My cousin, Shirley Cameron lives on the top of a mountain in Washington state. It was a beautiful, rugged, tree filled area, that is quiet and peaceful. She raises chickens and ducks, for their eggs, and gardens in the summer months. She loves to can food, and make jellies and jams of all kinds of unique flavors…and believe me, they are wonderful. In the summer months, there are bears in the area, which I think would bother me a bit, but Shirley is used to it, so she just knows how to stay calm and wait them out. She has lived on this mountain top for many years now, as did her parents before their passing. The place might be a bit wild by city dwellers standards, but for Shirley it is home, and I don’t know if she could really ever see herself living anywhere else now.
There was a time, however, when Shirley lived in the very populated areas of Reno, Nevada and Vallejo, California, which is possibly the main reason she lives where she does now. Too many people in one area can drive you crazy, and then the best solution is for find peace in the general solitude of a mountain top. Now don’t get me wrong, Shirley isn’t a recluse. She enjoys being with people, getting online and connecting via Facebook, and even going into town and meeting up with friends, but when she goes home, it is to her beloved mountain. In many ways, I think it is there that Shirley feels the closest to her parents. They loved the mountain top too, and in fact, at one time the whole family lived up there on separate places. It was their little slice of Heaven on Earth. And it is where Shirley still loves to be, because of its quiet, peaceful beauty.
Shirley loves to take photographs of the different wildlife in the area. I have deer that come into my yard on occasion, but Shirley sees moose in her yard, and bald eagles in the trees. There are fox, deer, and every other animal imaginable too. I can see why she likes it there…in the summer anyway. And then there are the flowers. Wild flowers are everywhere, of course, but Shirley has a green thumb…unlike her cousin, aka me. She is able to grow not only a vegetable garden, but beautiful flower gardens as well. Her pictures of Iris and Peonies are stunning. While country life is not really what I want anymore, I still think it would be very inspirational to sit a while in her yard. Today is Shirley’s birthday. Happy birthday Shirley!! You are an amazing woman. Have a great day!! We love you!!