By Becky Cook

On a recent April morning daylight was just beginning to peek through the darkness. The cats were signaling their wish to come inside. I opened the front door and peered out into a world encased in dense fog. A garden circle of shrubs, trees, grasses, flowering and perennials bulbs shields us from the street helping to guard privacy and also provide a variety of seasonal plant beauties. On this particular morning, in the very middle of the circle, frozen in motion, staring directly at me, was a lovely young deer. Not unusual. But it surprised me that she was alone. Though I didn’t catch her “red handed” feasting on the day lilies, her presence reminded me that she and her family probably made a few tasty meals of the green shoots trying to develop and bring forth their gorgeous blooms. I whisper-shouted to my husband who had just entered the room, “Look Honey, there’s a deer.” A few minutes later when the sweet young thing broke out of her pose, she leaped her way through our side yard and joined 3 other deer whom I assumed were her family. They bounded through the woods together.

When we retired to this community 15 years ago we lived inside the resort. We became involved in Fairfield Mountains Chapel in several ways, including singing in the choir. We consider that to be family. I also started as a library volunteer. My golfer-husband found a perfect haven to carry out his love of a lifetime. Volunteerism and community activities are plentiful here and we became involved. After seven years living inside the resort we moved into Riverbend Development where we have been for eight years.

Riverbend is just a perfect piece of nature mostly undisturbed, replete with huge trees, multiple untamed creatures, from deer, to bears, to endless breeds of birds, and more. Rustic homes and cabins are tucked into small spaces with awesome views. Mirror Lake is at the center of the development. And, our home-in-the-woods is our most favorite house EVER! Our Atlanta son and his family are less than four hours away. Shelbyville, KY, is home to our other son and his family.

We came out of “retirement” along the way, and re-entered the work force, John as a realtor and I as a golf shop attendant. We thought nothing of the necessity to drive a few miles to doctors, dentists, hospitals, and shopping. But then, we got older!!! DUH! We developed a few health issues which required some specialized care. We became aware of several families in this community, couples, widows, widowers, and others who quickly learned the challenges of transportation for medical treatments, shopping, etc. While there is a large field of loving folks who willingly share the load of ministering to neighbor’s needs, there comes a time when family must be involved. This can become a burden for distant family caregivers who must manage care from afar. No one ever wants to end their sojourn in this place, though sooner or later the day will come when changes must be made.

Here we are living in this little piece of heaven that we never wanted to leave. We love it and the people we know here. And yet we want to be pro-active in choices and decisions about our future, including a move. Our house is on the market and we will be moving near our son in Shelbyville, KY, when the time comes. [One or two “friends” here have already said they have put a hex on the sale! We’ll see if that happens!  ] Moving seems like an overwhelming task which requires lots of faith and openness. But, we’re ready!

I will remember that frozen-in-space deer who greeted us that foggy morning and will miss that. But, I’m ready to see what new surprises God has in store for tomorrow.

“Give us the grace to realize that change does not take You by surprise but is a means by which. . . .You help us find You in more than our hearts ever
imagined possible. “
[excerpt from Our Daily Bread reading. Bill Crowder]