The Long Way Around

My mom and sister live about 20 minutes away from me in a gated community. Between social visits and dog and cat sitting, I’m over there quite a bit. Before my mom gave me a spare remote gate opener, I often felt the drive from my house to the front entrance of their neighborhood was only half the journey. Nowadays, I use the remote and I can enter through the back entrance. Once I gain access through this gate, their house is a mere two turns from my point of entry. It is truly a time and distance saver.

Contrast this to visiting before I had the remote. After pulling up to the main gate, I give the security guard my name, the address I would be visiting and my relationship to the resident. He or she writes down my license and make and model of my car, then phones the house and obtains permission for me to enter the subdivision.

Once through the main gate, I meander through the neighborhood towards the back where my sister’s house is located: left, left, right, left, left, right…A total of ten turns in all before I reach my final destination. Needless to say, I was grateful when my mom gave me the extra gate remote.

On my most recent visit, I again took the shortest route on my way in, but decided to take the long way back out. It’s been a long while since I took this route and I had forgotten all the sights on the way. There are beautiful homes of various styles ranging from southern colonial to Mediterranean splendor. There are small, man-made lakes with graceful fountains in their centers, beautiful landscaping and walking trails throughout. In the center of this community of homes is a large lake flanked on one side with a stacked rock cascading waterfall. It is home to several species of ducks and other water fowl. The stars of this aviary show are the graceful, white swans, which can be found here year round.

I decided to pull my car over and watch them for awhile. As I sat in my car, I thought back to the last time I had driven by this spot. Back then, there were four adult swans and six grey ducklings. I wondered if either of the two swans I saw today were once among the ugly ducklings I saw so many months ago.

I suppose I’ll never know for sure. Because while it’s true the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line, often the long way around is infinitely more interesting and educational.

To reward myself for taking the road less traveled, I got out of my car and chased all the ducks back into the lake. Cuz I’m mature like that…

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15 Responses to “The Long Way Around”

  1. Cheryl Lewis January 28, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    >It sounds as though we could be neighbors (near a gated community, but not quite inside). I used to work at a country club and loved to use my passkey to drive past the stunning homes. Then we built a cabin near a teeny, country community and now I see far more poverty than wealth.

    Do you know what I have discovered? (This will sound bizarre.) I almost envy the people, despite their dilapidated homes since, every time I drive past, they are sitting on the front porch with family and watching kids play in the yards. Yes, there is evidence of great need, but the signs of community are also strong in a way that I don't often find behind secured gates. Few of my neighbors in our ritzy part of town even know each other's names.

    I guess that was way, way off topic. Haha. Welcome to my head.

  2. Russell Holloway January 28, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    >So true … the long way often teaches us more. Great thoughts … 🙂

  3. Maureen January 28, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    >Glad you didn't let this get tooo… serious.

    Seriously, though, I enjoyed your post very much.

    Most of the communities around here that are gated seem to have no human inhabitants. The wildlife have it pretty good.

  4. Cassandra Frear January 28, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    >I love watching birds. Water birds are so much fun for me. Even ordinary ones like mallards. I'd have stopped to watch, too.

  5. Steph @Red Clay Diaries January 28, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    >Yes, but did you flap your arms and squawk at them? (Not that I would do that; just curious.)

  6. bman January 28, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    >There was so much to take from that… and then you chase the ducks into the lake.

    This is why we get along.

  7. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus January 28, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    >Once again, you have me sighing in agreement at your insights … and then, five seconds later, laughing at your antics.

    I love this place.

  8. Marni January 28, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    >Those last two sentences remind me of "Deep Thoughts, with Jack Handy". And that is why I love you.

  9. V.V. Denman January 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    >Love the blog. It's a nice reminder to slow down and pay attention. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Bridget Chumbley January 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    >I have to agree with Marni… you could totally be a writer for Deep Thoughts!

    Just about the time I'm going "Awwww…" I end up breaking out in laughter.

    Love it!

  11. jasonS January 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    >Great point and I loved that you chased the ducks. You keep getting cooler and cooler. 🙂

  12. Heather of the EO January 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    >Oh yes…I have taken more detours, more long ways in my life than most people. but I find it really is all for a reason and it's amazing how God can pull you back to the main road, the lighter road with more freedom and make it all good.

    I love that you chased them, OF COURSE you did 🙂

  13. BeckeyZ January 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    >I really need to get out. I've been in "stuck in the house" mode for several weeks now, and it's draining me.

    Loved your post – I guess I should go find some ducks to chase now.

  14. L.T. Elliot January 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    >We all need to chase the ducks sometimes. I like to watch their funny waddles.

  15. Lyla Lindquist January 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    >Keep trying to get myself to believe that "getting there is half the fun." Have just never been one to appreciate the process nearly as much as the outcome, or in this case, the journey as much as the destination.

    Meanwhile, I'm thinking it's a good thing you have the remote since the guard likely has your plate number written down for other reasons after the thing with the ducks.

    Great stuff.

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