What Is Your View?

Reader Contribution by Keba M Hitzeman
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This swing makes me happy – I love the blue of the morning glory flowers

There are several groups that have come into existence on Facebook since the beginning of the year, centered around the theme of “a view from my window.” They ask for members to send a picture of just that – a view from their window, to provide other members with a glimpse into where they are during this world-wide stay-at-home time. Photos reflect many styles of living – near water, in high-rise apartments, rural, urban, suburban, manicured, “lived in,” well-to-do, just getting by, and everything in between. It’s been a fascinating look into how people see themselves and their view, by the choice of window/door they choose to take a picture from, to their text explaining that view. I would guess that many don’t submit a photo because they feel embarrassed because they don’t have a swimming pool, or live next to a nature preserve, or have a view of the sunrise or sunset. And some apologize for their view because they don’t have those things. I find all of the views beautiful because they are new to me – even the more familiar views I saw from Cincinnati and Columbus!

Many folks have included stories with their view – what they are doing while staying at home, who is with them, thoughts about the pandemic, a piece of history regarding their house, along with well-wishes for the people who are reading. At times, the poster will write about their own hopes and fears for the current situation and for what the future might hold, but that they are grateful for this time because they have been able to enjoy their home/family/neighborhood more.

Seeing so many varied views from all over the planet got me thinking about my own views. Each direction holds a different facet that doesn’t tell the whole story of this farm, but when you put them all together, the whole farm can be seen.

The view towards the west, from my front yard

Looking west from the house, it’s a study in how many different greens there can be. Grass, maple trees, mulberries, asters, burdock, some thistle and nettle, the lighter green of the crops, then the darker green of the woods on the other side of the fields. I can only see patches of the fields through the trees right now. The browns of the soil and the tree trunks are present, but the overwhelming sensation is green and growth.

South is dominated by the bank barn, with the garage, smaller barns, and the chicken coops on the periphery, against a backdrop of more green. The electric pole stands tall in the center of the circle of buildings. Chickens wander around pecking at the grasses and looking for bugs, and all of the farm equipment passes this way to get to and from equipment barns and the fields. This is Grand Central Station for the farm.

People and “civilization” are to the east. Our town is pretty quiet, but I can hear the motorcycles and semis on the north/south state route. I’ll catch a whiff of dryer sheets and cookouts (and sometimes the water treatment plant…), and I always look that direction at 10:00am on the second Wednesday of the month when the siren goes off up town (that’s tornado siren test time).

North is the entrance to the farm and another view of the crop ground and pastures. North is also our front yard/pasture/dog run, and home to what has become one of my favorite places to sit and view the farm.

Looking toward the swing from my front porch – Lola also likes being out here!

This poor porch swing had been sitting in barn storage for a long time since our covered back porch is also a project staging area. Not much room to hang a swing! I wasn’t much a fan of the 4×4 treated lumber frames, but finally found a cedar log frame that I liked. After I got it put together correctly (I managed to put the top bar on upside down and had to disassemble things to flip it right way up), then came the big decision on where to put it in the yard. Up against the fence and near the fire pit seemed good, and it was the right decision. The tall bushes behind the swing block the morning sun, making it the perfect spot for morning coffee and gearing up for the day ahead. It does get the afternoon sun, but not for very long (thanks to all those trees to the west!), so I can enjoy a fire and a beverage in the evenings. Plus, our dog can be with us in the yard, and the chickens can’t get in to be nuisances. It is a place for thinking, talking, and relaxing, where I’m surrounded by the place I call home. That makes it the best view to me!

What is your “best view” for relaxing?

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