X marks the spot!

This is just a short post to share my latest ordeal. 

Last Saturday morning when the garage door spring did its thing, I knew right away that this was just the beginning of a hectic week, i.e. dealing with the car repair, the new garage door install … all hassles, not to mention the expense involved.   The car did NOT need a new paint job – they buffed out the gouge and returned it to its former glory … my car is 10 years old, but only has 6,200 miles on it – it’s just a baby! 

I wanted to put the car in the garage yesterday after the car repair shop returned it – it was lookin’ good, they even washed it.  I was praising up Leo, after he had me check out the car, and then chatting it up with Jim, the handyman, who was up on the roof, while he was cleaning gutters and power washing the house with mildew remover (yes, I had a mildew problem on the bricks due to too much rain and lack of sun). 

I was hot, as it was already almost 90 degrees F (32 C). 

I have always opened/shut the garage door by pulling it up/down between the door panels.  I’ve been doing that for about 40 years, give or take a year.  I am tall, so I never used the “grab rope” nor the handle – don’t ask me why?  When the installer had me try the door Tuesday afternoon, he watched me pull down the garage door and said “don’t do that, you’ll pinch your fingers!”  I had no reason to go out into the garage until yesterday,  Well it was hot, and I forgot and did what I always do and jammed my right-hand ring finger between the panels which have no gap in between, like the old panels.  I let out a scream that would wake the dead (and said bad words – again).  It’s a wonder Jim did not fall off the roof!  I don’t think I broke my finger, but it is swollen badly and black and blue  and purple. 

I am going to try for that “me day” tomorrow – today is our Downriver Classic Car Cruise event and the local streets are jammed so I stuck close to home and I DID NOT go near the garage. 

As the saying goes “I have no words”… but in this case, maybe I should say I have fewer words than usual as it is difficult to type.  I am going to work today as my boss told me to take the rest of yesterday off to ice my finger and we’ll get the work done so we both have a longer July 4th holiday.  I’m going to limit my time at the keyboard until I can type better, so bear with me as I will be a bit behind here at WordPress.

P.S. – These pictures don’t do the colors in my finger justice – it is much more colorful than that but I still don’t think it is broken (crossing my fingers anyway – oops that hurt!!)

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All sunny days are NOT golden.

There is an expression that goes like this:  “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  Here is the origin of that saying:

Though I am mindful that severe weather has plagued so many parts of the U.S. lately, while we have merely endured constant gray days, rain and lack of sunshine, the ugly weather had me in a bit of a funk.  So, when the weatherman crowed about two weekend days of gorgeous weather, I was pretty happy.  In fact, I was like a kid in a candy shop – two days of exploring and getting out to enjoy what finally would be perfect Summer weather.  So, do I go to a new park, or one of my old standbys?  But then I remembered I could not be too joyous, as I still had to tackle the front and back yards which, thanks to all the rainy days, look overgrown and unloved.  So,  I made a compromise … I’d visit some of my favorite parks and just enjoy today and plan on doing yard work tomorrow.  Today would be the reward for a long week at work, last weekend’s rain-soaked days … yes it all sounded wonderful.

The rain has been a pain in many ways … not just hampering my walking regimen with torrential or stormy weather, but  there has been a mosquito and tick explosion and we’ve already had several instances of West Nile Virus from infected mosquitoes.  So, I donned a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with socks, and, because we have had so much rain, some of my favorite parks are waterlogged, so it was a perfect chance to try out my new red vinyl boots. 

I got myself ready and sauntered out the door.  I admit I had tunnel vision as I sidestepped all those bushes that tried to reach out and grab me on the leg, their new growth shooting toward the sky, much the same way as those fancy fireworks that will wow the crowds at the annual Ford Fireworks on the Detroit River this coming Monday night.  And, don’t think I didn’t notice the weeds too, their leggy stems threatening to overtake all the existing bushes or the dainty weeds with wispy tendrils which were wrapped around some of the new growth.  But, just like Scarlett O’Hara, I dismissed those pesky weeds with a wave of my hand, declaring “I’ll think about that tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another day.”

