t have to deal with a HOA. While I do tend my gardens, I am tolerant of dandelions and other plants that might be considered weeds.

  7. A beautiful house with green surroundings is a blessing. You (both) made a right choice.
    I am happy for you.

  8. That is such a beautifully written piece Laurie (well it would be from someone who writes for a living as well as pleasure!). And bravo to Cliff for putting into words the simple pleasure of living in the place you should be. I particularly love your fountain. I have been thinking of getting something to work with my pond and give the sound of moving water now I am finding it harder to hear the stream and those cascading ones really attract me.

  9. What a beautiful cardinal! I was just thinking out birds are on the drab side and this is ocular proof. I’m glad you followed your hearts.

  10. I’d just been thinking about your garden as I wrote a post on my blog (which you have already commented on!). Green is a colour, and you have a lot of lovely greens in the garden.

    Glad the hummingbirds are around. If hummingbirds ate mosquitoes that would probably be the perfect bird for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, you are right. Green is a color. And actually, I love all the various shades of green around my house. (Still love those cottage gardens, though.) And guess what? Hummingbirds do eat insects. How cool is that?

  11. I love your fountain, and I wish so much that we had cardinals here.

    I had a friend who bought a house and acreage near wetlands and who had so many mosquitoes that she can hardly garden in skeeter season. When I complain about how windy our site is, I must remember that it blows away the skeeters.

  12. This is beautiful, Laurie, both words, pictures and sentiment. I feel rested simply reading your words and looking at those wonderful shades of red and green.

  13. Wow – that vibrant cardinal! I’m increasingly reading comments from people on social media about how fed up they are, so it’s lovely to know that there are also those who are content with their lot… long may it continue for you and Clif in your home in the woods.

  14. I would pick a house in the woods over a house in a subdivision every time. Of course we sort of have both here…we are in a little sub, but each lot is 1.5 acres, so we’re not RIGHT next to a neighbor..though we have neighbors. And when I look out over my backyard I don’t see anyone else…mainly because we’ve been here 25 years and planted a lot of trees strategically. Anyway, I get your cottage garden wishes…but your house is red and that gives you the color even in the winter! I think that is the one downside to living in the woods, not having enough sun to plant sun loving flowers (or vegies for that matter). My neighbor across the street has 10 acres of woods and her garden fails every year. I think I should tell her to come share ours…if she helps water and weed she can have half the tomatoes in the fall! ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course we end up giving her so many anyway as they all come in at once and we get frost so early we end up harvesting boatloads of them in one evening most years.

    1. Yes, yes! Although the house in the subdivision did have its merits—other children for my kids to play with. But so lovely to live in the woods. True about the difficulty in growing vegetables in too much shade. For years, I wished for more sun. However, now that I am older and am focusing so much on my writing, it doesn’t bother me as much. I have joined a wonderful CSA where I get can get local, organic veggies right through the winter. Works for me!

  15. You are a good soul, Laurie. I’m so happy for you both. Your abode is brimming with life and you are present and able to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  16. I am catching up on your posts that I have not read over the past month. All are so thoughtful and I love your writing very much so this is a special treat for me. This post about luck and choice resonated with me and I am reminded of the well loved Robert Frost poem of the two diverging paths. You have cause to celebrate the choice you made many years ago as you now sit outside surrounded by by your pretty garden at the edge of those wonderful woods. Thank you for sharing the beauty in your life that gives you the strength to also address the horrible with wise clarity.

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