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The World I See Through My Windows
Part One


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How I loved to travel. Moving from place to place was an adventure with many new experiences awaiting my discovery. How I miss day trips to see Texas Bluebonnets intermingled with Indian Paintbrush in spring and flying to Vermont for a weekend to drink in magnificent fall colors. Given my advancing disability I have accepted the fact that traveling for pleasure is no longer an option for me.

I pondered the idea of spending the greater portion of my life in a one bedroom apartment far from the bustling crowds attending plays, symphonies and movie theaters. No longer able to travel packed highways visiting family and friends or dance with my better half is a bitter pill for both of us to swallow. What are my options to be able to continue to view the world within my limited reach now?

My first thought was, keep an open mind to all possibilities; and the second one—open my eyes so I can see through those windows to the world!

I feel privileged to live in our bright, comfortable apartment with friendly neighbors. Partial home-bound status can have many positives. The first windows to the world are obvious: large sunlit front, back and side windows enable me to observe activities in the courtyards.

And what activities there are! Daily I see neighbors walking their prancing canine friend(s); residents, with their care givers in tow, ambling slowly with walkers, advancing to walking with canes and then no helpers as healing is complete. Hurrah for them!

And dancing? I can tap my toes as I sit in my wheelchair and sway to the beat complete with memories of how much fun I had in my younger days dancing the night away or watching the joy and energy of participants in line-dancing class.

What fun it is to watch as neighbors tending their patio plants add beautiful color to the landscape. How I relish envisioning a grandparent taking their visiting grandchild to the swimming pool, returning a short time later, faces aglow with pleasure.

I enjoy watching the landscape change as winter sends its last cool spell our way and spring brings a hope of greening plants with promised blossoms of all colors. Charming white Ligustrum ... cheerful crape myrtle, white and shades of pink ... delicate white and pink Indian Hawthorne ... fragrant red roses ... and my neighbor's burgundy red and bronze bougainvillea. I notice the bees hovering over the Indian Hawthorne and Ligustrum. Suddenly a myriad of birds appear. Mourning doves, sparrows, wrens, mockingbirds, raptors and more find their breakfast, lunch and supper just outside my windows. Several months later mama birds return with their babies to partake in the feast.

Into the hot and dry summer, Texas cotton tailed rabbits with oversized ears venture into the courtyard foraging for green tidbits of fresh grass. An occasional armadillo lumbers through the courtyards intent on who knows what and-that garden snake showing up uninvited in our entry way!

One of the most interesting creatures is the lizard with a grass-green body and balloon-like bright red throat expanding and contracting at will, thriving on branches of trees and bushes. Then comes the arrival of the butterflies—especially the Monarchs—and various swallowtails, flitting through the sunlight, racing to who knows where. Evening shadows bring out hopping toads of all sizes.

Fall in Texas may or may not bring cooler days as I watch grass turn from green to brown in anticipation of another winter, knowing spring is not far behind. Migrating birds head South, landing on rooftops to be admired before taking flight again.

Listen, there's a helicopter overhead, followed by a small plane from the local airport flying low—you may catch a quick glance. When luck is with you, a fighter plane from Ellington or large passenger plane from Hobby Airport can be spotted against the Texas sky.

Who says I do not have windows to the world?