Summer Ramblings

Cara/Andrea here (seeing as my new debut is getting closer and closer, I'm going to start using the double moniker so I get used to it!) Today I'm taking a summer break from scholarly research to ramble a bit.

My-study  I live in the country. From the window of my writing room, I often see deer (aka rats on hooves because they devour my rhododendrons and basil) and wild turkeys wandering in the yard. Squirrels play tag among a grove of towering pine trees, and a cardinal has taken a shine to the birch tree right outside my window. He sits and preens—he’s male of course. And twitters—the birdsong variety as he’s not yet picked an i-phone from the orchard down the road. On rare occasions, a coyote will trot up my driveway and then disappear back into the ten acres of woods across the street.

So, it sounds pretty idyllic, and for the most part it is. But this summer in particular, perhaps because I am spending more time here during the week rather than in New York City, I’ve become more and more aware of a serpent in paradise. No—no snakes in the basement or slithering through the back meadow. It’s noise. Man-made noise.  It starts on Wednesday around 8 am and reaches a crescendo on Fridays—a symphony of gas-powered lawnmowers and trimmers ranging from the deep rumbling thrum of commercial tractors to the high whine of the weed whackers. The landscape crews buzz like a swarm of bees through the neighborhood, gas fumes wafting in their wake, making everyone’s ground look pristine for the weekend.

I know that I’m probably sounding curmudgeonly, but for me, part of the charm of the country is peace and quiet. However this summer it’s been noisier here than in The Big Apple. On top of the weekly maintenance routines, the town had been repaving the nearby roads, so I’ve had one of those behemoth machines that digs up three inches of asphalt grinding down the country lanes. Followed, of course, by the trucks of hot tar and the rollers.

Oh, and then there’s my neighbor, who is in the construction business. Last year, the front of his house transformed into a pillared entranceway, complete with a new porch and a three car garage. It’s really quite impressive. So I’m not quite sure why this year he needed another three-car freestanding garage built right next to the main house. Or why the lovely little grove of trees had to be chain-sawed down to lay rolls of perfect sod. (Did I mention he’s an early bird and loves to get working by 7 am?) Right now a very fancy stone wall is going up—not the traditional New England drywall, with its charming bumps and hitches that blend into the surrounding landscape, but a geometric cement and block monster that would look more at home in Beverly Hills.

Now, as you have probably gathered, I prefer nature in all its imperfect glory to manicured estates, so I’ve been muttering a lot of bad words under my breath as the cacophony of machinery has intruded on my idyllic space. At times, I find myself daydreaming about getting away to a more perfect place . . .

375px-Lucas_Cranach_d._Ä._035  Of course I’m not the only one who has spent time creating a paradise in my head. Literature throughout the ages has recorded how writers have used their imagination to create “heaven on earth.” We can begin with the Beginning, and the description of the Garden of Eden. (Seeing as I am very find of apples, I wouldn’t have lasted there any longer than Eve.) The Greeks had the Elysian Fields—Homer called it the Elysian Plain—where there was no snow, rain or storms and “life is easiest for men.” Virgil placed the Elysian Fields in Lower World, and said it was a place of constant spring and sunlight. (Sounds good to me.)

In 1516, Sir Thomas More created Utopia, a fictional island in the Atlantic where everyone lived in perfect harmony. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, supposedly inspired by opium, looked farther afield and imagined Xanadu, a pleasure palace in the East built by Kubla Khan . . .“And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree . . .” Another Brit, James Hilton, carried on the Oriental theme by creating Shangri-La—said to be inspired by the sacred mountain towns of Tibet—in his 1933 novel, Lost Horizons. The mythical inhabitants were almost immortal and showed little sign of physical aging. (Ahh, my kind of place!)

Gaiolejpg  On a more modern note, I recently saw a Forbes magazine article on the Most Idyllic Places in the World to Live. Tops on the list was Gaiole, in Chianti, a tiny town that dates from the 10th century. (I like that they hold a wine festival every September.) Kefalonia, an island in Greece where Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed, ranked high, as did Ljubljana, in Slovenia, a “little Paris with hints of Art Nouveau,” which is a melting pot of German, Latin and Slavic culture.

Island-Lake-a Getting back to my own musings on peace and quiet, perhaps the most serene places I’ve ever visited is a spot marked “Island Lake” on the topographic map of the Wind River mountain range in Wyoming. Some years ago, my brothers and I backpacked there (at 16 miles in from the trailhead, and an altitude of over 11,000 feet, it’s pretty remote.)