Taking some “me time”

I’ve long believed there are not enough days in the year to just escape and get away from it all.  I know that sometimes, by the end of the workweek, my mind is really cluttered and ready for a reboot, because, despite my daily forays to my favorite nature nook at Council Point Park, sometimes I still feel the need to clear out those tangled recesses of my mind, which coincidentally resemble those out-of-control perennials growing wild in the backyard.

I know if I don’t get out and stretch my legs and give my mind a rest, I’ll go buggy.

Or smother from everything … you have to rise above it all, like this rose, fighting its way through the weeds and dead wood, the only bloom on all my rosebushes … now that’s tenacity.

This last week in particular was a toughie.  My eyes were fuzzy from working on way too many charts – yikes!

I was beginning to despair of the same-old, same-old …

You  know how you get into a rut and don’t know where to turn – it’s like you’re up against a wall. 

So I intended to turn my back on it all …

… and escape to some wide-open places to put a smile on my face again.

Because balance is important – you don’t want to become mired in muck and be off-kilter.

I longed for a nice leisurely stroll by the water and to relax with the sun on my back.

That is why we have weekends, precious hours of “me time” where each minute is ours to savor and enjoy, much like this little squirrel who is smiling after a new walker shook out some cocktail peanuts from a bottle onto the pathway for him.  Easy-peasy eats!

Hmm, he never gave me or my jumbo, salt-free, roasted peanuts a second glance, because he decided to grab that treat instead – no, I didn’t take it personally.  In fact, I saw cocktail peanuts strewn all along the perimeter path and pavilion area.

The squirrels will likely eat this newbie walker/kind-hearted soul out of house and home. 🙂

The back-story … because, as you know there is always a back-story.

As most of you know, I work from home from the kitchen table.  Friday afternoon I heard a very loud noise – it had been fairly quiet for once, for which I was glad, since I was working on charts with lots of numbers. The fridge wasn’t running, and the A/C was off … blessed quiet.  Until this banging noise.  I sprang into action to find out what happened. 

First I ran downstairs because many years ago a portion of the dropped ceiling fell down a day after a furnace installer hit it with some equipment.  It collapsed, metal supports and all, and made a terrific clatter as it landed in a heap on the laundry room floor.  Whew – nothing  wrong downstairs.

I ran outside and checked the gutters to ensure one had not broken off because they are filled with these guys …

… and will soon be cleaned out.

I was worried about the gutters, because when I came home from walking the other day, a dove peered at me over the top of the gutter. It likely was ready to take a bath.  I felt the urge to mutter “well, excu-u-se me!” an old Steve Martin catchphrase.  The dove gave me a look like I was intruding on its bath time ritual.  Doves are not lightweights, so I was relieved the gutters were still intact.

The awning was okay too, so nothing seemed out of place and I went back into the house.

But that loud noise niggled at my already-taxed brain. 

Our energy provider has been marking houses on the block with yellow flags and yellow spray paint.  I heard the trucks out on the street during the day, but never closed enough for me to poke my head out the door and yell “hey, what’s up?”  So I called DTE to see if there was a problem  – nope, just routine maintenance. 

I kept sleuthing, and even checked the Facebook Crime Forum for our City – no one complained of an explosion at the nearby BASF Chemical Plant.

So I resigned myself that nothing was wrong and returned to my charts.

Fast forward to this morning … I went out to the garage, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, eager to take on the day.

As I do every day, I turned the key in the garage door lock and proceeded to twist the handle to open the door, but the door wouldn’t open.

I tried a second time – nothing happened.

I walked away from it for a minute, took a deep breath, and then, yes indeed, I was dumb enough to try a third time, which I put down to wishful thinking.

