Saturday, October 07, 2006

Now I can appreciate the cover

The dogwoods and maples are among the few trees which have changed colors so far, although I've spied an isolated red leaf in the oak trees. I have been so eager for the leaves to start changing and for the weather to grow cooler that I almost forgot to enjoy the umbrella which softens my neighborhood. This time of year the dense overhang on the tree lined streets seems particularly lush, right before they change colors and drop their leaves. I love winter with bare bark and silouettes against the sky as I love the burst of color in the fall. However, my neighborhood loses much of it's charm once the leaves have dropped and exposed the rather boring houses which for the most part are one of about 4 different plans. There are a few variations which have been made through the years. There are a few interesting gardens that have continued interest through the seasons. Overall though it's in winter that I remember why I didn't understand how people could live in the new subdivisions that were being built in the late 60s. Back then I was a child and to me the houses all looked alike as they tore through forest to slap down the boring stock planned homes. It is of course all relative. While I remember when my current neighborhood was forest, my Godmother remembered when my childhood neighborhood was a farm. I think of my childhood neighborhood as being an old neighborhood not that far from downtown but to my Godmother who was born in 1905 or so, the old neighborhoods were downtown. I've always found different perspectives interesting. When we were first married, my husband and I visited our Grandmothers in the mountains, they both wanted us to see new neighborhoods and shopping centers. Our grandmothers lived in different states but were both in the same general mountains. My grandmother was in Boone, NC and my husband's grandmother was in Bristol, TN. Although they didn't know each other, my grandmother remembered shopping in my husband's grandfathers store. As a matter of fact some of my mother's wedding presents came from my husband's grandfather's store which sold china and crystal. The perspective of our granparents was that it was progress to have new neighborhoods and stores being built in their town. Having started a family during the depression, they both seemed to see progress in terms of growth where I could only see the moutainside ripped into by bulldozers. It blows me away how much the mountains have been developed but still not to the extent of where I live. What was once forest and farms in my area is now subdivison after subdivision and strip mall after strip mall. The last picture in this meandering blog entry on a rainy Saturday morning was take taken in mountains in the 1980s and I posted it on my blog before the crash when I lost everything I posted so I'm reprieving it here. Water to an extent is the salvation of the natural world I love. The trails in my neighborhood tend to follow the creeks to lakes that prevented the developments from taking away all the habitat for migratory birds and so many other animals. The same is true in the mountains. You can't build a shopping mall on top of a waterfall or I don't think you can. At the same time thinking about my daughter's great grandparents and their perspective I realize that people need jobs and homes and nothing is clear cut. I am grateful for the forests and trails that remain.

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