As summer’s been rolling along we’re seeing the corn pollinating, the baby calves out in the pastures getting bigger, and all the empty nests of our local bird population who arrived early this Spring to create another generation of hatchlings. I’m always glad when the “empty nest” time arrives because watching some of the birds being nearly fanatical in their search for morsels to feed their offspring almost makes a person hyper just watching them. When one lives in a heavily treed area, it becomes all the more delightful to see cardinals, baltimore orioles, and the many varieties and colors of finches. Somewhere nearby there’s a nesting site for a pair of hummingbirds who return every year. They are the most interesting of all in how they seem to effortlessly maintain their mid-air balance while siphoning the nectar from their favorite flowers. For the first time, I actually saw one land on a small low hanging branch. Several evenings ago as dusk was approaching, I happened to notice about four barn swallows performing an elegant in-flight dance above and below the tree line where they must have been feeding on the evening mosquitos. And as chance would have it, just below their line of flight were about a half dozen large dragonflies performing their own form of in-flight movement as they chased after lower flying mosquitos. What was the most memorable for me was to see the swallows and dragonflies working together so to catch as many mosquitos as possible. As humans we say,”Many hands make little work”, so now I can say after seeing those performances, “Many wings make great catches.” As I’ve said before, everyone must take even the smallest portion of their day to enjoy the daily movements of nature—at times it can take your breath away.
After writing my article last night regarding the evolution of design, I later remembered a home a number of years ago that nearly sent me into orbit over the countless issues I had to deal with after purchasing it. I’ll preface my story by saying this particular home was owned by a landlord who didn’t give a hoot about who he rented to along with his disregard of necessary repairs. I had approached him some years before about purchasing it because his tenants were creating problems within the neighborhood. After several years passed we did finally come to an agreement on price. Oh Mercy! From the day I took title until the first tenant moved in, it seemed like one of the most slippery slopes I’d ever climbed. Before I could even begin reconstruction, I had to deal with many thousands of fleas left behind. Tears came to my eyes more than once remembering the last tenant had a young child. Treatment after treatment took place yet they continued to linger, and I’m super sensitive to flea bites. I finally found someone to rid the house of all the fabrics and carpets, and then came the clean-up. Weeks of clearing out the house and garage of junk and garbage became mortifying.
More than once there were workers who could’ve been badly injured by the unknowns of that pit. Thousands upon thousands of dollars went into the project and when finished I exclaimed to a family member, “I’ll not break even if I should live to be 100!” Well as we’ve found, unknown forces of the universe can make lasting effects on homesites. That particular address has given me the least of problems, and the strangest of all, every time a new tenant would move in, they’d somehow grow greatly attached to the home, and when they did finally move out, they’d all say something to the effect of it being the happiest place they’d ever lived. I began to believe the site and the home came to an understanding that after being abused by so many nasty tenants for so many years, it decided to “bless” the people who lived there after it was completed. It’s almost as though it’s saying “thank you” every single day and night. After discovering a pattern of happiness, I named it the, “Happy House”.