I said bad words, not that it helped much.  Believe me, my brain wasn’t all that fuzzy that I couldn’t connect the dots that something happened inside the garage that caused the door to be jammed shut … yes, my own personal big bang theory. 

I marched into the house and grabbed the phone directory for the door company, whom we have used in the past.  Thankfully there was a sign of life on the other end of the phone, a woman who was quite chipper on this early morn.  She did not match my surly mood.  I explained the dilemma and before I could elaborate about the loud noise, she said “no worries – a screw flew off and the suspension came down – I’ll send someone out this afternoon.”  I said “did it collapse onto my car – I heard a loud banging noise!”  She responded by saying that it happens sometimes and the tech can fix it after 2:00 p.m. today.  I thanked her and realized my day was pretty well trashed at that point.

I walked down to Council Point Park where I completed just one loop because I was distracted and  “what if he got there earlier and I could still salvage my day?”

Boing!  It was not just a little screw that popped off.

The tech, named Joe, arrived and I explained what happened this morning and the noise yesterday and said “there must be a correlation, right?”  He said “let’s get this door up first and I can tell you better.”  Well he struggled mightily to lift the door, pushing it, prodding it and finally hefting it up without the benefit of the spring which he pointed out was laying in the corner.  He looked around, up and down, then said “here was your noise.”  He explained that the spring slipped off the cable, shot up to the ceiling, as evidenced by black marks the shape of the spring, and then like a slingshot, on the return trip it aimed straight for my car and bounced over and hit the door before coming to rest in the corner.  I felt a little sick as I surveyed the damage to the car.  The spring, which had some rust on it, clipped the car’s left rear area, just above the tail light.  I say “clipped” but there are gouges that match the shape of the spring imprinted into the clear coat and some of the paint.  It must’ve been my horror-stricken face that made Joe take the front of his tee-shirt and try to buff out the marks.  Then he turned to me and said “it could have been you, you know, instead of the car.”  He had brought a new spring and said he could replace it right away and the garage door would be okay to use.  But, he cautioned me that they no longer sell garage doors with this spring mechanism since they are deemed unsafe and he urged me to consider getting a new door at some point down the road before the springs are no longer available.  He also showed me where the metal cable was frayed.  I ordered a new door … it will be installed the beginning of next week.

So, that was my day … not a day of joy tripping along the Lake Erie shoreline, or the boardwalk by the Detroit River chatting with the fisherman about their “catch of the day” but instead, I am licking my wounds about my damaged car and replacing the garage door.  Neither the “fix” nor this purchase are going to give me any great joy, no more than spending tomorrow wrangling weeds and taming bushes. 

I’ll sleep on it whether I indulge myself and go out anyway or stay home and tame the beast, er … the yard.

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Summer’s here and we’re all giddy!

Summer officially made its debut at 11:54 a.m. here in Southeast Michigan with a bright and beautiful morning.  After countless gray, gloomy and often rainy days, the bright orb in the sky was worth taking note, as the Detroit Free Press Tweeted out the breaking news, much to the delight of its many Twitter followers:

So, what do you associate with the first day of Summer and the longest day of the year?  Fun in the sun? 

Originally we had a rainy forecast for the weekend, but this morning the weatherman was like the Town Crier, happy to report that the rain and storms will stay at bay until late Sunday night.  That’s cause for celebration and we can break out the shorts and flip-flops for sure and people will likely open their pools.

But, if you don’t have a pool, it’s best to head down to the ol’ swimming hole, like our geese families did.  I saw two different families this week at Council Point Park.  They were hitting the beach, er … the Creek for a little swim.

I saw this family parked at the side of the perimeter path, just long enough for me to get a few shots of them as they soon headed down the slope and into the water. 

I walked along the perimeter path, and, when I reached the south side of the Park, there were the geese, coming around the corner near the twisted tree, so I ran to find a clearer spot to view them.

