200. Kitchen windows
© Bruce Goodman 28 April 2014

(This is the 200th story – without a break. I can’t help but feel mildly pleased!)

What can I do that’s different for the 200th story? Something a little bizarre.

I know! I’ll show you the views from my kitchen windows over the last thirteen years; what I looked at while peeling the potatoes, burning dinner and washing the dishes. I’ve moved around a bit. You see, I rent (not own) so I keep having to move on! (I can’t afford to buy my own!) In every place I’ve planted a beautiful orchard, and a wondrous vegetable garden, and a fantastic flower garden, and never seen the long-term results.

Here’s the view from my kitchen window in South Turkey Creek Road, Leicester, North Carolina. That’s Mount Hanlon in the background. The place was Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s. He was known as the Minstrel of the Appalachians and wrote the song Mountain Dew. I rented from his lovely family; the nicest family in the world! (apart from mine). One could often hear the call of the coyotes coming from the mountain. Mr Moog of Moog Synthesizer fame lived just down the road. We weren’t too far from the real Cold Mountain of Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain. And then of course, Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg and O. Henry had all lived in the greater area. It was a wonderful place. The little patch bottom left was my herb garden. Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart. But, ah! I am an illegal immigrant and must move on…

Here’s the first of two views from the kitchen window in Rang Sainte-Catherine, Saint-Victor, Quebec. A little icy! Minus 40°C.

And here’s the view out the other window in summer. The lake had trout in it, and deer and moose and bears and all sorts would come to drink. I loved being tucked up and cosy in bed and hearing the wolves chattering spookily to each other at night. Please note that I have mowed the lawn! The grounds were 17 acres, and I would collect syrup from the maple trees in late winter/early spring. The place was magic. But, ah! I am an illegal immigrant and must move on…

Here is the view at Tuakau, New Zealand. Palm tree-with-rats-living-in-it outside the window. And the neighbours nearby. I’m not fond of having close neighbours. The house was freezing. One neighbour had 7 cats and 13 dogs. We shared a common driveway. Give me the rats any day. I lasted there for 4 months! It was about an hour’s drive to Hobbiton where they filmed parts of LOTR and The Hobbit. Bruce Potter lives in this small town of Tuakau. He is internationally known as a children’s book illustrator; for example, he illustrated Witi Ihimaera’s The Whale Rider. I was so cold, you wouldn’t believe. And the landlord said, the seven broken windows “are more broken”. I said I’d simply cleaned the unbroken bits. But she still made me pay to get them fixed. And I must, after that, move on…

The following was the kitchen window in Onewhero, New Zealand. A bit more in the country. It usually had cows and sheep in the field beyond the window. Onewhero is pronounced On-air-fair-row. The wh is an f in Maori. The word means Red Soil. Feel free to grunt in admiration at the corn and sunflowers. Wild edible mushrooms grew everywhere, and we had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for weeks and weeks. The power lines fell down in a storm, and the landlord’s estranged wife (who was on the property’s Trust Board) refused to have them fixed, because new lines would “ruin the view and lower the value of the property”. I have no electricity. I must move on…

Here we are at Pukekawa, New Zealand. It’s nearly all onion crops around. The window needs a clean, but the dishes are done. The house was incredible. It was a very high house with tall flowering trees everywhere. It was like living in a tree house. I loved it. Ah! What a wondrous garden you have made, said the landlord. We are going to sell the house while it looks so beautiful. And I must move on…

Finally, here’s my current kitchen view; at Wairamarama, New Zealand. Wild Turkeys everywhere. And pheasants. And cockatoos. And rosella parakeets. And tui birds. Wairamarama means Reflections on Water. I guess it’s a good place name to live at if one is trying to write! Except, when I write I don’t look out the window. As the author, Janet Frame, once (paraphrased) said: You can wander the cafes of Paris drinking coffee and dreaming of becoming a famous author. Go home, lock the door, draw the curtain, and write.

The landlord has just given three weeks notice! They want to move back in! The search for a home is back on!

I knew before I started that this posting would be bloody uninteresting!!!

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