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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/7/2011, 9:51 pm

I just came inside from what was a perfect evening. I don't know why, but it compelled me to write about it a little bit...

This won't be much about gardening. Just a bit about appreciation. Too often we get caught up in both "real life," our problems, and ourselves to take the time and appreciate what we have had the opportunity to experience.

I don't know about you, but I grew up in a family that sort of cares about nature. Some folks more than others, but none pay attention like I always have. It's just so awe inspiring so sit around, even if only for 15 minutes, and take it in. My wife's side of the family has zero appreciation for anything outdoors. So, I must be a complete freak to them. My side sort of tolerates it, but they just don't seek it out like I sometimes do.

I grew up a fairly fortunate kid. I was in a small town, but not rural. My father owned the local newspaper so we were fine when it came to income. The town's country club didn't cost much to join...literally...but, we lived right on the golf course. I had instant access to both sport and nature. They quickly became prominent parts of my life. If I wasn't playing golf, hunting for golf balls, or just watching others play, I was fishing in the farm ponds in the neighborhood. My summer routine was: wake up, eat breakfast, play golf, eat lunch, go the swimming pool, eat dinner, and play more golf or go fishing. Now, that's "no worries."

But, it took getting older to realize how much I was paying attention to the outside, natural world. While playing golf, I was watching squirrels and birds. While fishing, I was listening to everything. I was smelling everything. I was trying to predict what would happen. I was just sort of blending in with my surroundings and enjoying the day/evening.

We moved away when I was 12 and came to a more urban environment. I adjusted fine like most kids would. But, I had already learned so much I didn't want to just give it up. I learned from my grandparents. I learned more about birds. I learned more about how things grew. I learned about gardening, composting, and how it all intertwined together to create a natural "balance."

Tonight was the perfect evening for me to just go outside and sit. The kids were calm and inside. My wife was interested in something else. I just cracked a beer and slipped outside to put some scraps in the compost pile and check the SFG one more time. After walking the yard (something I learned from my dad...he called it "mole patrol," but it was just a way to walk the yard after work and unwind.), I went up on my deck and just listened....and sipped my beer.

I heard things I haven't heard in years. I heard tree frogs fighting for territory and announcing themselves to potential mates. I heard Canadian Geese honking in the nearby quarry. I saw a bat fly over four or five times. I heard the Robins saying goodnight. I heard dogs barking a little, but I never heard one car. I heard the wind rustle gently through the leaves of the trees.....finally, we have leaves. I just sat, eyes closed, and took it all in. It was more than refreshing.

I sat in thanks for all I've experienced. My SFG was right downstairs. I have a nice house with a beautiful deck. I had perfect weather tonight...something that's been hard to come by. My house still stood strong in spite of a few close calls with tornadoes this spring. And, I was able to enjoy this while others just a few miles away still don't have power. While they are picking lumber from their yards still. While they are fighting insurance companies. I was able to do this while other folks I don't know are struggling to pay their bills. While people are trying not to stress over Mother's Day tomorrow. And, while others yet don't have a home....and are saving like mad to have one.

I don't have a lot. I don't make a lot of money....not like Dad does. My house isn't big or fancy. But, I DO have a family, my health, a job, and a roof that I dearly appreciated tonight.

I couldn't have had a better 30 minutes. And, I bet it's awhile before another 30 minutes tops that one. That was the first time in a long time I felt completely carefree. And, I truly thank the powers that be for giving it to me.

I hope you feel what I felt very soon. May whatever powers that be that you believe in bring you that feeling!

Happy Gardening, and thanks for reading my babble tonight.

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Post  boog1 on 5/7/2011, 10:18 pm

amen, hada simaler thing last summer when i worked 3rd shift got off at 6am went home made coffie got the dog up gota cup and took her for a walk down to the lower part of the yard. i set up lawn chairs on the pad next to the garage and we sat out there jus me and her, waiting on the sun to come up listioning to the sounds of the birds and crickets. that freash smell of dew on the grass. no traffic noise makes one appercate nature and life in genral.


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Post  Aub on 5/7/2011, 11:17 pm

A great big Thumbs Up to this post!

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Post  shannon1 on 5/8/2011, 2:24 am

I too was lucky as a child. I grew up in AK. The fun things in life were cheap or free and that translates to the out doors. My DM has a very bad reaction to mosquito bites and that cut down on the camping with her instead she took us on beautiful drives. Her best freind was the "outdoorsy" type. I went on long camping trips with her every summer and she taught me how to harvest wild foods, mushrooms, berries, how to fish ect.
Money was tight as my DF passed away when I was only 4yrs old and my DM raised my brotherand I on her own. She taught me to enjoy the the priceless things in life like watching the birds and beasts, sunsets ect... and be greatful for what we had. How to "focus on the donut not the hole."
After moving to the land of ticks,lymes desease, and snakes, aka florida I lost touch with nature. The land around where I live is mostly palmetto scrub and not friendly to camping. Then I devolped diabetes, and complecations. Due to heart problems I have poor heat tollerance. Gardening is a way I have found to reconnect with the natural world. SFG is the best way for me to have a garden do to it's ease and I can do it in the early morning before the heat forces me inside to the a/.c. It is also so good for my soul to watch the miracale of growing things. It relieves me job stress. I work nights and get off at 7am, then it is straight to the garden. I truly believe it has helped save my life.

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Post  FarmerValerie on 5/8/2011, 8:45 am

From time to time I remind my kids, and myself that we have food on the table, clothes on our back, and a roof over our head, therefore we are better off than over half of the world. We also have electricity, TV (no cable or satelite anymore but who cares), internet, running hot AND cold water, and a vehicle that has gas, we are richer than 2/3 of the world.

It's called "Count your blessings, name them one by one", and it is a blessing to do so. Thanks for sharing BBG, what a wonderful Sunday post and especially on Mother's Day!!! Brings to mind the old song Roses for Mama.

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Post  pelujilla on 5/8/2011, 8:52 am

What a beautiful thread.....my kids should read this! I told them all I want for Mother's Day is a day of Peace and Quiet and I mean it....things I can go purchase myself.

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