Island-Lake-c  During the day, they fished for cutthroat, brown and rainbow while I hiked and read the books I had valiantly carried in my backpack. Evenin
gs we would watch the alpenglow paint the surrounding cirque of snow-capped mountain with the most indescribable shades of pink and mauve that I’ve ever seen. When the sun went down, the night sky came alight with a brilliant display of stars. It was . . . heavenly. And the silence—the absolute absence of any sound, save for the wind and the water rushing down from the glaciers, was awesome. I’ve been lucky enough to visit some pretty interesting places in the world, but Island Lake is still one of my favorite spots.

So, now that I’ve taken you on an admittedly rambling peregrination through my summer thoughts, I’ll end by asking that age old question: what’s your idea of paradise? Have you a favorite place in literature? Or a spot in the real world that is your perfect getaway?

80 thoughts on “Summer Ramblings”

  1. I understand about the lawn mowers and clippers. I shut every window in the house when the lawn crews show up. I’d rather melt than listen to that mechanical mayhem.
    My idea of heaven is something I wouldn’t have to do–not attend any more meetings. I dream about not having to listen to motormouths drone on and on. Yes, they do pay me to put up with it. I certainly wouldn’t do it for free.

    Reply
  2. I understand about the lawn mowers and clippers. I shut every window in the house when the lawn crews show up. I’d rather melt than listen to that mechanical mayhem.
    My idea of heaven is something I wouldn’t have to do–not attend any more meetings. I dream about not having to listen to motormouths drone on and on. Yes, they do pay me to put up with it. I certainly wouldn’t do it for free.

    Reply
  3. I understand about the lawn mowers and clippers. I shut every window in the house when the lawn crews show up. I’d rather melt than listen to that mechanical mayhem.
    My idea of heaven is something I wouldn’t have to do–not attend any more meetings. I dream about not having to listen to motormouths drone on and on. Yes, they do pay me to put up with it. I certainly wouldn’t do it for free.

    Reply
  4. I understand about the lawn mowers and clippers. I shut every window in the house when the lawn crews show up. I’d rather melt than listen to that mechanical mayhem.
    My idea of heaven is something I wouldn’t have to do–not attend any more meetings. I dream about not having to listen to motormouths drone on and on. Yes, they do pay me to put up with it. I certainly wouldn’t do it for free.

    Reply
  5. I understand about the lawn mowers and clippers. I shut every window in the house when the lawn crews show up. I’d rather melt than listen to that mechanical mayhem.
    My idea of heaven is something I wouldn’t have to do–not attend any more meetings. I dream about not having to listen to motormouths drone on and on. Yes, they do pay me to put up with it. I certainly wouldn’t do it for free.

    Reply
  6. OH. LOL about other forms of “noise pollutuion,” Linda—I hear you on that! I think there is a good reason for the saying “Blessed silence”. I think that’s why I am so perplexed by the need for so many people to be constantly yakking in their cellphones, and usually about nothing interesting and important. I get the feeling they never take time to think, or daydream or observe the world around them.

    Reply
  7. OH. LOL about other forms of “noise pollutuion,” Linda—I hear you on that! I think there is a good reason for the saying “Blessed silence”. I think that’s why I am so perplexed by the need for so many people to be constantly yakking in their cellphones, and usually about nothing interesting and important. I get the feeling they never take time to think, or daydream or observe the world around them.

    Reply
  8. OH. LOL about other forms of “noise pollutuion,” Linda—I hear you on that! I think there is a good reason for the saying “Blessed silence”. I think that’s why I am so perplexed by the need for so many people to be constantly yakking in their cellphones, and usually about nothing interesting and important. I get the feeling they never take time to think, or daydream or observe the world around them.

    Reply
  9. OH. LOL about other forms of “noise pollutuion,” Linda—I hear you on that! I think there is a good reason for the saying “Blessed silence”. I think that’s why I am so perplexed by the need for so many people to be constantly yakking in their cellphones, and usually about nothing interesting and important. I get the feeling they never take time to think, or daydream or observe the world around them.

    Reply
  10. OH. LOL about other forms of “noise pollutuion,” Linda—I hear you on that! I think there is a good reason for the saying “Blessed silence”. I think that’s why I am so perplexed by the need for so many people to be constantly yakking in their cellphones, and usually about nothing interesting and important. I get the feeling they never take time to think, or daydream or observe the world around them.

