Welcome to my world. I am a person who feels at home in the country. I would feel as if I were imprisoned if I was forced to live in the city, especially a large city. I love the country night sounds: the soft music of crickets, the occasional cicada, a far distant whip-o-will and a neighbor’s dog barking in the valley below me.
It takes my breath away to see the profusion of blooms every spring. There are the cherry trees covered in white or pale pink blossoms and the Bradford pears that become solid white trees, covered in layer upon layer of purest white flowers, making the trees appear to be wearing dresses of gathered lace ruffles.
The forsythia shrubs are so showy with their bright yellow flowers. Everywhere you look there is something blooming, bearing fragrant flowers. Wisteria vines bear tags of purple flowers that remind me of the grapes we grow in the arbor. Spring brings the beautiful birds to the feeder, the chick-a-dee being one of the first.
I watch the Mourning doves build flimsy nests every year, wishing I could help them build sturdier homes for their eggs. The woodpeckers search out holes in the dead trees, while the hummingbird builds high up in the top of our White Pines. My favorite is the house wren. They make so much racket when they call their offspring from the nest to teach them to fly. I always know when it is time for flight school, so I stop what I am doing for a while and watch. It is always fascinating.
I love my home on top of the mountain inside the Cherokee National Forest. I watch the female deer, in a herd of 16 or more, graze in my front yard. They give birth every spring, usually beneath my dew berry bushes. I enjoy watching the raccoons saunter up the driveway at dusk. They act as if they were neighbors coming to call.
I stay busy in the summer working my vegetable and my flower gardens. I enjoy harvesting the big red tomatoes, a variety of lettuce, cucumbers, radishes and peppers for my salads. I pick the green beans, eggplants, turnip greens, strawberries and herbs to make a good country meal. I love seeing my roses, violets, irises and dahlias bloom, sending a fragrance to sweeten the morning air as the petunias scent the evening breeze.
Autumn is so colorful with the gold leaves on the Sourwood trees, the red leaves on the sumac, the orange leaves on the hardwood trees and the yellow covering the dogwood and the tulip poplars. It feels as if I am living in a postcard, everything is so perfect.
I am fascinated with the wild herbs growing to provide us with medicine that is available to cure every ill. I collect the herbs and dry them, some for medicine and others for seasoning our food. I would love to learn to identify the mushrooms so I can gather the edible ones.
My two children are grown and my two grandchildren are my sweethearts. Family is very important to me. I am very close to my sister, but I also have three younger brothers. Their love of nature drew me closer than I ever thought I would get. Their love of animals gave me insight into the animal world. We all love to build a fire in the fire pit and sit quietly, listening to the logs crackle and the sounds of the coyote calling to his mate.
I believe life should be as simple as we can make it. There is too much drama in the world to allow it to dominate my own life. I like peaceful communication, big hugs and loving parting words. Life may be long, but there is no guarantee. So live life as if today is your last day on earth and the first of one million days. Make each day count in the life of someone else. If you leave nothing else behind after you die, leave sweet memories in the minds and hearts of all people with whom you have ever had contact.