We sat at the kitchen table conversing over coffee. In time, Heather noticed that Chloe, the youngest, had disappeared.
"Bam," the screen door slammed. "Bam," it slammed again. It's a new sound coming from the back porch.
I love the sound of a screen door slamming. I love the way a screen door can make you feel like your outside even if you're inside.
It was a day to roll the windows down and sing loud. I was heading down Highway 45 South to Noxubee County, and the roadsides were aflame with red clover. The words of Tommy James and the Shondells' 1968 hit "Crimson and Clover" played over and over in my head. I sang loud.
It was Good Friday, one of Sam's annual fishing days. I, on the other hand, drove out to Tractor Supply to look at ducklings. I told myself I didn't have to buy any, I would just look. I gave myself permission to buy some if I wanted to, but I didn't have to. I had an animated conversation with myself the whole way.
Eight good-size turtles bask on the bank of the pond. A few years back we emptied the pond and had the silt dug out. When it refilled only one fallen limb remained in the pond. The pond turtles vie for it.
A terrible, terrible, thing happened. Sam pulled the boat out of the garage to go fishing. We keep the fishing boat in the garage and the vehicles in the yard. It was a beautiful day so the garage doors were left opened.
Spring flings a craving on me for something new to wear; something "springy" even if temperatures are freezing. No matter, I wanted something the yellow of a daffodil, the fuchsia of loropetalum or the purple of a budding redbud. Only I was prevented from going to my usual thrift haunts because I had given up my love of thrifting for Lent. It meant sacrifice.
I ran my hand over the book cover which I'm in the habit of doing. A pretty cover attracts me. The book featured delicate anthropomorphic characters framing a drawing of a kindly man wearing an oversized purple shirt, a garden hat; he was leaning on a long stick and holding a sunflower. Bumblebees bumbled all around him. I'm afraid I might be one of those people who judge a book by its cover.
People always say that you can't get something for nothing but that's not true. Not at the library.
The little church in the Prairie, Shaeffer's Chapel, had their annual Seniors Appreciation Banquet -- not seniors like high-schoolers, but seniors like seniors. The preacher shared with the crowd, "Honor your father and mother so that your days on the earth may be long."
There on the bank of the lake lay a critter that looked a lot like a beaver. Its fur was long and wet; its teeth were curved and yellow. Its feet were webbed, but the tail was its undoing. The water rodent had a long round tail like a rat. The son-of-a gun was no doubt a Louisiana nutria.
Some days pass by so fast you don't even see them, but come Saturday the pace slows down around here. Saturdays start off quiet and slow, allowing time to catch up. Then there's strong coffee followed by a bowl of oatmeal topped with honey, golden nectar, a gracious gift.
It all started about three days before. The rains were torrential and the lake was so full that most of the center stumps were submerged.
"Sam, I think the spillway is dammed up. The water is high."
After work Sam took the gator to the spillway and sure enough a beaver had dammed the flow again. In drizzling rain Sam shoveled out the dam and checked the beaver trap. No beaver.
"Did you see Leah?" I asked.
Hopping over the worm on the asphalt took me back to my childhood when rains brought out red wigglers. I remember hopscotching across sidewalks trying to avoid stepping on icky worms.
Jack, the deaf cat, knowing sign language, responds to the universal sign of flicking your hand. "Come on," I flick my hand; he comes.
I often wonder how different life would be in the city. I wonder if city dwellers contend with coyotes, fox, armadillos, owls, raccoons and beaver; possibly a snake or two.
Puffy little dark-eyed juncos are popping in and out of the leftover Christmas tree. The same Christmas tree we bought at Marvin's the day after Thanksgiving. A couple of years back we decided we were no longer able or nimble enough to trek hill and dell to secure the tallest and finest cedar tree in the Prairie.
I noticed them right off. There on the roadside near the ditch were big, leafy greens. Once or twice I saw people picking them. I was reminded of the time I saw folks picking greens and carefully putting them in a cloth sack. I asked what they were.
"Fiddleheads," they said.
The telescope stands poised at the window, aimed at the deer feeder. At dawn and twilight a Bardwell can be seen standing with eye pressed to the scope, but on this morning I swung the scope toward the lake. A flock of geese had descended and there was Leah, the domestic duck, amongst them.
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