    Reply
  11. I hear ya about the noise factor! My sympathies. When I lived in a woody area of Charlotte, I had an enormous deck where I could sit outside and work all day, listening to the birds. These days I’m in a subdivision and I think everyone waits for me to go outside to start their engines.
    I’ve spent years trying to find my paradise but so far, the closest I’ve come is southern CA, but finding a quiet place might be tough!

    Reply
  12. I hear ya about the noise factor! My sympathies. When I lived in a woody area of Charlotte, I had an enormous deck where I could sit outside and work all day, listening to the birds. These days I’m in a subdivision and I think everyone waits for me to go outside to start their engines.
    I’ve spent years trying to find my paradise but so far, the closest I’ve come is southern CA, but finding a quiet place might be tough!

    Reply
  13. I hear ya about the noise factor! My sympathies. When I lived in a woody area of Charlotte, I had an enormous deck where I could sit outside and work all day, listening to the birds. These days I’m in a subdivision and I think everyone waits for me to go outside to start their engines.
    I’ve spent years trying to find my paradise but so far, the closest I’ve come is southern CA, but finding a quiet place might be tough!

    Reply
  14. I hear ya about the noise factor! My sympathies. When I lived in a woody area of Charlotte, I had an enormous deck where I could sit outside and work all day, listening to the birds. These days I’m in a subdivision and I think everyone waits for me to go outside to start their engines.
    I’ve spent years trying to find my paradise but so far, the closest I’ve come is southern CA, but finding a quiet place might be tough!

    Reply
  15. I hear ya about the noise factor! My sympathies. When I lived in a woody area of Charlotte, I had an enormous deck where I could sit outside and work all day, listening to the birds. These days I’m in a subdivision and I think everyone waits for me to go outside to start their engines.
    I’ve spent years trying to find my paradise but so far, the closest I’ve come is southern CA, but finding a quiet place might be tough!

    Reply
  16. Quiet is definitely hard to find! Things have calmed down now that the road crew has moved on, and my neighbor has stopped sawing down trees.However by Wednesday things will humming again—quite litereally. Isolation has its drawbacks too, so like in everything, it’s a question of balance. Still, there are days that I would like to sit on my terrace and write, but it’s more peaceful inside.

    Reply
  17. Quiet is definitely hard to find! Things have calmed down now that the road crew has moved on, and my neighbor has stopped sawing down trees.However by Wednesday things will humming again—quite litereally. Isolation has its drawbacks too, so like in everything, it’s a question of balance. Still, there are days that I would like to sit on my terrace and write, but it’s more peaceful inside.

    Reply
  18. Quiet is definitely hard to find! Things have calmed down now that the road crew has moved on, and my neighbor has stopped sawing down trees.However by Wednesday things will humming again—quite litereally. Isolation has its drawbacks too, so like in everything, it’s a question of balance. Still, there are days that I would like to sit on my terrace and write, but it’s more peaceful inside.

    Reply
  19. Quiet is definitely hard to find! Things have calmed down now that the road crew has moved on, and my neighbor has stopped sawing down trees.However by Wednesday things will humming again—quite litereally. Isolation has its drawbacks too, so like in everything, it’s a question of balance. Still, there are days that I would like to sit on my terrace and write, but it’s more peaceful inside.

    Reply
  20. Quiet is definitely hard to find! Things have calmed down now that the road crew has moved on, and my neighbor has stopped sawing down trees.However by Wednesday things will humming again—quite litereally. Isolation has its drawbacks too, so like in everything, it’s a question of balance. Still, there are days that I would like to sit on my terrace and write, but it’s more peaceful inside.

    Reply
  21. Sherrie, here.
    While I sort of like the background drone of a lawnmower (and the accompanying fresh smell of cut grass), I far prefer the quiet of trees and wind and birdies.
    When I moved here 35 years ago, barely 1 car an hour went by my place. Now, it’s constant traffic. I live in the country, but the road past my place is the main road into our tiny town of 3,000. A pasture and long driveway separate my house from the road, but you can still hear the traffic, especially the screaming motorcycles. And I absolutely DETEST leaf blowers. Noisy, useless things. Get a rake or a broom!
    I once had a neighbor complain that my horse was too noisy. *g* He is a cheerful old soul and likes to whinny and play with his toys. He has awakened me many times with his stomping and thundering around in his paddock playing with toys, so I guess she was right to complain. But I’d much rather hear animal sounds than machine sounds!

