Okay. This is the third (and final) installment of my adventure. If you’re just now “tuning in”, I suggest you start back at the beginning.
So, as I continued to meander home with three 4″x4″x12′ posts sticking out the back of my wife’s SUV, I passed and admired many a happy home (AEB: well manicured lawns, beautiful decor and colorful flower-beds). After driving by the home pictured here, I literally said “Wow!” out loud to myself. Then I thought “A ‘Wow!’ deserves a stop. So, I put it into reverse to rest in front of the beautiful home. As I did so, I noticed three people standing deep in the driveway, who looked in my direction. I thought to myself, “If I was standing in my driveway and saw an unfamiliar SUV with the back hatch open and boards sticking out the back backing up, I would probably meander in that direction to see exactly what was going on”. So, as I leaned across the seat and snapped a picture with my iPhone, the owner came into sight. “Oh oh! I’m pinched!” I’d been caught openly admiring the guy’s house! Do I speed off? There is, after all, NO WAY for him to catch my license plate (it was facing skyward – the hatch was open, remember?). But wait a minute – I’m the happy therapist! How could I possibly miss an opportunity to give someone a sincere compliment. So, I greeted his puzzled face with a warm smile. “Hello!” (Side note: I just caught myself smiling as I write this) His “Hello” back was laced with bewilderment but I was quite open with the stranger. I told him I was forced to take side-streets since the 4″x4″s were too long for my wife’s SUV and I was taking the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful homes along the way. I told him about my “Wow!”. We both knew it was a little weird but neither of us cared enough to stop us from expressing gratitude for the beautiful day, the comforts of modern life and the amazing opportunities this country gives us to live so affluently. I told him a bit about my retaining wall project and asked him about the landscaping. He told me how the beautiful plants and flowers had come to fruition and how he does indeed feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Before the conversation turned overtly awkward we wished one another a good summer. In parting, I told him I hope that he appreciates living in his home every day. We parted with a wave, a smile and shared appreciation for another beautiful day.
Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist