Friday, September 3, 2010

Didn't Realize

A revelation sneaked up on me last night while watching the news. Oblivious to what is around me, I move across days, weeks, years unappreciative of those places that dot the weather man's map. Astoria with the fishing boats and ships coming into the great Columbia. Mt. St. Helens peaking up across the river occasionally sending up a plume. Cannon Beach with Haystack Rock. Tillamook with the dairy farms nestled close to the ocean. Mt. Hood with its sharp snowy peak. The national forests that cover the Coastal Range. The vineyards in the Willamette Valley, right along with the hazel nut trees. The Gorge and Multnomah Falls. The fish ladders at Bonneville Dam. The great, blue Pacific. Lava caves in Eastern Oregon and the high desert. Cowboy country to the south. I could go on and on about the bounty here. A bounty that I have grown accustomed to.

It dawned on me that on Neff Road had a bounty, too, that I took for granted by just growing up there. Of course, the little girl in me would have answered that we had lots of good stuff like Joy Land, Ludlow Falls, Celina lake, the Greenville swimming pool and the old Hamburger Shop. The adult in me who has lived away all these years has a different view of the richness around our little neighborhood.

The simplicity of the Mennonite community gave us horse and buggies, the meeting house, bonneted women and whiskered men, houses lit by lantern light. The Indian mounds and Ohio Caverns. Museums: Garth and Wright Patterson. Bears Mill and Ft. Greenville, The Indian digs and state parks. I know there is more places I didn't realize were visitor sites. I didn't know that even our own simple countryside was scenic and lovely. I didn't realize how precious was our way of life, old homes, rolling fields of grain, pastures of cows and sheep.

I just didn't realize. I didn't realize on Neff Road.

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