    Reply
  22. Sherrie, here.
    While I sort of like the background drone of a lawnmower (and the accompanying fresh smell of cut grass), I far prefer the quiet of trees and wind and birdies.
    When I moved here 35 years ago, barely 1 car an hour went by my place. Now, it’s constant traffic. I live in the country, but the road past my place is the main road into our tiny town of 3,000. A pasture and long driveway separate my house from the road, but you can still hear the traffic, especially the screaming motorcycles. And I absolutely DETEST leaf blowers. Noisy, useless things. Get a rake or a broom!
    I once had a neighbor complain that my horse was too noisy. *g* He is a cheerful old soul and likes to whinny and play with his toys. He has awakened me many times with his stomping and thundering around in his paddock playing with toys, so I guess she was right to complain. But I’d much rather hear animal sounds than machine sounds!

    Reply
  23. Sherrie, here.
    While I sort of like the background drone of a lawnmower (and the accompanying fresh smell of cut grass), I far prefer the quiet of trees and wind and birdies.
    When I moved here 35 years ago, barely 1 car an hour went by my place. Now, it’s constant traffic. I live in the country, but the road past my place is the main road into our tiny town of 3,000. A pasture and long driveway separate my house from the road, but you can still hear the traffic, especially the screaming motorcycles. And I absolutely DETEST leaf blowers. Noisy, useless things. Get a rake or a broom!
    I once had a neighbor complain that my horse was too noisy. *g* He is a cheerful old soul and likes to whinny and play with his toys. He has awakened me many times with his stomping and thundering around in his paddock playing with toys, so I guess she was right to complain. But I’d much rather hear animal sounds than machine sounds!

    Reply
  24. Sherrie, here.
    While I sort of like the background drone of a lawnmower (and the accompanying fresh smell of cut grass), I far prefer the quiet of trees and wind and birdies.
    When I moved here 35 years ago, barely 1 car an hour went by my place. Now, it’s constant traffic. I live in the country, but the road past my place is the main road into our tiny town of 3,000. A pasture and long driveway separate my house from the road, but you can still hear the traffic, especially the screaming motorcycles. And I absolutely DETEST leaf blowers. Noisy, useless things. Get a rake or a broom!
    I once had a neighbor complain that my horse was too noisy. *g* He is a cheerful old soul and likes to whinny and play with his toys. He has awakened me many times with his stomping and thundering around in his paddock playing with toys, so I guess she was right to complain. But I’d much rather hear animal sounds than machine sounds!

    Reply
  25. Sherrie, here.
    While I sort of like the background drone of a lawnmower (and the accompanying fresh smell of cut grass), I far prefer the quiet of trees and wind and birdies.
    When I moved here 35 years ago, barely 1 car an hour went by my place. Now, it’s constant traffic. I live in the country, but the road past my place is the main road into our tiny town of 3,000. A pasture and long driveway separate my house from the road, but you can still hear the traffic, especially the screaming motorcycles. And I absolutely DETEST leaf blowers. Noisy, useless things. Get a rake or a broom!
    I once had a neighbor complain that my horse was too noisy. *g* He is a cheerful old soul and likes to whinny and play with his toys. He has awakened me many times with his stomping and thundering around in his paddock playing with toys, so I guess she was right to complain. But I’d much rather hear animal sounds than machine sounds!

    Reply
  26. Sherrie, I’m with you—I’d be delighted to hear your horse having fun! (Though a dog barking for an extended period of time can get on my nerves . . .and I love dogs!)
    One lawnmower is fine, especially with the accompanying grass scent, It’s the gas trimmers that sound like gnats.

    Reply
  27. Sherrie, I’m with you—I’d be delighted to hear your horse having fun! (Though a dog barking for an extended period of time can get on my nerves . . .and I love dogs!)
    One lawnmower is fine, especially with the accompanying grass scent, It’s the gas trimmers that sound like gnats.

    Reply
  28. Sherrie, I’m with you—I’d be delighted to hear your horse having fun! (Though a dog barking for an extended period of time can get on my nerves . . .and I love dogs!)
    One lawnmower is fine, especially with the accompanying grass scent, It’s the gas trimmers that sound like gnats.

    Reply
  29. Sherrie, I’m with you—I’d be delighted to hear your horse having fun! (Though a dog barking for an extended period of time can get on my nerves . . .and I love dogs!)
    One lawnmower is fine, especially with the accompanying grass scent, It’s the gas trimmers that sound like gnats.

