When we lived in Houston, Texas, we lived on a “lake”. It was a small, man-made lake that our subdivision was built around.
The lake was about 5 feet past the end of our backyard. It was one of the reasons we picked the house that we did. It was beautiful. We thought it was great that no other houses would be right behind us.
On the other side of the lake was a road. It wasn’t a very busy road, so there was no traffic noise. Cross the road and there was a park. On Saturdays and Sundays, we could see and hear families gathering for picnics and parties. The sounds of ‘Happy Birthday’ being sung and the sounds of children laughing accompanied our weekends.
Just beyond the park were two high schools that were back to back. We could often hear the marching bands practising after school. The schools shared a football stadium.
As anyone familiar with Texas knows, high school football is taken very seriously there. The fields are ringed with seats, not just bleachers on the sides. On Thursday and Friday nights, during football season, our living room would be brightly lit from the lights of the field. We could hear the cheers when a touchdown or good play was made.
The two schools were rivals. When they played each other, it was almost as if the game were right outside the back door. The cheers were none stop and extra loud. Even though we didn’t go to the games, they made Friday nights during football season special.
There was also wildlife on the lake, which surprised me. The subdivision was still being built when we moved in, but that didn’t seem to matter to the critters. We had bunnies that liked to hang out in our yard. They were so cute! We would see the little brown balls of fur almost every morning.
We had ducks that lived there. The first year, there were only two. The following spring, they had a family. And the family had families, and so on. By the time we moved, there were quite a few duck families living at the lake. I loved seeing the ducklings and watching them grow.
Several other types of birds that prefer the water also lived there. We saw herons and other birds I never bothered to investigate what they were. They were usually in pairs. We gave the couples names. We had Nick and Nora, Fred and Ethel, and a few others. George and Gracie were our favourite pair.
We also had turtles. Lots of turtles. We could see them sunning themselves almost every day. They didn’t venture very far from the lake. We never saw them in the yard like we did the bunnies and ducks, but we could see them in the water and on the banks of the lake.
Eventually, they built an elevated highway just on the other side of the lake. It changed the dynamic of where we lived. I’m not sure we would have moved back to the east coast had everything stayed the way it was. We would probably still be living there today, with no thoughts of owning a beach house. Kinda sad…