Sunday, January 26, 2014

Millie without Luna

Millie doesn’t wander the property with me anymore.
She used to. 

When Luna and I rambled around once or twice a day, 
Millie usually followed.

She wasn’t always happy about it.

But she was curious enough, 

or jealous enough, 

or bored or lonely enough, to follow.

Because Luna explored,

Millie explored.

No matter how much I coax her,
she won’t follow me when I’m alone.

She might come as far as the porch step,

or maybe the lumber pile at the back corner of the house.

Then recently, 
Bill and I were outside airing up the tires on a trailer.
Guess who showed up—even though it was snowing just a bit?

Yup, Millie.

She came looking for us, 
yowling with curiosity and petulance.

Pinkies, what are you doing out here? 
Is it really necessary to be out in this wet and cold nastiness?

After posing for her portrait, she jumped the gate and 
stalked down the sidewalk to the front door, 
pausing after each step to shake the water off a hind paw.

So...for Millie, no one person is worth trailing 
through the snow and across the property.

(Curiosity killed the cat, right?)

C. S. Lewis wrote, 
“In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to [one of Charles’s jokes]. Far from having more of Ronald, having him ‘to myself’ now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald.”*

He goes on to make some points about friendship and Heaven and God, 
but this quote has been on my mind the last few weeks because of Millie and Luna.

Most of what Luna brought out in Millie, I don’t miss: stinkeye glares, hisses, and swipes.

However, I do miss watching Luna run and sniff and explore the property day after day . . .

and I miss being trailed by a black and white cat

who sometimes galloped across the property, teasing Luna.

And sometimes even almost played with her.

She had fun—in spite of herself, I think.

Her world has shrunk back to what it was before Luna came to us. 

It makes me sad. 

I wonder if we got another dog, 
if that might bring her out again. 
I suppose Ill find out, when the time comes. 

* Quote is from page 234 of The Quotable Lewis, edited by Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root, copyright 1989, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bird Baths

Last Thursday, I set out for a little walk and saw something amazing in our driveway.

It was cold. 
It had been raining and snowing, 
and there were icy mud puddles in our gravel driveway.

And there were birds bathing in these mud puddles.
(I think they might be Dark-eyed Juncos. Maybe.)
(Also known as Oregon Juncos, btw.)

Like I've said before, I don't know much about birds. 
There must be important benefits to this bird bathing stuff.
My sweetie and I speculated and joked about it later. 
Was it some sort of bird gang initiation?

You wanna be in the Dark Feather Brotherhood?
Break the ice, dunk your head, and flutter, little bird!

Or maybe it's a competition?

You think you made a splash? That's nuthin'! Check this out!

Then a towhee* showed up, and the other birds left.
(Guess their gangs don't flock together.
Who knew a mud puddle could be contested turf?)

And the towhee took up right where they'd left off.

That's a chunk of ice just to his left. 
And yes, a dusting of snow in the background.

Here he goes . . . 


I had initially identified the towhee as a robin, until someone who knew something about birds set me straight. My apologies!

Friday, January 3, 2014


I went for a little walk today and--

I just wish it--

And a couple blocks--


That's all.