And one of the most beautiful locations in Arkansas is directly behind my house. A creek meanders along, white capping in a few spots and pooling in others. When deciding where to build the house, I walked up and down the creek again and again, then hiked to the top of the adjacent hill, seeking out the most perfect view.
Since that time, I have occasionally suggested that a sweet gazebo closer to the creek would be lovely. My sweet husband probably heard it more as nagging, but … well, surely I was simply providing him an opportunity to better express his love for me. Right?!
So a couple years into the occasional reminder from his lovely wife, he passed the project on to my 16-year-old son Chase, who can build or create anything. Truly. Anything at all.
We had acquired a playground roof that had been allocated for the dump. It was – it is – bright red and plastic, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Chase talked with me about where I wanted the gazebo – somewhere where I had a clear view of the creek – and what I wanted there – just needed to be able to sit and place a cup of coffee on a side table. And then there was the issue of snakes. I’m not particularly afraid of snakes, but I’m also not fond of the idea of them coming up to me unannounced. So, he cleared and leveled the ground and bought a whole lot of Quikrete so that I would have a solid white floor where nothing could arrive without my knowledge.
He has a pretty refined sense of what is right and what is wrong, and he was sure having a plastic roof was wrong. He begged me not to have a plastic roof. He tried getting his grandma to plead his case. Unfortunately, having just opened a business, we Careys are completely broke, so we kept the plastic roof. As long as it keeps me in the shade and out of the rain, I think it’s fine.
My recycled and son-made gazebo was soon complete, and the hubby placed a table and chair from our front porch down there for me. The next problem was that the 100 yards from my house down to the gazebo are not easy to traverse and could easily have snakes along the leaf-strewn path. (Have I mentioned that my beautiful creek is aptly named Moccasin Creek? Snakes are a common occurrence.)
I had sweetly asked the husband to begin gathering rocks to create a path for me to saunter down. As we grow rocks rather than plants out in the woods, it wasn’t going to be a horrid task finding enough rocks. Relocating them was going to be another story. But then I drove up to my parents’ house and there was my dad, gleefully tearing up an old sidewalk to nowhere. He was sitting on his little dozer, and I swear he was smiling from ear to ear.
His smile was matched by mine. “Whatchya doin’ with that?” I asked. And in less than five minutes, Dad’s trash was my treasure. The sidewalk had been built decades ago, and one of the stones has my brother’s and my name etched in the concrete. Could there be anything better?!
So let me recap this for you: In the middle of nowhere, there is a house in the middle of the woods. A creeks runs below the house. And now, next to the creek, the property boasts a tiny gazebo made with a red, plastic roof and with a path leading to it made up of trashed sidewalk parts.
Every. Single. Part. Makes. Me. Happy.
This is my happy place.
Almost every day, I am drawn to the creek. I sit there and listen to the water flow for 15 minutes or maybe for an hour. I drink a cup of coffee. I read a book. I pet my dog, who always joins me because he loves me and he loves the creek. I look at the concrete floor, and am thankful for a teenaged son that took the time to make sure the snakes don’t get me. I walk the stones and am thankful for a family that gave me a blessed childhood and a husband never once complained about this project, at least to me.
This, yes, this is my happy place. Where is yours?
You can link to a small clip here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10204010166756585&l=2684328205051986614