    Reply
  30. Sherrie, I’m with you—I’d be delighted to hear your horse having fun! (Though a dog barking for an extended period of time can get on my nerves . . .and I love dogs!)
    One lawnmower is fine, especially with the accompanying grass scent, It’s the gas trimmers that sound like gnats.

    Reply
  31. Put me in the mountains. I love the forests, meadows and distance from people. I grew up in the Adirondacks and we lived in Colorado Springs near the Rockies. We live in the Smokies now in TN. It is lovely, but too crowded. We live in the country 10 miles from town, but the vehicles on the road are noisy and a neighbor has ultralights and flies them in the quiet of the evenings and weekends.
    So far, the Rockies and the Adirondacks have been the best.

    Reply
  32. Put me in the mountains. I love the forests, meadows and distance from people. I grew up in the Adirondacks and we lived in Colorado Springs near the Rockies. We live in the Smokies now in TN. It is lovely, but too crowded. We live in the country 10 miles from town, but the vehicles on the road are noisy and a neighbor has ultralights and flies them in the quiet of the evenings and weekends.
    So far, the Rockies and the Adirondacks have been the best.

    Reply
  33. Put me in the mountains. I love the forests, meadows and distance from people. I grew up in the Adirondacks and we lived in Colorado Springs near the Rockies. We live in the Smokies now in TN. It is lovely, but too crowded. We live in the country 10 miles from town, but the vehicles on the road are noisy and a neighbor has ultralights and flies them in the quiet of the evenings and weekends.
    So far, the Rockies and the Adirondacks have been the best.

    Reply
  34. Put me in the mountains. I love the forests, meadows and distance from people. I grew up in the Adirondacks and we lived in Colorado Springs near the Rockies. We live in the Smokies now in TN. It is lovely, but too crowded. We live in the country 10 miles from town, but the vehicles on the road are noisy and a neighbor has ultralights and flies them in the quiet of the evenings and weekends.
    So far, the Rockies and the Adirondacks have been the best.

    Reply
  35. Put me in the mountains. I love the forests, meadows and distance from people. I grew up in the Adirondacks and we lived in Colorado Springs near the Rockies. We live in the Smokies now in TN. It is lovely, but too crowded. We live in the country 10 miles from town, but the vehicles on the road are noisy and a neighbor has ultralights and flies them in the quiet of the evenings and weekends.
    So far, the Rockies and the Adirondacks have been the best.

    Reply
  36. I’m with you, Patricia. I live near the Berkshire Downs in the south of the UK and you can still go up there for walks and not see a soul. If I feel I need to refresh and relax I’ll take the dog out and wander along the Ridgeway ancient track and listen to the birds and the wind in the pine trees… And then someone will fly over in a microlight that sounds like an enormous buzzing wasp!

    Reply
  37. I’m with you, Patricia. I live near the Berkshire Downs in the south of the UK and you can still go up there for walks and not see a soul. If I feel I need to refresh and relax I’ll take the dog out and wander along the Ridgeway ancient track and listen to the birds and the wind in the pine trees… And then someone will fly over in a microlight that sounds like an enormous buzzing wasp!

    Reply
  38. I’m with you, Patricia. I live near the Berkshire Downs in the south of the UK and you can still go up there for walks and not see a soul. If I feel I need to refresh and relax I’ll take the dog out and wander along the Ridgeway ancient track and listen to the birds and the wind in the pine trees… And then someone will fly over in a microlight that sounds like an enormous buzzing wasp!

    Reply
  39. I’m with you, Patricia. I live near the Berkshire Downs in the south of the UK and you can still go up there for walks and not see a soul. If I feel I need to refresh and relax I’ll take the dog out and wander along the Ridgeway ancient track and listen to the birds and the wind in the pine trees… And then someone will fly over in a microlight that sounds like an enormous buzzing wasp!

    Reply
  40. I’m with you, Patricia. I live near the Berkshire Downs in the south of the UK and you can still go up there for walks and not see a soul. If I feel I need to refresh and relax I’ll take the dog out and wander along the Ridgeway ancient track and listen to the birds and the wind in the pine trees… And then someone will fly over in a microlight that sounds like an enormous buzzing wasp!

    Reply
  41. Patricia, I’ve never lived in the mountains but I always love visiting them. The Rockies is a very appealing area if I were to relocate.
    But I guess there are “flies” in any paradise—planes would annoy me too!