Look at the neat line they formed after Mama or Papa Goose and they never strayed out of that queue, except for one gosling who decided to try diving for his breakfast.  He couldn’t quite implement that move and, after two tries, and toppling over each time while his parents and siblings watched, he finally gave up. Hmm – I’ve got to believe they picked up a few stray goslings along the way as these weren’t all their own!

Finally, the “signal caller” a/k/a Mama Goose, had her goslings regroup and they tried the diving lessons again.

The following day, I spotted a different family of geese at the cement ledge that covers the storm drain.  I have often stood here to take pictures and it is also the ledge where Harry the Heron studies the water for fish, but you can see how the water has risen in the Creek and now sloshes over the ledge.  All the walkers are commenting on the high water level here. 

On that morning it was windy and the cottonwood seed puffs were drafting around everywhere, and, as you can see, many of them floated over the water and landed daintily, just like mini cotton balls, glomming onto the surface of the Creek.

This is the first family of goslings, and, at a glance, now it is difficult to tell them apart from the parents.  They have their adult plumage now and also some features like black beaks and feet.  Even their wings appear to be fully developed. 

Mama Goose was standing on the cement ledge, deciding whether or not to take a dip …

… or just preen a little.

Perhaps woolgathering on one foot was the way to go?

Papa Goose was in his sentry stance, watching over his offspring.  The goslings often just plop down, either in the middle of the perimeter path, or on the grass.  I guess it’s a tough life downing all that grass and taking swimming lessons with your folks and all.

I hope the nice weather is here to stay for awhile … this is the first time we have had three days in a row of good weather since April 1st – 3rd.

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Meandering at Memorial Park.

I am often scrambling around to get going in the morning.  I hit the snooze button a few too many times and even the lure of a steaming cup of Joe and my oatmeal (maybe not as enticing as that coffee) does not always make me want to leap out of bed.  Consequently, to get my steps in, I am often flying by the seat of my pants to get out the door and back home to start work timely.

One morning last week I had to do something for work before I went on my walk, and I needed to be back timely, so I couldn’t make a trip to Council Point Park.  I was bummed as it was a beautiful sunny morning, rare around these parts, since today is the 118th day of rain we have had in SE Michigan in 2019 – it is pouring as I write this post.  On that day, the sun was not overwhelming, just a pale version of what sun we have taken for granted for umpteen Springs, but it was sunny nevertheless, so I wanted to do more than just stroll in the neighborhood.

I live fairly close to Memorial Park and had read in the local paper that the kids from our City’s high school, a/k/a “The Green Team” had made it their motive to beautify some parks and public places around the City.  Memorial Park was one of their projects.  The students, along with a few volunteers, had planted milkweed at the park and were certified an official Monarch Waystation.  Monarchs love their milkweed, but, to be certified as a Monarch Waystation, an area must meet other criteria and I wondered if the rose garden, that used to be tended by volunteers many decades ago, would contribute to this certification. 

Since I had had a shorter morning trek than normal, I decided to head over and check it out.  Memorial Park is very peaceful.  I went to our annual Memorial Day Parade last year and it had been years since I watched the parade or the moving tributes to the City’s war dead after the fun festivities had ended.

So, I spent my morning meandering around Memorial Park, stopping to smell the roses as well.

The first stop was at the Memorial Pavilion area.  Here is where the City honors its war dead from four conflicts:  WWI, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  There are plaques to honor these servicemen and benches to sit and reflect on those brave people who died for their country and that we never knew. 

There are words written on the memorial wall, alongside the plaques.

We even have a cannon in the memorial area.

The Fallen Soldiers Memorial is dedicated to Sergeant Craig Frank, a young Lincoln Park man, and member of the Army National Guard who lost his life on July 17, 2004 during Operation Iraqui Freedom, as a result of injuries from a rocket-propelled grenade that struck him from behind.  

Right away I noticed there was flag bunting wrapped around the boots part of the memorial and it was gathered and fastened with a poppy, likely done at the Memorial Day Parade. 

