Good things come in threes: December

Three really ordinary things that made me extraordinarily happy


  1. Exploring with Ella

A couple of days ago, my little sister and I braved the 20 degree weather to traipse across the countryside surrounding our house and pay a visit to my favorite plant–a charismatic mountain of old man’s beard that adorns a fence along a country road on the way to town. It’s the only plant of its kind in the area as far as I know, and I make a point to check on it every time I come home. We also hiked around the lake and stopped to look at yuccas along the county road. Ella really liked it.

“This is the most interesting thing I’ve done all day,” she said.

That was pretty nice, especially because I understood just what she meant. I know the feeling of the slow winter days at home in Dublin, when even the eyes of the gas station clerk or the sight of a familiar face at the grocery store added a sense of intrigue to the flat expanses of a holiday afternoon. Glad I could liven up her day!

  1. Mom’s succulent plant

Her tips for growing a succulent plant this lush: a little bit of water and LOTS of sunlight. It’s in a windowsill right now, but it spends non-freezing days out on a little pedestal in the yard (maybe the special treatment of being placed on its own pedestal helped too).

  1. The new piece of land behind our house

Of all the possible reasons to purchase fifty acres of land, Granddad’s rationale behind buying this one is the weirdest I’ve ever heard–apparently a couple of generations back, one of our relatives killed one of our other relatives in a house that used to stand back in the woods at the end of the pasture. Lovely.

Familial murders aside, it is a pretty field. There’s a huge hill covered in tufts of Texas bluestem (it’s orange in winter), a deer blind which doubles as a scenic lookout, and a creek with enough small artifacts of human living that it could provide years of interesting exploring. My favorite part is the way the different grasses form a patchwork across the field.  In the evenings the coyotes in the woods around it organize small choirs that yip and howl and serenade…who? Other coyotes I guess. I’m looking forward to exploring it more in the future!

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