    Reply
  42. Patricia, I’ve never lived in the mountains but I always love visiting them. The Rockies is a very appealing area if I were to relocate.
    But I guess there are “flies” in any paradise—planes would annoy me too!

    Reply
  43. Patricia, I’ve never lived in the mountains but I always love visiting them. The Rockies is a very appealing area if I were to relocate.
    But I guess there are “flies” in any paradise—planes would annoy me too!

    Reply
  44. Patricia, I’ve never lived in the mountains but I always love visiting them. The Rockies is a very appealing area if I were to relocate.
    But I guess there are “flies” in any paradise—planes would annoy me too!

    Reply
  45. Patricia, I’ve never lived in the mountains but I always love visiting them. The Rockies is a very appealing area if I were to relocate.
    But I guess there are “flies” in any paradise—planes would annoy me too!

    Reply
  46. Nicola, I’m like you and like find solitude important for recharging and relaxing, especially after a long day of intense concentration writing at the computer. Strangely enough, I find a nice getaway on my golf course, which is on a peninsula that juts into Long Island Sound. I goin early evening and walk 9 holes carrying my bag. There are marsh birds, herons, loons, hawks and seagulls all around. In the distance I see sailboats, and it’s amazingly peaceful. The sunsets are usually lovely, and the sea breezes ruffle through the tall fescue grasses, creating a soothing sound. I can work out the kinks in plots and characters as I play. My score? Who cares! I go home feeling happy.

    Reply
  47. Nicola, I’m like you and like find solitude important for recharging and relaxing, especially after a long day of intense concentration writing at the computer. Strangely enough, I find a nice getaway on my golf course, which is on a peninsula that juts into Long Island Sound. I goin early evening and walk 9 holes carrying my bag. There are marsh birds, herons, loons, hawks and seagulls all around. In the distance I see sailboats, and it’s amazingly peaceful. The sunsets are usually lovely, and the sea breezes ruffle through the tall fescue grasses, creating a soothing sound. I can work out the kinks in plots and characters as I play. My score? Who cares! I go home feeling happy.

    Reply
  48. Nicola, I’m like you and like find solitude important for recharging and relaxing, especially after a long day of intense concentration writing at the computer. Strangely enough, I find a nice getaway on my golf course, which is on a peninsula that juts into Long Island Sound. I goin early evening and walk 9 holes carrying my bag. There are marsh birds, herons, loons, hawks and seagulls all around. In the distance I see sailboats, and it’s amazingly peaceful. The sunsets are usually lovely, and the sea breezes ruffle through the tall fescue grasses, creating a soothing sound. I can work out the kinks in plots and characters as I play. My score? Who cares! I go home feeling happy.

    Reply
  49. Nicola, I’m like you and like find solitude important for recharging and relaxing, especially after a long day of intense concentration writing at the computer. Strangely enough, I find a nice getaway on my golf course, which is on a peninsula that juts into Long Island Sound. I goin early evening and walk 9 holes carrying my bag. There are marsh birds, herons, loons, hawks and seagulls all around. In the distance I see sailboats, and it’s amazingly peaceful. The sunsets are usually lovely, and the sea breezes ruffle through the tall fescue grasses, creating a soothing sound. I can work out the kinks in plots and characters as I play. My score? Who cares! I go home feeling happy.

    Reply
  50. Nicola, I’m like you and like find solitude important for recharging and relaxing, especially after a long day of intense concentration writing at the computer. Strangely enough, I find a nice getaway on my golf course, which is on a peninsula that juts into Long Island Sound. I goin early evening and walk 9 holes carrying my bag. There are marsh birds, herons, loons, hawks and seagulls all around. In the distance I see sailboats, and it’s amazingly peaceful. The sunsets are usually lovely, and the sea breezes ruffle through the tall fescue grasses, creating a soothing sound. I can work out the kinks in plots and characters as I play. My score? Who cares! I go home feeling happy.

    Reply
  51. My lawn guy is mowing right this minute. I live on a busy country road, if that makes any sense. Beautiful view of the mountains (when the leaves are down) and no close neighbors, but the logging trucks rumble by with regularity.In the summer, I can’t see them from my front porch, but I can hear them. If I could snap my fingers and move, I’d want a house on the water—fresh, salt, muddy, I wouldn’t care.

    Reply
  52. My lawn guy is mowing right this minute. I live on a busy country road, if that makes any sense. Beautiful view of the mountains (when the leaves are down) and no close neighbors, but the logging trucks rumble by with regularity.In the summer, I can’t see them from my front porch, but I can hear them. If I could snap my fingers and move, I’d want a house on the water—fresh, salt, muddy, I wouldn’t care.

