Talk About a Room With a View!

By DOTTY CRONAN | Jun 21, 2017

Our recent, first trip to San Francisco lavished beautiful vistas upon us like sprinkles on ice cream. The view from our ninth-floor hotel room was spectacular in the brilliant sunshine, and in the dark of night, lit up like a forest of Christmas trees. The view of the deep blue Pacific Ocean from The Cliff House restaurant was breathtaking. The waves crashing against the boulders kept us mesmerized through the entire meal with our son and daughter-in-law, now San Fran residents.

My hubby and I are now back home with our recent memories and our own room with a view, our living room! Our first morning home, as I settled into my lounge chair, placed my first cup of steaming coffee on my oak table and picked up my Bible, I breathed a sigh of satisfaction. Like the other Dorothy, home from Oz, I, too, felt it was good to be home.

It was a rainy morning, but I felt sunny inside. As I peacefully looked up from my reading and gazed through our sliding glass doors, across our shiny deck and wide lagoon to the beautiful protected woodland 100 feet from my chair, my attention was snapped back to the sliding doors. Something small had streaked past. Two seconds later it streaked back again; it was a silly squirrel running back and forth right up against the house. The hyper little guy kept me pleasantly amused while I tried to discern what the heck he was up to.

The next movement that caught my attention was the birds pecking hurriedly at soggy bread crumbs on the deck. I laughed out loud when I realized the birds were soaking wet while the smart little squirrel stayed dry as toast. He was staying protected under the eave of our one-story house. After my first laugh of the day, I brought my attention back from the delightful creatures of God to the delightful word of God.

One sunny morning, with my second cup of coffee, reading a Karen Kingsbury novel, I looked up to the chirping of three birds perched on our picnic bench. The red-headed daddy house finch sat between his children, feeding one, then the other. Each demanding little sibling would squawk while the other got fed, then vice versa. I turned to my redheaded husband and said, “No offense, hon, but that daddy bird reminds me of you trying to keep our kids happy way back when.”

“No offense taken,” he said, chuckling.  

Another afternoon, as I plopped into my chair after a busy morning of mopping, shopping and vacuuming, I spotted the latest family of swans cruising by. These parents were keeping their three fledglings between them, dad in front and mom taking up the rear. Or was it mom in the lead and dad behind? I don’t have a clue how to tell male and female swans apart, but judging by the numerous swan families we’ve seen over the years, they certainly do!

Among God’s more elusive creatures are the frisky otters we have spotted only on rare occasions. The first spotting was a few years after purchasing our waterfront property and enjoying its diversity. It was at the crack of dawn while I was still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes; next I was rubbing them in disbelief. “What are those things swirling around the surface?” I wondered. First they were on top, then they were submerged. Next thing I knew they were frolicking right in front of me at our bulkhead. “My gosh, they’re otters,” I said to myself – and then to my sleepy-headed neighbor, after banging on her door. She had lived here years longer than us and had never seen otters, but was sure glad I had woken her up.         

At the next sighting, they were sliding and gliding across the surface of our frozen lagoon and she was knocking on my door.

Having saved the best for last, God’s most awesome creatures, human beings, I will attempt to describe the array of people and their water vehicles that pass my point of view. The children who come laughing, splashing and dropping killie bait traps from their paddle boats have hopes up to the sky. These delightful boys and girls carry on a summer-long verbal battle about who has caught, or who will catch, the most “humongous” fish with their baitfish. Their determination gives me high hopes for the future of mankind.

The couple who pedal by on their water bicycles look like they’re riding the backs of giant water bugs. They seem to exert a lot more energy riding those “bugs” than I exert on my 1-mile walks. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I get a kick out of the guys who are forced to hold back their powerful, loud cigarette boats as they crawl through our “No Wake” lagoon. They can’t wait to get through the bay and out to the ocean, where they can rip full throttle through the waves.

The fishermen and women are the hardiest of boaters. Spring, summer and fall, they fill me with enthusiasm for their adventures. In winter their stamina astounds me as I cuddle under my afghan.

The summer party boats, packed like cans of sardines, heading out to Tices Shoal, remind me of the “good old days.” Now I totally enjoy living vicariously, without hangovers, enjoying my room with a view.

Dotty Cronan lives in Forked River, N.J.






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