Bella Vista Lake Estates, my little piece of paradise. Bella Vista means beautiful village, and I have to admit, it certainly is.
Just outside of Fruitland, Mo. about 5 miles, only about 3 miles from the Mississippi River, and just a handful of miles farther lies the tragic Trail of Tears State Park.
We're nestled on a hill out here, a mountain by all accounts, in a subdivision surrounding a 40 acre lake. The entire neighborhood is surrounded by woodlands so we are definitely in the sticks, so to speak.
A man named Adrian Geisler, once an engineer, dug the lake and sold lots around it just a little more than two decades ago. It wasn't his first shot at making a subdivision as there is at least one more around the Perryville, Mo. area that he built as well. In the beginning there were but 6-7 houses around our lake.
My friend Chub, may he rest in peace, has told me many stories about what this land was like before homes littered the country side. Chub and his father used to run cattle (on horse back mind you) through the bottom where the lake lies now. The rest of the immediate area was nothing but woodlands. How I would have loved to lived here then.
But despite the houses everywhere, this is a beautiful place. (Most are gorgeous homes mind you, there's just too damned many of them for my liking. I would enjoy a bit more solitude and fewer people in my business.)
There is a tree of every kind, wild critters running around, and on a clear night it seems you can almost reach up and pluck the stars out of the sky here.
I wake up in the morning and look out my door and this is my view across the lake.
The view is spectacular as you can see. I usually get some really nice images in this direction, just standing on my deck or in my front yard. I am fortunate that my home is on a hill, nestled in the woods, so I can look over the rooftops of the houses in front of me, that sit right along the lake shore.
I sent my neighbors across the lake an email this morning (that's their house on the right in the image above) because I realized, this is not a view of their house they commonly see unless they are driving around the lake or visiting neighbors on this side. Needless to say they got a kick out of the view and indeed admitted it was a sight they've rarely seen. I was tickled they liked the images.
And then I got curious, wondering what the view of my house was from across the lake, a scene I have only glimpsed of on rare occasions when I am driving around the lake.The trees out front of my place are hickory, and glowing brilliant yellow just about now. I thought that might look pretty against the slate blue color of my house.
So I took an early morning drive to check it out, and just to see what I could see of my place from across the lake. It was an enjoyable outing as all the different trees around the neighborhood are changing and the colors were just spectacular and so varied.
(Crossing the dam to the other side of the lake)
(These are just the spillway ponds. They lay on the Eastern part of the dam)
(The dam end of the lake facing Northwest)
I got across the dam and to the other side of the lake, directly across from my house, in the drive area of my neighbor's house shown in the image above. And what do I see? Do I see my house?
No, but I see a bunch of gorgeous trees. I can only barely make out my house. (If you look closely, you can barely see a portion of my little house in the treeline, slightly above the larger house shown well in the image.)
I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to get a shot of my place across the lake, under those gorgeous yellow leafed Hickory trees. But all at the same time I was happy because my place is just not as visible atop my hill as I once thought it was. I know that my neighbors (from the big house shown above, and handful of others close to theirs) have a slightly better view from their decks on the lakeside. But from the road on their side, I am virtually hidden in the trees and I like that.
Going back the way I came allowed me a better shot of the lake from the dam. Now you're facing the side that I live on.
And this is one of the fantastic views I get through a break in the trees when I am driving to my house. When I am in this area, I know I am almost home.
Now that you have seen some of the houses scattering the landscape of this Bella Vista, one might think that I am living in a pretty ritzy place and high off the hog. And when I tell people that I live out here, their eye brows raise and they automatically think that I live in one of these newer and larger homes.
I laughed when I bought the place and told my mother my home was not like the ones she seen on the drive in. It was simply a cabin "gone bad". By that I mean, some fella came out to this remote spot, when there were no other houses around, and built himself a little cabin where he could get away and hunt, fish, and enjoy a little peace and quiet. At some point I figure his wife felt he spent to much time out here, and made him upgrade it all so she could move into his little heaven on earth.
It was actually a joke until I started doing some remodeling and find out I was exactly right in my sarcasm. The original construction was a small cabin, only a third of it's current size, long before the people working at Proctor and Gamble got wise to the beauty of this place and starting throwing up homes made for families of six. There are now more than a hundred houses surrounding the lake, and mine is one of the originals, and one of the smallest.
But big or small, old or new, I sure do love my little shack out back, all nestled up in the Hickory trees, atop my hill in Bella Vista. It's mine and I can think of no more beautiful place to be than right where I am at.
Rustic and weathered bliss seems to suit me just fine:-)