As I walked toward the garden area, I noticed a bench dedicated to another serviceman, Terry Rhodes.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

I’m sure you have seen some variation of this quotation in the past.  Many years ago, the rose garden at Memorial Park was a beautiful display, a riot of roses, tended to by volunteers with an exceptional green thumb.  Back in those days, I, too, had a green thumb and a backyard full of roses, so I could appreciate those beautiful blooms, in every color from soft pastels to ruby red.  But, over the years, the volunteers stopped tending to the roses, and, a few years ago, while walking around the Memorial Park grounds, gaining steps for my walking regimen, I saw the garden was in disrepair, with only the most tenacious of the bushes still existing, bloom-free and with weeds tangled up inside them. 

My plan was to check out the freshly planted Monarch Waystion in case a sign had not been placed there as is often done, since I hope to make future afternoon  stops when the weather is hot and sunny to get some photos of those beautiful Monarch butterflies. 

I made that foray to the flower garden, but was surprised to see that there was not one, but four separate raised garden beds, each filled with various types of flowers.  I was instantly sorry I had not ventured here earlier as the Iris blooms were starting to fizzle out.

The Bleeding Heart plants had very few of their delicate pink hearts.  There were just dregs of the Lily of the Valley as well.  I didn’t photograph any of the Lily of the Valley as they were just sparse now. Most of these plants would have flowered in late May to early June. 

The roses have no doubt flourished with all the rain and I was amazed that the lack of sun and the abundance of rain had not caused the dreaded black spot fungal disease that eventually killed most of my tea roses and my “Stairway to Heaven” climbing rose as well. Now my “Home Run” roses are not looking great and one is a goner thanks to the wicked Winter weather. How about these beauties from the park though?

The volunteers had fun doodads placed around the four gardens as well …

And there were even these two glass cobalt blue cats. 

Yup, I would say this little foray to the flower gardens was the cat’s meow!

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Tuesday Musings.

Well, June marches on, and, in a few more days, Summer will be here … on the calendar anyway. 

Weather woes.

Not to be a weather whiner, BUT, it sure doesn’t feel like Summer is on the horizon, because on recent mornings, the temperature in the house has hovered at about 68 or 69 degrees F (20 C) and there’s a definite chill in the air. 

So, off I go on my walk, wearing a hoodie over a tee-shirt, only to shuck that hoodie off and loop it around my waist before the end of my walk, sometimes before.  Oh sure, I do listen to the weather report before I leave, but I still really don’t know how to dress these days.  And, if you glance up at the sky before hitting the road, it seems to be perpetually gray and gloomy, so do I carry an umbrella or not?  Toting along an umbrella, or a slicker, is only a little more to juggle with the camera and peanuts, unless I pile it into a backpack.  

With all this crummy weather we’re having, I’ve noticed our local meteorologists often begin their forecast for the weekend with this phrase:  “folks, I just want to temper your expectations about the upcoming weekend weather” or perhaps they’ll use buzzwords to describe this gloom and doom like “it’s a down day” or “things are a bit unsettled today” – well I say, just tell it like it is!

I’ll add up my miles at the end of the month and see what damage all this rain has done to my walking regimen.  I’ve walked several times after work because it poured in the morning … mostly four miles, just around the ‘hood as the Park loses its ambiance near the end of the day.  The critters are MIA with the squirrels tucked in their nests and the songbirds off doing their own thing.  

This past Sunday, I just couldn’t do that walk in the rain.  My intentions were good.  All my “rain gear” was handy – but the incessant rain, which finally dwindled to a drizzle in late afternoon,  left me shaking my head and I stayed indoors – what a walking slacker I was, but at least I tackled some chores in the house.  Hopefully, come December 31, 2019, I won’t be missing a mere six miles to attain my goal because I’ll kick myself and mutter “if I had only taken my butt out on that rainy Sunday!”

