Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys

The insistent ringing of the telephone brought me out of the bowels of the basement, on a run to stop the phone's dictating demand, "Answer me. Run. Hurry. NOW." I answered on the fourth ring.

"Mrs. Vrbas?" a female voice queried. My heart began to pound with growing anxiety.

"Do you know what your little boys are doing?" the voice continued, slightly accusingly.

"They were playing in the yard when I went to the basement to do laundry," I answered a trifle defensively, still trying to catch my breath.

The zinger came in a polite informative voice. "Were you aware they are relieving themselves on the street?" Sure enough, through the window, I spied my two young sons, standing side by side on the curb, with both hands in front of them, directing their pee toward the passing cars. I sincerely wished I was in the basement and could stay there indefinitely.

"Yes. I see them. I was doing laundry in the basement and they took advantage," I tried to explain through clenched jaws.

"I just thought you would want to know what they are up to," the voice spoke in a most helpful, slightly superior tone. I thanked the voice, and then said good-bye.

I stood at the window, my eyes resting on my male offspring, as they made their private parts private once more. Three and four years old, I couldn't help but smile, as they giggled and joshed with each other for a few minutes. It was cute, but in ten years, it could be an undesirable habit. I did not desire to be the mother of future exhibitionists.

I called to Dave and Joe from the front door, while waving to the concerned citizen from across the street, that I had just spoke to on the phone. The boys came running to the door for milk and cookies. They nodded their heads agreeably while munching cookies and licking at milk mustaches, as I explained they should come inside to use the bathroom. I felt satisfied it had gone well and was no big deal.

I shared this incident with my husband later and how proud of myself I was of how I'd handled the situation with our boys. I couldn't believe my ears later, when he was tucking them into bed. I heard him say to them, "Next time you need to go when you're outside, don't go on the street. Go outback to the lilac bush, where no one will see you."

We laugh about it now, especially since the two kids were crack shots and hit the tractors that would go by, much to the hilarity of the farmers driving them. To the best of my knowledge, they are not exhibitionists today.

My Favorite Prayer

Dear God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself..and
the fact that I think I am following
Your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so. But, I believe this:

I believe that the desire to please You
does in fact please You. I hope I have
that desire in everything I do. I hope I
never do anything apart from that desire.
I know that if I do this You will lead me
by the right road...though I may know
nothing about it at the time.
I will trust You always for though I may
seem to be lost and in the shadow of death,
I will not be afraid because I know You
will never leave me to face my troubles
all alone.

~Thomas Merton~

Monday, September 8, 2008

Summer Visitor

Early in the summer, I set out a hummingbird feeder, just as I had last year. But, this year, I set the bishop's hook near the large bay window, so we could observe the little suckers close up.

Well, it hung there, full of red sugar water (they call it nectar, to be specific) hoping to entice one or two to come near, and to hang out in our yard this summer, and to join all the other birds that I feed, too. But, it hung there for weeks, untouched. And it seemed to mock me, every time I walked by.

One day, in July, that feeder hanging there with nothing happening nearly got the best of me, and I took it down to put it away in the basement. And as I emptied it into the sink, a little bit of hope nudged me, and I filled it again. One more time, I said to self.

The next morning, about 7:30, as I walked by the window, one tiny green hummingbird shot up to the hanging feeder and took a drink. It was there for maybe two seconds, they are so quick. Well, I probably chased the poor thing off when I hooped and hollered for joy, when I saw it! It came back often that day and for three days total. I didn't get too much done, for those three days, because I had my behind firmly planted by that window watching the little green miracle just on the other side of the glass

Then, just as I was getting used to it being around, I didn't see it again, for several weeks. But, I continued to change the red sugar water - er, nectar, faithfully. He might come back, you know. And thankfully, my husband got some photoshots of it.

Later, in August, it was back again, but this time, it seemed quite agitated, continually watching around it, on guard, it seemed. It didn't take long to find out why. There was another one, that kept buzzing around, and when it buzzed past, it took up chase. Sometimes, it even perched on the bishop's hook, and even though it was vigilantly watching for the other hummingbird, too, it would gaze into the window pane, as if it was as curious about us, as we were about him. (Or her?) Then, there were three of them, and one would guard another, while it took sustenance at the nectar feeder, and seemed to be guarding this one from a third one.

I was in heaven, let me tell you. Now, there were three, and they were buzzing around, back and forth from the trees, to the feeder, and around the yard and back again. I think we had a male protecting a female from another male. He was sure territorial! No bird was going to take his girl!

Off and on, we saw them for about 8 days. Then, it was quiet, again, for I guess that they may have had a nest of little ones. This is even better yet, now there will be more of them. I don't think we watched tv for more than a week. We had much better entertainment right out of our window and I had a front row seat.

I see one occaisonally, now, that we are into September, and the nights are a bit cooler. Soon, they will migrate, as many birds do. But, you can be very sure, I will put that red sugar water feeder out again, next year. Same place next year, okay guys?!