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The Suburbanite
  • STEVE KING: Outdoor guests offer life perspectives

  • Every morning, just after daybreak, and then every evening, just before dusk we get breakfast and dinner company at our house.

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  • Every morning, just after daybreak, and then every evening, just before dusk we get breakfast and dinner company at our house.
    It’s two families, as different from each other as we are from both of them.  
    Though we’ve never invited them, they still show up. In fact, they showed up this morning just before I sat down to write.
    We don’t care at all that they’ve broken the rules of social decorum and invited themselves. In fact, we’re more than glad they come.
    They’re our friends, this family of wild turkeys – a mother and three little ones, who aren’t really little anymore. They’re as big as their mom.
    These turkeys are always welcome, just as the family of deer – three does and two fawns – are welcome to visit at any time.
    The turkeys waddle out of the woods on one side of our property, pecking through the lawn for food as they work their way toward the woods on the other side. They disappear into the woods as quietly and inconspicuously as they arrived.
    The deer spring out of the woods on the other side of the propety. It doesn’t take long for them to begin crunching on the apples and pears that are still on the low branches – or have fallen from the branches – of four trees.
    All the while, the adults in both families keep on the lookout for trouble – for us, though we’re not trouble. We’re hardly a threat to them. We wouldn’t hurt them for anything.
    But so keen are their senses that even if we just stand at a window in the house, they immediately spot us and stare at us to see what we’re up to.
    Nothing, we would tell them. We just love watching them.
    This may not seem like anything to you. In fact, it may seem stupid, or silly, or both.
    Watching animals? Getting a kick out of turkeys and deer?
    Don’t get a kick, people, you might tell us. Just get a life.
    We have, and we love it.
    When we were younger, we didn’t watch the animals in our backyards. We had more important stuff to do. What those things were, we really don’t remember now. But it doesn’t matter.
    What we do remember is older people telling us of the delight they got in watching the animals in their own yards.
    We would grunt and think to ourselves, “That’s what gray-haired people do? They stand and watch things? Geez! As for us, we’re cool; We’re now. We keep moving and doing things. There’s a big difference between our lives and theirs.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Yes, there was.
    What they understood then – and we understand now – is that the best things in life are free. While we were going here and there spending money on things we thought would make us happy, they stood there and got a warm glow in their hearts without ever having to reach into their wallets.
    Mother Nature provides quite a show, especially now with the changing colors of the leaves. If you look at that and aren’t emotionally moved to the point of saying, “Wow!,” then you had better check your pulse. Or your attitude on life.
    Or your schedule. You’re way too busy.
    But on top of that, to see the animals move in and out of those colorful trees is like the scene from the movie, Field of Dreams.
    Is this heaven?
    No, it’s Ohio.
    Oh, I thought it was heaven.
    Go ahead and laugh, young people. We did, too, when we were your age.
    But you’ll get there someday and when you do, you’ll realize what we were talking about.
    Turkeys and deer and just standing there and doing nothing other than taking it all in, is pretty cool.
    In fact, it doesn’t get any better.

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