My Taste of Heaven

Welcome to My Taste of Heaven!

Today, for some reason, it is cool and blustery, nothing like I’d expect for this time of year. As I sit at my desk working, I glance out at the leaves ruffling and the limbs bending in the wind and want to have you share that with me. So, I’ve decided to give you a little taste of my heaven, the place that inspires me, comforts me, and makes me smile.

If you open the door to my house, you step directly into my office. It’s a large room with a pot belly stove and lots of coziness. But what I love most is that I look out across the front, through the trees, and over to the pastures. Of course, Pookie is always there to keep me vigilant to my tasks.

One of my greatest pleasures, and a bit of a worry for my husband, is the magnificent magnolia next to the house. He is concerned that it will breach the basement wall. A tree man came out once and assured me that would not be the case, as least not for a very long time. So, for now, I get to enjoy something I have tried to grow but never could. People laughed because I had a magnolia that, for ten years, never got above two feet. This one seems to be flourishing, probably because I didn’t plant it. This year looks like it’s going to be a bumper year for blossoms.

I stepped out front so you could follow me around and up the drive. We don’t have a well-manicured yard. One, I like it wild. And two, I’m not the best gardener. Benign neglect seems to work pretty well for me. We have what I call a tear drop drive. The part at the top where it comes to a point is bordered on both sides by trees. I’m surprised we haven’t either taken one out, or put a dent in one of the vehicles. There is also a flood light the original owner put in, in the island, right at the drive. Unfortunately, a couple of service people have had to replace it.

When you reach the top of the teardrop, you are at the top of rise and can look over to the pasture across the street. On the left is a wooded area that furnishes my pine cones for the holiday season. Once, while hunting the perfect cone, I looked across the way and saw the marks where they had originally cut the road. In my writer’s eye, I could envision what it had been like hundreds of years before, wild, rolling forest, undisturbed by man.

We have a few fun/interesting things on our property. One I call the dogwood chair. It is the perfect place to sit in the shade and contemplate the beauty at your feet — or the squirrels which are ever at play. Of course, while you are resting, you might come face to face with some of our other visitors, as well. Deer are frequent and seem inclined to hang out in our yard. Then there are the rather unusual types of visitor. There are hawks aplenty, scanning the ground for movement.  Little geckos run about, taken refuse in the bushes. We have a multitude of butterflies and dragonflies, as well as the rather unusual spidery thing you see to the right. He looks like some prehistoric spider with a pointed crab-line shell. The reason I call him a spider is because he/she/it was busy building a very elaborate web, totally unconcerned with our observations. If any of you know what this is, I’d love to have you send a comment and tell me. And, while you’re at it, let me know if it’s dangerous, please.

Since I’m talking about the unusual, I think I’ll mention this. While walking Pookie around the side of the house the other day, I was plunked on the head with a pod-like bud. I looked down and there seemed to be a plethora of them on the ground, along with some beautiful blossoms they apparently became when left on the tree. The later didn’t seem likely since the squirrels were scampering among the smallest limbs racing one another to be the first to get the buds. I’m not sure if they were eating them or throwing them at each other. Looking up, it appeared they were rather drunk, falling from limb to limb, grabbing at one at the last moment, as they fell toward the ground. Undeterred, they would  scamper right back up. Once more, if you know what this is and the type of tree that yields it, I would love to know. We’ve lived here several years and this is the first time I’ve seen them. At least it’s the first time I’ve been hit on the head with them.

Lastly, I will take you out the back, across the two-story deck and into the back “yard.” Yard isn’t a proper term, since, once again, I cop to benign neglect. I love sitting on the deck. It’s like being in a tree house, the trees grow so close and so high. I will admit that when storms come, I tend to sit on the steps to the basement because I fear one of these great beauties will fall right onto my house one day. But, for now, we are safe and will go down the steps and across the back so I can introduce you to our venerable dogwood. It’s not the most magnificent specimen, for it’s got lumps and bumps and grows at a curve, but it deserves our respect, for it has been here far longer than any of us. The tree man estimated at least one hundred and fifty years. Makes me feel like a dang teenager, it does.

We’ve been told we have some of the oldest wild cherry trees they have ever seen, as well. We have blueberry bushes that are fast becoming trees and offer a great place for the squirrels to sit and stuff their little mouths. There’s nothing like a blueberry stained squirrel face to make you laugh. We try to get to the blueberry bushes early in the morning, before the squirrels grab their spot. Luckily, there always seems to be enough to go around. And I love walking past on our puppy patrol and grabbing a handful to savor as Pookie investigates the wondrous smells the wild critters leave behind.

Well, that about it for our spring tour. Thanks for stopping by. I hope I have given you a sense of why I love sitting here while I write and why this inspires my many stories. After all, I do live where magic abounds.

4 Responses to My Taste of Heaven

  1. Pam Brown says:

    Aw Shanon…thank you for taking me on the tour…I left 50 cents in the bucket at the front door! 😎 You have a beautiful yard… benign neglect is a lovely term! I think I will add that to my vocabulary in describing my own yard! We have a tree like the unknown one you describe in our yard and had one when we lived up in the mountains of VA… we were told up there it is called a Tulip Tree. I’m not sure, but it may also be a Katawba… or something of that sort of sounding name. The blooms are beautiful. Here it blooms like late April or May… but in the mountains it bloomed late June, would leaf out for July and August and then all the leaves would fall off. I always felt sorry for the tree as it didn’t have much time for grandeur. I always felt that is why the blooms were so pretty! Thanks again for the tour… Pam

    • shanongrey says:

      Pam, thank you so much for coming by and for telling me about the tree. There are times I really wish I knew more botany. I’ll have to stick to fiction. Maybe I can fit it in somewhere and give the grandeur we think it deserves.

  2. Oh, my friend. Once again your eloquence has drawn me in. You have taken me to your piece of heaven. I am calm and tranquil after the visit. Thank you!

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