Whenever I look upon this landscape, I am reminded again and again how very blessed I am to live here. I grew up in Queens, New York and although we had a backyard, it was probably only 30'x30' at most. We had no trees surrounding us. Just a few shrubs put in by building contractors. My father planted Japanese Maple saplings and my mother planted a Kwansan Cherry seedling several years later. I don't remember seeing squirrels. The only birds I recall were sparrows and starlings. Of course I was a child then and didn't pay much attention, but I think I would have remembered cardinals and bluejays, squirrels and other small animals. When I think of these creatures, memories of my grandparents' summer home in Putnam County or my aunt and uncle's home in Suffolk County come to mind.
Living here for the past eighteen years has done much good for my psyche. Part of thirteen acres owned by various family members on my husband's side, this former dairy farm of 30+ acres still enchants. Not the home in the country I always dreamed of, it is satisfying nonetheless. I have space to garden, room for sheds and barns to house the equipment and materials of our various hobbies, a front and screened back porch in which to sit and enjoy the sights, sounds and scents. I am content.