Beauty In Your Surroundings

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Maude Anderson sat on the porch of her ranch style house. Rocking back in her chair, she sipped her lemonade while enjoying the warm spring weather. A sketch pad set on the wooden table. Beside it a book of inspirational poems lay open. Today’s motivational quote was “Enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.”

Taking the advice, Maude looked at the sights of the neighborhood. Across the street, Mrs. Mahaffey was hanging laundry on the clothesline, while her six year-old granddaughter, Daisy was trying to capture a butterfly with her net.

Next door, Mr. Carlson was busy digging a hole to plant his wife’s tulips. Mrs. Carlson barked orders as her husband continued to dig. Everyone in the neighborhood joked that Mrs. Carlson wore the pants in that house. Poor Mr. Carlson had that look on his face, wondering if his wife would stop supervising and actually do manual labor.

A shout of “ready or not” broke the tranquility. Glancing up the road, Maude saw the Winslow children playing in their yard. Adam uncovered his eyes, then began the search for his sister, Megan. Maude caught a glimpse of the red-haired girl, peering from behind the wooden shed. Seeing that Mrs. Anderson spotted her, Megan put her finger to her mouth. Maude returned the gesture promising not to say a word. Megan continued to concentrate on the game, when she heard Adam coming she quickly took off toward the porch. Upon reaching the post, Megan jumped up and down, declaring herself the winner.

The Winslow children soon gave up hide and seek when the other neighborhood kids invited them to play baseball. Adam was given the role of pitcher and to warm up, he threw a couple of practice shots. Maude smiled at seeing the kids playing. In this day and age, kids were too occupied with their phones and tablets to get outside. It was good to know that kids still enjoyed the outdoors.

Maude’s attention turned to the left side of the neighborhood. She spotted little Timothy Becker coming to the fork in the road. He stood there for a second, contemplating whether he wanted to head to the convenience mart in town or join the kids in baseball. When Adam called for him, Timothy rushed up the road to join in the ballgame.

As Timothy passed by, Maude glanced across the street to see Dale Henderson clean out his garage. Dale’s five year-old daughter, Emma was helping or at least trying to. When Dale was reorganizing all his storage boxes, Emma tried to help by moving the boxes. She pushed the plastic totes, yet they were so heavy they didn’t budge. Dale giggled at Emma, then assigned her to another tasks. He asked her to hand him the tools, while he organized them in his new toolbox.

Across from The Hendersons, The Crawfords sat on their porch conducting some unusual experiment. Jordan and Marissa Crawford were a young couple, who moved into the community a few months ago. Jordan worked as a mechanic, while Marissa went back to school to further her career. Marissa was doing a research project on Jordan, which involved the man wearing a blindfold. Marissa would hand Jordan an object and he’d have to guess what it is.

Maude shook her head, it was weird the type of assignments teachers gave students. Seeing the sights around her, gave Maude an idea. Picking up the sketch pad, Maude began drawing the interactions of her neighbor. A smile spread across Maude’s face as her eyes glance between the paper and the neighbors. Today’s quote was right, Maude did enjoy the beauty of her surroundings.

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