for this place I am thankful (edited) – SOLC Tuesday

When I was a writing teacher, I gained so much from hearing and reading Lucy Calkins’ lessons. One of the first things I learned was that real editing occurs by taking a good piece of writing and making it even better. 

Hmmm… I had always thought editing was polishing up something not-so-good. But it is tough to insert or whittle away to change something with which you are already satisfied. 

But that’s how it goes.

So here is a piece I wrote during March that I thought worked well. Now, after editing, I hope it is even better.


The county in which I live is a fast growing, formerly rural area – a contrast of old and new everywhere we turn. I drove throughout this beautiful landscape today and marveled at the variety here:

the land

  • hills and hollows that twist and flow into each other
  • wooded hillsides leaf-deep with rocky outcroppings, falling down to a creek, or a field, or even right up to the road
  • wide fields sliced by fence paths reflecting their upkeep through the years

the water

  • creeks that twist and turn and parallel the road until they slip under and out the other side
  • the chameleon River that appears where you least expect it, reflecting green or brown depending on the water’s depth or the bank’s height or the flow’s speed
  • ponds with sparkling fountains proclaiming – fresh cool clear water found here

the roads

  • curvy potholed country lanes following fencerows and property lines, sheltered by the canopies of old growth trees
  • square plotted lines through former farms, bringing civilization to yesterday’s middle-of-nowheres
  • more and more lanes for more and more residents to make their ways to and from work daily

the houses

  • antebellum jewels with columns and porches that shimmer in the light of preservation, or droop in the shadows of neglect
  • grand new construction, at times overlooking shacks with asphalt shingle siding, peeling paint, crumbling foundations
  • a Disneyland of perfect cottages surrounded by meandering sidewalks and luscious landscapes

the barns

  • weathered wood structures held up by the trees grown up around them, or perhaps by the vein of sheer determination found in the hardwoods chosen years back for their construction
  • stair step sized in barn-red color, white tin roofs and sliding metal doors 
  • arts and crafts style with exposed beams and stacked stone walls 

I thank God for this area I love, for this place I call home. 

5 thoughts on “for this place I am thankful (edited) – SOLC Tuesday

  1. arjeha says:

    Such vivid images! “leaf-deep with rocky outcroppings, the chameleon River, antebellum jewels, weathered wood structures”.

  2. Great at conjuring imagery in my mind! You have a wonderful start to a setting of an antebellum novel here! Each detail is noted and described. I can almost see where you are! Yes, I think editing something already good is difficult, but this effort must be a success. So descriptive!

  3. elsie says:

    Your details brought this to life! Well done!

  4. bhamteach says:

    The beauty of your piece is in the details. It takes a wide-eyed writer to notice such things and get them down on paper for others to see.

  5. This is a fantastic piece, so brilliantly full of detail.

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