Running errands this past year has taken on a much different rhythm. I really need to get more walking in, and I intend to, but for now it seems I just drive from place to place – and wait.
I started out my day early and achy, bothered by the wind and the massive weather change over the last 48 hours. It was +38°F when I went to bed last night! That’s after a low of 9°F a few night ago. Good grief.
I’m fine with the warmer temperatures. It’s the wind and roller coaster barometer that play havoc with my body.
Anyway, a large mug of steaming black coffee gave me a boost, and sipping it while chickadees swooped and dove artfully around the bird feeder outside my bedroom window raised my spirits substantially.
I had to smile in spite of myself at how much the birds were obviously enjoying the lift and movement the lively breeze offered.
Following the dizzy routes of eager chickadees, sparrows and the occasional nuthatch as they rode the air currents between the deck and the tree line was a nice way to start my day.
Eventually though, I got myself moving and headed out to run errands, although “run” probably doesn’t apply. Daylight is limited and I’d need to be finished and tucked safely back indoors by 4:00pm.
My first stop was the grocery pick-up parking lot, where I dutifully called and gave them my name … and waited.
Of course, I had both dachshunds with me, which adds its own entertainment. It’s hard to be truly bored with such company. ❤️
I love how different their personalities are. When we are parked, Baxter spends his time vigilantly guarding the car from strangers, popping from seat to seat, on alert for intruders. He only barks if they foolishly come too close to the window – and will stop on request. Well, most of the time. 😉 While traveling, he’s off-duty and generally sound asleep.
Rhonda, who thinks all people are her best friends; albeit as yet un-met, is quietly observant.
People are no threat to her. Her interest is usually directed more towards the ground, bushes and trees nearby. Surely a rabbit will pop out any second. On a windy day like this, even a scrap of paper blowing along the asphalt is suspect and bears close inspection.
When Baxter suddenly went dead silent and froze, and my sweet Rhonda vibrated under my hand with a deep, rumbling growl, I quickly pulled my attention from the grocery store door.
Turning to glance the direction both dogs were laser-focused, I smiled in delight. A cow moose was just emerging from the trees behind the store. Only about 100 feet away, she was a large, healthy girl, not at all concerned by the cars in the parking lot as she nibbled bare tree branches.
Baxter was perfectly happy to watch in quiet interest from inside the car. He’s had experience with moose and knows better than to mess with them or even draw their attention to himself.
Ronni, on the other hand, was straining with her nose to the 2” crack at the top of the window. She had the scent and was absolutely entranced. Ronni has seen quite a few moose in her 2 1/2 years. Her response is always the same – olfactory senses going non-stop as she takes it all in.
Sorry sweetie – this one’s just a bit too big for you to take on! I’m pretty sure Ronni was thinking “Give me a chance, Mom. Really! Death from the ankles down!”
About then, the grocery delivery boy pushed the cart noisily out the door and towards our vehicle. It was enough to have the moose eyeing him balefully and then calmly ambling back the way she’d come.
One errand down, two to go. ☑️
Sitting in line at the drive-through pharmacy at Walgreens was my next stop. I usually bring my Kindle along, so I can listen to an Audible book or play games.
Drive-through pharmacies have really gained in popularity this past year. Go figure.
Today, since the pharmacy wait was obviously going to be a long one and I had the dogs with me, there was the added challenge of making sure the groceries I’d just added to the back of the vehicle stayed intact and unmolested.
A package of fresh, deli-sliced roast beef and a pair of dachshunds are a combination custom-made for trouble. Well mannered in most respects, it would just be too much to ask of them, even with me sitting right there.
I figured my only option was to lock either the dogs or the groceries up in the dog kennel. The groceries, of course, lost the toss and ended up in jail – much to the disappointment of the dachshunds. 😉
Walgreens pharmacy was still on lunch break when I arrived and I was 8th in line. Sigh.
I reclined the driver’s seat a little, put the car in park, and pulled out my Audible book. With no people walking around, Baxter was quickly bored and sound asleep. Ronni, it seems, had the watch and was tracking a trio of nearby ravens with quiet intensity. Prey! Very active prey!
Her interest caught my attention, and I quickly found myself joining her and chuckling over the big birds’ antics. Very much akin to the tiny chickadees I’d watched at dawn, these massive, glossy black ravens were enjoying playing in the very active air.
The aerial acrobatics kept both of us entertained as the line of cars crept slowly forward. I was almost sorry when I reached the window.
One more line to go. Happily, the line for the drive-thru at the bank was only two cars long and business was quickly dispatched.
Tired and hungry at this point, I eyed the nearby line for the drive-through at Taco Bell. Easily twelve cars. I shook my head, rolled my eyes and headed for home. A bowl of soup sounded just fine.
Less than an hour later, I was back to watching chickadees at my bird-feeder, with the sun now going down rather than coming up. I had a dog (Ronni) napping on my lap and a cup of soup warming my hands. Life could be worse.
And still … an entire afternoon of running errands – and I never got out of my car. I really want life to get back to normal.
One thought on “Being Grateful for Birds”
I’m with you, Deb. I want to get out of the holding pattern as well, and get on with LIFE. I thank the good Lord for my pets and for other small things that bring cheer to my day. Maybe that’s part of the upside to all of this – if there is one – to learn not to take the small things for granted, ever again.
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