Due to all the wet weather in recent weeks I’ve not strayed from my favorite nature nook, except for the 5K event at Heritage Park on June 9th.  With the exception of the rising water level at the storm drain, the rest of the Park has no flooding issues.  At my other favorite stomping grounds, lakeshore flooding has changed the landscape, leaving the grounds saturated and the trails soggy or muddy, with a handful of trails even closed down for now.  The water levels are at their highest in 33 years.

Thank goodness for Council Point Park!

When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along.”

This subheading isn’t just a vintage song by Bing Crosby.  If you’ve ever watched a Robin, whether singing high up in a tree, tending to its young, yanking worms out of the ground or scowling at humans, their actions are pretty funny sometimes.  There are lots of Robins at this 27-acre Park, but on a rare, sun-filled morning, I happened to hone in on this one, who was getting its exercise at the same time as I was gleaning steps and marking miles on the perimeter path. 

At Council Point Park, there are other amenities besides the two walking loops that encircle the Park.  There are two baseball diamonds, two soccer fields, an inline hockey arena and a children’s playscape.

However, on the first loop, a haven for birds and squirrels due to all the trees that line the walking path, there is a selection of well-used and somewhat dilapidated-looking exercise equipment.  Occasionally, a walker, even a jogger, will veer off the pathway and drop down and do push-ups, bracing themselves with hands placed on the platform in which weeds grow between the rusted grid …

… or they take a spin on the pull-up bars, stall bars or parallel bars. 

Then, they’ll pop back onto the trail and resume their walk or jog.

There had not been a soul on the trail on this morning – not a bird nor a squirrel and no humans either.  But, then I saw it – a Robin who clearly thought it was King of the Hill, as it perched on top of this piece of metal exercise equipment.  Judging from the encrusted bird droppings, it is a popular place for this bird or his brethren.

With the camera in hand, I watched this Robin, flitting from one piece of equipment to another.  But it always gravitated back to this piece. perching at the very top. Most likely it was annoyed with me for trying to capture its photo in my valiant effort not to inundate this blog with too many photos of squirrels or geese. (I do “get it” that there can be too much of a good thing.)

It seemed with every click of the shutter, its head was spinning …

… perhaps hoping to illude me? Here is the Robin wearing a particularly disgruntled look since it left his favorite post and flitted over to another piece of equipment.

Soon, this red-breasted bird had tried out every piece of exercise equipment …

… until it had exhausted them all.

You would think it would simply fly to the other end of the Park to rid itself of this pesky woman with her camera. 

Soon I understood its reluctance to leave, when I spotted a juvenile Robin teetering on a rung of the exercise equipment.    

That little birdie with its spotted breast gave me a glance, then bolted and its parent soon followed.  The two disappeared into a thicket and I thought “well that’s the end of this series of photos” … but soon the adult Robin emerged and alighted on the grass.  I watched and waited as its head twirled about, so I figured it was scoping out worms for its post-exercise snack. 

This Robin prefers a little meat after a workout – watch that look of glee as it discovers its breakfast …

… then wrangles that worm out of the ground, …

… then devours it!

My go-to snack after walking used to be a tall chocolate milk back in the day, but I’ve switched to Greek yogurt with some granola and fruit instead – how boring I am these days!

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Today’s the day to honor dear old Dad.

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. ~ Proverb

Well we honored our mothers, so it is only fair that we fête our fathers too.

Since the first goslings arrived at Council Point Park in early May, I have taken many photos of the four families, but, of all the pictures that I have picked through the past six weeks, these are my absolute favorites. I will be honest and state up front that I have no idea whether this is the goose or the gander with their offspring in these sweet images. But, let’s just suppose for the sake of this Father’s Day post, that this is Papa Goose with his goslings, okay? Happy Father’s Day!

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Eat your peas!

About a week ago, I was down at Council Point Park one morning, and, while walking through the parking lot, a very large flock of Canada Geese were flying overhead. 

Their honking, while in flight, was almost deafening.  In fact, the flock was so large, they were actually in two V formations; these photos shows the bigger of the two Vs. 