    Reply
  53. My lawn guy is mowing right this minute. I live on a busy country road, if that makes any sense. Beautiful view of the mountains (when the leaves are down) and no close neighbors, but the logging trucks rumble by with regularity.In the summer, I can’t see them from my front porch, but I can hear them. If I could snap my fingers and move, I’d want a house on the water—fresh, salt, muddy, I wouldn’t care.

    Reply
  54. My lawn guy is mowing right this minute. I live on a busy country road, if that makes any sense. Beautiful view of the mountains (when the leaves are down) and no close neighbors, but the logging trucks rumble by with regularity.In the summer, I can’t see them from my front porch, but I can hear them. If I could snap my fingers and move, I’d want a house on the water—fresh, salt, muddy, I wouldn’t care.

    Reply
  55. My lawn guy is mowing right this minute. I live on a busy country road, if that makes any sense. Beautiful view of the mountains (when the leaves are down) and no close neighbors, but the logging trucks rumble by with regularity.In the summer, I can’t see them from my front porch, but I can hear them. If I could snap my fingers and move, I’d want a house on the water—fresh, salt, muddy, I wouldn’t care.

    Reply
  56. Maggie, you make perfect sense. “Busy country road” should be an oxymoron, but these days it isn’t. Right now I’, working with the windows open and it’s blissfully quiet save for twittering birds and the drone of crickets. But by tomorrow . . . the lawnmower will be back in gear. Sigh.
    Water is definitely nice setting. I’ve always loved the sound of the ocean at night. There is something about the elemental rhythm of ebb and flow that is very relaxing.

    Reply
  57. Maggie, you make perfect sense. “Busy country road” should be an oxymoron, but these days it isn’t. Right now I’, working with the windows open and it’s blissfully quiet save for twittering birds and the drone of crickets. But by tomorrow . . . the lawnmower will be back in gear. Sigh.
    Water is definitely nice setting. I’ve always loved the sound of the ocean at night. There is something about the elemental rhythm of ebb and flow that is very relaxing.

    Reply
  58. Maggie, you make perfect sense. “Busy country road” should be an oxymoron, but these days it isn’t. Right now I’, working with the windows open and it’s blissfully quiet save for twittering birds and the drone of crickets. But by tomorrow . . . the lawnmower will be back in gear. Sigh.
    Water is definitely nice setting. I’ve always loved the sound of the ocean at night. There is something about the elemental rhythm of ebb and flow that is very relaxing.

    Reply
  59. Maggie, you make perfect sense. “Busy country road” should be an oxymoron, but these days it isn’t. Right now I’, working with the windows open and it’s blissfully quiet save for twittering birds and the drone of crickets. But by tomorrow . . . the lawnmower will be back in gear. Sigh.
    Water is definitely nice setting. I’ve always loved the sound of the ocean at night. There is something about the elemental rhythm of ebb and flow that is very relaxing.

    Reply
  60. Maggie, you make perfect sense. “Busy country road” should be an oxymoron, but these days it isn’t. Right now I’, working with the windows open and it’s blissfully quiet save for twittering birds and the drone of crickets. But by tomorrow . . . the lawnmower will be back in gear. Sigh.
    Water is definitely nice setting. I’ve always loved the sound of the ocean at night. There is something about the elemental rhythm of ebb and flow that is very relaxing.

    Reply
  61. There is nothing nicer than to sit on the loading dock or in the aisle after feeding the horses and listening to the sounds of chewing and chomping and enjoying.
    Yep! Nothing nicer!

    Reply
  62. There is nothing nicer than to sit on the loading dock or in the aisle after feeding the horses and listening to the sounds of chewing and chomping and enjoying.
    Yep! Nothing nicer!

    Reply
  63. There is nothing nicer than to sit on the loading dock or in the aisle after feeding the horses and listening to the sounds of chewing and chomping and enjoying.
    Yep! Nothing nicer!

    Reply
  64. There is nothing nicer than to sit on the loading dock or in the aisle after feeding the horses and listening to the sounds of chewing and chomping and enjoying.
    Yep! Nothing nicer!

    Reply
  65. There is nothing nicer than to sit on the loading dock or in the aisle after feeding the horses and listening to the sounds of chewing and chomping and enjoying.
    Yep! Nothing nicer!

