Love Where You Are Planted

Our Backyard Garden

I got sent off to boarding school at the ripe old age of fourteen. It was six hours from home and was a military school. I was pretty miserable for a few months. Then it dawned on me that there will be times in your life that you will have little control of where you are. What you can control is how you choose to react that the situation and your location.
Four years later when I got in my car and drove the twelve hours by myself to Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I was determined to make the best of it. I had never been there, but I planned to push my limits.
As a married adult, I have lived in eight different homes in two provinces and three states. At least one was a little insular but we managed to find good people in all places.
From 2006 until 2021, we had a home on the North Carolina coast. It was on the water and had stunning views. I am a photographer so I was in paradise with all the water and big birds. I had a wonderful time. When we got ready to move, our friends started asking what beauty could we possibly find to compare all the scenery at the coast.
I simply smiled and said I am confident that there will be lots of things to capture with my cameras. That has turned out to be the cast.
When you have lived in a lot of places, you probably figure out quickly that there are no perfect places for those us not in the ranks of the super rich. We bought our current house during the pandemic-fueled housing boom. We are very pleased that it has turned out even better than we expected.
While I don’t have great egrets, great blue herons and otters at my beck and call, I do have beautiful forest and fields that remind me of where I grew up.
That is no real surprise because we moved back to the area near where my mother’s family settled in 1790. When I was wandering the hills and forests of the area in the fifties, I was living on Styers Street not far from Styers Ferry Road which happened to be named for my great grandfather who ran a ferry across the Yadkin River. So this is home, but it is more than that.
This is one of few rural areas in North Carolina where you have modern services and are within a few minutes of about everything that your consumer heart can imagine. On top of that we are blessed with farmers’ markets all through the summer.
After years of tolerating faux beach grass, we are now living where our yards don’t feel squishy when you step in them. We have a real backyard that is unlikely to ever flood. It is big enough for us to have a small garden.
Settling into an area which was not far from where I grew up is one of the most pleasant moves that I have ever made. I am just a few minutes from one of my grade school fishing buddies.
I laugh when some of my northern friends talk about North Carolina’s humidity. The thing is when we moved from the coast to the Piedmont, we took a serious step down in humidity. Summer humidity is very real across the South, but there are degrees of it and the marshes along the coast can feel like you’re being swallowed by the humidity.
Here in the Piedmont there is fall and spring. If you have ever lived on the coast, you know that both fall and spring are very subtle. Here in the Piedmont they are a riot of colors.
I wonder if I have enough time left to try living in the desert?

Author: ocracokewaves

An escapee from the world of selling technology, now living on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks where life revolves around sun, sand, and water. I work at WideOpen Networks helping communities get fiber to their homes. In my spare time I am a photographer, writer, boater, fisherman, kayaker, swimmer, and walker of the beaches.

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