Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bedraggled ‘Tweeties’

Woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain. Ah, rain – water the yard, water the flowers, water the tomatoes and veg, water the birdies…

ACK! The birds! They spent the night out again, and now they’re wet and cold, the poor dears. Must find the birdies!

This is why, at 7:45 this morning, you’d have found me out on the back deck, stripey PJs slightly dampened from the rain (thank goodness for our canopy tent over the deck, though it doesn’t QUITE meet up with the house, thereby allowing a few drops of celestial pee to drop on unprotected head and shoulders), wielding a green plastic bowl full of avian noms, wheedling them in to have a bit of a tuck-in. Oh, I wheedled, and chirped, and cajoled, until one of them flew awkwardly down to me, feathers dripping and small body quivering with chill.

I picked that baby bird up, held him right close to me, and stuffed his lil’ gaping maw full of blueberries and wet cat kibble. Once satiated, he (she?) nuzzled into my chest, heaved a little sigh, and closed his eyes to nap.

Have I mentioned how adorable these birds are?

They’re highly adorable. And while I don’t want to make this an ‘all baby robins all the time’ site, they are big in what’s going on in life right now, and BIG + adorable = news.

So. It took a bit, but I finally detached the bairn from me, put him in an upturned bike helmet in the shed, and went to fetch the hanging bird bucket we’d used for them when they were much smaller. By the time I got BACK to the shed, Albert was seen skulking around casting sidelong glances at the wee cheeper in the helmet. Albert is not as stupid as he appears to be, it would seem, and that baby would make a nice snack, if he could just get TO it.

But no. THWART! The bird bucket + bird was hung in the rafters of the canopy, after which time the second bird was located, herded, and corralled by a bumberchute-bearing Biff, relocated to the bucket, fed, and settled in again.

And hour later, they were still there, much more dry and looking quite comfy, thankyouverymuch. After one more feeding, I was out the door to work. As of now (about 4 hours later), it’s still raining, and I’ll bet you they’re still in the daggone bucket, cuddled into the pine straw, waiting for the back door to open again and for the ‘food people’ to deliver the next in a series of take-out meals.

Consider the birds…neither do they sow nor reap…and yet they are fed. Oh, they’re fed all right…by US. Hey - Nobody ever said the hand of God couldn’t look like a couple of average white folks, now did they?


The last middle school band concert of the year is tonight. It will be Thing 1’s last middle school concert ever. Holy shit. High school next year. I don’t think I’m ready.


We were driving home from a baseball game last Friday night, a warm humid night that reminded me a LOT of a night 20 years ago when I lived in Charlottesville, didn’t know many people, didn’t have much money to party, and had to learn the second horn part of Beethoven’s 7th symphony. Being somewhat of an odd duck even then, I learned it by putting a tape of the symphony into my car’s stereo system, and driving around the back roads on hot summer nights with the volume turned way up. As the wind blew my hair into my face, as the peep frogs whistled accompaniment, as the fireflies scattered from my headlights, the music burned its way into my head, chasing away loneliness and boredom. Downshifting around sharp turns of country roads, notes flew past my eyes, settling into a body memory that would help perform in color what was only in black and white on the page.

There were a wild few nights like that, of almost angry energy expenditure in pursuit of the ‘feel’ of the music.

Last Friday night, I remembered that serene rush of sensation, the curvature of the road disappearing over the edge of headlight’s influence, swooping moths flickering into view, hot damp air lifting the hair from my neck as we dipped and rose with the road. For a minute, me and that girl from the summer of ’88 were one, and I remembered how MUCH I love driving country roads on hot summer nights.

Anything trigger long-gone memories for you like that?


And that’s my time. Y’all have been great. Tip your waitress! I'll be back here tomorrow, if the management will have me.

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