My visit’s to Mom’s began to become more and more predictable in terms of knowing exactly where she’d be sitting, and how our conversations would go. I’d walk into the kitchen where she’d be sitting either reading the paper or working on her computer. Always in that chair.
She had about 8 different bird feeders strategically placed around the windows so she’d never miss out on anything. I thought it was nice that she felt she had something to make her happy all day, but I certainly didn’t understand it. In fact, it would drive me crazy when I’d be talking to her and her eyes would go to the window behind me. Sometimes she would interrupt when I was talking, and point to the Tufted Titmouse or Chickadee with an “Oh, sweetie! Look at my little birds… aren’t they sweet?”. “Yeah… sweet!” I would say under my breath and pretend to look out the window, and then I’d never finish my story. Not that the story was even important to begin with, but it made me understand how others must feel when I’m distracted and look away at something while someone is talking to me. I was finally beginning to see that this trait is really not a good thing, but that’s an entirely different story for a different kind of blog. 😉 (Sidenote: ADD & birding make a fabulous combination).
Speaking of being distracted… my point was that I, personally, did not connect in any way to her love for watching birds on feeders. We had one in our backyard that had scores of little brown birds which my husband attended to, but our yard was certainly not a sanctuary for different varieties of birds.
Fast forward to November 30, 2013. It had only been a month 1/2 since her “going away party” (which, by the way, was no ordinary funeral. A comedian, bagpipes, and Louisiana cajun style horns in the church (!), with a New Orleans style band at the reception. Remember, we are talking about a woman who wouldn’t allow certain words of religion to be used in our household. It was strictly about laughter and fun).
I can’t even begin to count the different varieties of birds who were now visiting our yard, and coming to our windows! It was if the sky had opened up and a GPS bird attracting device had landed somewhere in our yard (I told you she had that in with the powers that be…).
So, guess who was finding herself staring out of the window, and positioning her chair in the kitchen to be able to watch them.
The incredible thing to me was that these birds were not just flying in and looking for a food source, these birds were doing things I hadn’t ever seen birds do, as if they were putting on some kind of a show. We started to see 3 different varieties of woodpeckers, a number of Cardinals, Blue Jays, Tufted Titmice, Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Mourning Doves (of course), White-breasted Nuthatches. At the time I didn’t know what they all were, but it didn’t matter to me as I was so dumbfounded by their presence in the first place. One day I set up my camera to photograph them through the window. After sharing the photos with my husband, he came up with the brilliant idea of setting up a line from the house to one of the trees so we could hang suet feeders. Woodpeckers love suet, and photographing them had become high on the list for me.
Here’s the cool part:
My husband (who was introduced to me by my mother and was someone she completely adored) had just stepped off of the ladder. I wanted to document his fabulous DYI project so grabbed the phone and took a couple of pictures.
Another “Hmmmm” moment ensued… I think my favorite analyzation of these came from our wonderful comedian friend Frank O’donnell, who spoke at her funeral: “She’s holding the ladder – or, preparing to push your husband off, which is also a possibility!”