Love Letter to the Ranch

Deborah Sandin

I love the time before dawn

As the fading stars twinkle

Treetops and roofs are revealed

In a burst of color

The tinkle of dog tags against the food bowl

The whirr of the microwave

Heating the life-giving liquid

That jump starts my brain

The splash of the fountain against the rocks

With the dainty twit-twit of the hummingbird

Flitting back and forth above it

Drinking deeply

I love those determined folks

Running, biking, walking their dogs past my window

As I check my email

Trying not to go down the rabbit hole of click-bait headlines

So I can keep my sanity

I love my neighbors who see me

Yet again

In my cozy robe and slippers

Splashing pots and plants as the day begins

Calling out greetings

Waving with a smile

I love the drive to the Clubhouse

The deep lush green of the golf course

Contrasting with the muted brown hills beyond

The pond, the fountains,

Are those new birds visiting today?

Tennis balls rhythmically bouncing back and forth

People holding doors with

Smiling eyes

Equipment clanging in the gym

The murmur of breakfast voices

The hissing of the espresso machine

I love the pool

The smell of chlorine

The splash of swimmers in their lanes

The music of the class

Exercising to the blaring beat

Heart rates rising as the kindly drill-sergeant instructor

Calls out

Faster, harder, push push PUSH!

I love the camaraderie

Toweling off afterwards

Legs quivering

Getting ready for the day’s events

See you at hand and foot/Mah Jongg/the book club later?

Yes of course!

No, I have a doctor’s appointment

For my knee/shoulder/foot/hip

I love the swirling Jacuzzi

Relaxing sore muscles

Staring at the palm trees silhouetted against a brilliant blue sky

Listening to the grackles squawking

And the mourning doves cooing

Drifting away in memories

As the background music plays

Songs from a lifetime ago

I love the beep, beep, beep of golf carts

Backing up and whizzing off

The pop, pop, pop of the pickleball courts

The excited barks of the dogs

Heads hanging out windows

Ready to romp with their buddies

I love those magnificent snow-capped mountains

As I head home

Sky-islands rising from the desert floor

A place of refuge from hot summer days

Hiking among tall pine trees with

Fudgy treats afterwards

Most of all

I love the people

Who’ve become my new friends

Sharing their homes and stories

Exploring the Old Pueblo together

Dancing the night away

Attending concerts and plays

Sharing drinks and laughs

At newly discovered restaurants

As the day ends

Loving life

Here at the Ranch

The SaddleBrooke Ranch Writing Guild is a group dedicated to improving our writing skills. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the La Vista room of the La Hacienda Club from 1 to 3 p.m. If you have any questions about the club or would like to join, contact Joy Hellard at [email protected]