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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…