As old as I am, there are some things in nature that continue to fascinate me and a large flock of migrating geese, playing follow the leader to parts unknown, has always made me stop in my tracks and take notice of them.

I whipped out the camera and took a few shots as they stayed in that near-perfect V formation, and then slowly faded into the distance.

Moments later I was on the perimeter path, where a few gosling families grazed nearby.  Once again I marveled at how quickly the goslings had grown since the first time I spotted them at the Park in early May.  When you compare the offspring of the different families, it is even easier to see how the goslings have grown in leaps and bounds.

But, even though the first family of goslings are nearly the same size as their parents, they are still far from fledging and being on their own.  At this point, they can only gaze upward to the sky and aspire to one day become a part of a contingent of geese like you see in the photos above. 

In the interim, try as they may, their wings, unlike the mighty wingspans of their parents, just resemble wing dings right now.

But, of course a gosling can dream big, like this little guy in the left-hand corner.

Even though the goslings do nothing but graze on the grass at the Park all day, they still need the rest of their feathers to grow in and those tiny wings to develop as well.  Did you know that the average goose eats four pounds of grass a day?  I think the only time the goslings aren’t eating, is when they have swimming lessons, or they are sleeping.

I was remembering about being a youngster myself, way back in the day, as I watched those little nippers toddling about, their parents never far from them.

I’ve often mentioned that my parents were very strict with me.  As an only child, I knew my place and that I must toe the line, or pay the penalty for not doing so.  There would be no slip-ups by little Linda or she’d get a lickin’ and there were no older siblings to have smoothed the path along the way to make it easier for me.  On this Father’s Day weekend, thinking way back to my formative years, it was my mother who was the disciplinarian and not my father … 

Except when it came to food and mealtimes. 

I know that experts say that adults can generally recall events from the time when they were just three or four years old.  I believe that to be a true statement.  I vividly recall a salmon-colored plastic child’s plate that Mom used to put my dinner in.  She poured hot water in the bottom portion, screwed the cap tightly, ladled my dinner into it, then placed it in front of me.  There were little blue, red, yellow and green fish that would “swim” in that water.  But I couldn’t see them until I ate my food.  I never got to be picky about what was put in front of me either.  I may have occasionally voiced my displeasure and balked a bit with the menu that night, but I knew enough not to make an issue of it … 

Except when it came to peas.

I hated those *&^% things!  From the time I graduated from my Little Miss Muffet spoon to a big-girl fork, I had nothing but disdain for peas.  How were you supposed to eat them?  It was hard enough to round ‘em up on your plate and onto your spoon, then try and make a quick dive into your mouth, before they rolled off the edge of the spoon, but balancing them on a fork … well that was a challenge that was a whole ‘nother story.  And my father being European, was all about eating with a knife and fork.  He’d watch me struggling with those stupid peas and trying to meet his standards of how to eat my dinner like a young lady.  Sigh.

I didn’t like the taste of those peas either and occasionally (very occasionally),  I’d protest a little saying “oh, peas again” and my mother would give me “the look” and then the lecture that they were “full of iron and would make me big and strong” so I’d best eat them up.  “I thought you said liver did that Mommy?” my brave and impertinent little self once said.  My father’s response to that comment was “just eat your peas Linda; they’ll put hair on your chest.”  Mom rolled her eyes and said “oh Max – really?!”  Occasionally I got the lecture about starving children in poor countries who would love to be eating peas or liver, so I just resigned myself that I’d never eat peas or liver when I was grown up.  And I don’t.

While watching those feathery fellows scattered along the perimeter path, beak-deep in the tender grass, I had this flashback of the dinner table many decades ago.  Eat your grass little ones and you’ll up grow up big and strong, so one day you will fly in a flock as big as this one.

Today is Nature Photography Day – if you’re so inclined, hope you had an opportunity to get out and see and photograph a few critters today!

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