The Ranch.

A silver pick-up turns off the highway and onto a side-road, gravel crunching beneath the wheels. The driver opens the door, a wave of sage-tinted air rolls into the vehicle. Stepping out, he surveys his surroundings; A cluster of tall trees on either side of the road, wild plum bushes growing in the shade of the larger plants, wildflowers dot the road side. He walks over to the old rusty gate blocking his path to more wilderness, trees, and creatures. After a button has been pushed the gate slowly creaks open. The driver hops into his truck and pulls through, just before the gate shuts behind him.  The truck crawls down the road, now wagon tracks, partially so slow to look in awe at the nature surrounding him, and partially to look out for cows.

The drive is uneventful, and soon he reaches the second gate, which he opens in the same manner as the first. Now he enters The Ranch.  The wagon tracks turn to gravel again as he passes the old barn. Inside the old barn sits a tractor, a four-wheeler, and a golf-cart.

Then the cabin comes into view.

Cream-colored tin for the walls, and a red tin roof. Two story, with a small porch that housed two comfortable chairs.  A curving stone path cuts through the big green lawn to the porch. The lawn is shaded by ancient trees, and is also home to elaborate benches, and slabs of red orange rock. The yard is surrounded by a wood rail fence, old, yet sturdy.  A life-size statue of a heron stands in an open spot among the trees, wings open as if it were about to take off. It almost looks as if he is guarding the tomato garden, and the horseshoe setup nearby.

The first time you drive up it is like waking into a dream.

He enters the house, glancing at the sign on the door that says, “Mi casa es su casa.” My house is your house.  He opens the big wooden door into a small entry way will a rustic bench and a staircase to the side. The walls are wood  planked and have Native American dream-catchers hanging on them.

He walks into the living room. On a tall table sits a lamp. The base is made of rock, and the shade is metal with shapes punched out of the rim. The ceiling opens up to the second story, the balcony overlooking the room. There is a tan leather couch backed up to the table, and a glass coffee table is in the center of the room. A black chair is to the right of the coffee table, with a footrest and a small table beside it. Across the room from the chair is another, with common material but intricate designs. Pillows top the couch and a rustic rug covers the floor beneath all of the above. A fireplace is across from the couch, and you can just picture a crackling, popping fire roaring there in the winter.

Then he enters the dining room and kitchen, where an old, old wooden table centers the room, a fridge on one side, a stove on the other. He opens the back door, and steps onto a roomy deck, where an outdoor table and several matching chairs sit. Looking over the railing you survey the huge yard, trees on either side, and open in the middle so you can see the creek.  He can hear the waterfall, birds, and locust. Crickets chirp. Two swings hang high in the branches of an old mulberry tree.  Flower pots crowd one corner of the deck, bright colors bursting from each.

Wooden table-and-benches are placed side by side in the shade of the cabin.

Oh, if heaven were on earth, this would be it.



(This description is based on a real place, a family get away, paid for by my great grandmother. It contains a cabin as described, and 400 acres of woodland, the creek, and hills. It is really a wonderful place and I would like to publicly thank my great grandmother for letting us all use it.)

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