    Reply
  66. My favorite sound in the world right now is the singing of the frogs around our surburban lakefront house. It’s not a big lake, but big enough for the frogs–their song just lulls me to sleep. They stop if anyone comes near the edge of the lake, so they’re a good security system as well! As far as ideal places, apart from waterfront, beachfront places, I’d have to say a walled garden like the one described in Frances Hodges Burnett’s children classic _The Secret Garden_. I love rose gardens, especially, and could stay in them all day.

    Reply
  67. My favorite sound in the world right now is the singing of the frogs around our surburban lakefront house. It’s not a big lake, but big enough for the frogs–their song just lulls me to sleep. They stop if anyone comes near the edge of the lake, so they’re a good security system as well! As far as ideal places, apart from waterfront, beachfront places, I’d have to say a walled garden like the one described in Frances Hodges Burnett’s children classic _The Secret Garden_. I love rose gardens, especially, and could stay in them all day.

    Reply
  68. My favorite sound in the world right now is the singing of the frogs around our surburban lakefront house. It’s not a big lake, but big enough for the frogs–their song just lulls me to sleep. They stop if anyone comes near the edge of the lake, so they’re a good security system as well! As far as ideal places, apart from waterfront, beachfront places, I’d have to say a walled garden like the one described in Frances Hodges Burnett’s children classic _The Secret Garden_. I love rose gardens, especially, and could stay in them all day.

    Reply
  69. My favorite sound in the world right now is the singing of the frogs around our surburban lakefront house. It’s not a big lake, but big enough for the frogs–their song just lulls me to sleep. They stop if anyone comes near the edge of the lake, so they’re a good security system as well! As far as ideal places, apart from waterfront, beachfront places, I’d have to say a walled garden like the one described in Frances Hodges Burnett’s children classic _The Secret Garden_. I love rose gardens, especially, and could stay in them all day.

    Reply
  70. My favorite sound in the world right now is the singing of the frogs around our surburban lakefront house. It’s not a big lake, but big enough for the frogs–their song just lulls me to sleep. They stop if anyone comes near the edge of the lake, so they’re a good security system as well! As far as ideal places, apart from waterfront, beachfront places, I’d have to say a walled garden like the one described in Frances Hodges Burnett’s children classic _The Secret Garden_. I love rose gardens, especially, and could stay in them all day.

    Reply
  71. Oh, frogs are nice at night. I have a symphony of crickets, which are surprisingly loud and varied. I find them soothing but I was thinking the other night that a city dweller would probably be driven nuts for the first few nights.
    Your walled garden suggestion is wonderful.They really do create a world unto themselves. Very peaceful and relaxing. (Come to think of it, my other favorite place is a spa! Water sounds, aromatherapy, massages . . .sigh.)

    Reply
  72. Oh, frogs are nice at night. I have a symphony of crickets, which are surprisingly loud and varied. I find them soothing but I was thinking the other night that a city dweller would probably be driven nuts for the first few nights.
    Your walled garden suggestion is wonderful.They really do create a world unto themselves. Very peaceful and relaxing. (Come to think of it, my other favorite place is a spa! Water sounds, aromatherapy, massages . . .sigh.)

    Reply
  73. Oh, frogs are nice at night. I have a symphony of crickets, which are surprisingly loud and varied. I find them soothing but I was thinking the other night that a city dweller would probably be driven nuts for the first few nights.
    Your walled garden suggestion is wonderful.They really do create a world unto themselves. Very peaceful and relaxing. (Come to think of it, my other favorite place is a spa! Water sounds, aromatherapy, massages . . .sigh.)

    Reply
  74. Oh, frogs are nice at night. I have a symphony of crickets, which are surprisingly loud and varied. I find them soothing but I was thinking the other night that a city dweller would probably be driven nuts for the first few nights.
    Your walled garden suggestion is wonderful.They really do create a world unto themselves. Very peaceful and relaxing. (Come to think of it, my other favorite place is a spa! Water sounds, aromatherapy, massages . . .sigh.)

    Reply
  75. Oh, frogs are nice at night. I have a symphony of crickets, which are surprisingly loud and varied. I find them soothing but I was thinking the other night that a city dweller would probably be driven nuts for the first few nights.
    Your walled garden suggestion is wonderful.They really do create a world unto themselves. Very peaceful and relaxing. (Come to think of it, my other favorite place is a spa! Water sounds, aromatherapy, massages . . .sigh.)

    Reply

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