I am going to have to write a quick post here because I am waiting for an important cell phone call---and I am extremely worried and nervous. In fact, I am pacing the floor with worry, trying to knit, and watching TV to keep my mind off of it till I get that call.
It is because of my niece --- the light of my life, the loveliest girl you've ever seen, who is a freshman at Texas Women's University....a good girl who got a 4.0 average in her first semester even though she works all weekend at a part-time job .....and calls me Auntie Bo.
This is what happened.
My niece became ill during the festivities at my mother's Memorial Day Gala. She had already been feeling bad for a few days and was feeling somewhat worse. I assessed her and was frightened to see that she was running a fever of over 102 with abdominal pain and vomiting.
I contacted an ER doctor friend of mine (a guy I used to work with in an Emergency Room for years--- and who I think is One Of The Greatest ER Doctors That Have Ever Lived ) and he confirmed what I already knew in my heart----that her symptoms warranted an urgent need to be seen in an Emergency Room as soon as possible.
And so my sister cut their holiday plans short, packed quickly, and is--- as we speak--- speeding her way to Dallas just as fast as she can in order to take my niece to a Dallas hospital. Lord, I hope she doesn't have an accident by speeding so fast.
And she has promised to call me when she gets to the Emergency Room and finds out what is wrong with my niece.
It's hard to wait. And so I knit, I watch re-runs of "City Confidential" on the TV, I drink some good orange juice with no pulp in it, I stand on the balcony and look at the beautiful new hybrid impatiens and the lush fern my mother and sister gave me.....and I wait, and I worry....
So I am rather at a loss for words, but I do have some presents for you. I have the "Last Chapter of the Mockingbird Family" ---which, to me, is very poignant and sad because I was so happy while they were here----but yet I have been very lonely and sad since they left, although I know that it is Mother Nature's way....
And I have some other surprises for you, too. I wasn't quite sure that I would be able to get one of them for you---but I got it, hot damn! The others are unexpected surprises that I was able to get by the skin of my teeth--- by almost getting myself killed.
(But get them, I did, dang it....)
Anyway, here is the picture of the baby mockingbirds as they continued to grow and turn into "real" little birdies, with feathers and wings instead of downy little lumps. They got so big that they had to practically squeeze themselves together to fit into the nest.
In fact, they got so big that sometimes they had to STAND ON TOP OF EACH OTHER--heh!--to demand food! I love the look on the face of the one on the bottom left----he looks rather irked about having to be stomped on, don't you think?
And yes, the father still pecked me every chance he got, as you can see from the picture below. He was rather proud of himself for perfecting his "zoom and swoop" maneuver, managing to learn to do it in such a way that he was first able to give me a really good view of the disaproving look on his face before he punctured my head with his beak. (I'm still amazed that birds can frown like that....)
Sometimes the little babies would hide their heads down into the nest when I would come to take a picture, which was cute because all that showed was their little tail-feathers sticking up! And then the fateful day came. One day, while I was at work, two of the babies flew away and were gone when I came home.
But one had stayed, and I wondered why. I worried---was it because he couldn't fly? Was something wrong? Or was he just getting his nerve up? I worried about him all night, feeling sad for him, wondering if he was lonely for his siblings in that now-roomy nest....
The next morning I jumped out of bed at sunrise and ran out to the balcony to see if he was still there. He was. He was perched on the edge of the nest, staring at me with a very strange look on his face. He allowed me to get right up close to him and talk to him while I snapped his picture. I asked him why he hadn't flown yet and whether he was afraid or not. And then he started gazing in the direction of the rising sun.....
And then suddenly my camera stated: "Memory Card Full". So I ran into the apartment and grabbed an extra memory card. But when I returned to the balcony all I found was......an empty nest. A heartbreakingly empty nest.
He had flown into the new day's sunlight...
And to my dying day I will believe that the little baby bird had waited for me that morning.....to say goodbye to me before he flew away.....
Anyway, no phone call yet.
I wish that Dallas weren't so far away from Podunk. Unfortunately it's forever away. Miles and miles and miles. Hours and hours and hours...
Dallas is such an emotional dichotomy to me, here in my self-imposed exile. I shun it as much I need it.
It's so faraway--- but sometimes I wish it were nearby....
Anyway, as I await my phone call, I have some other surprises for you.
One of them I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to get for you----but I was able to get it! Remember I told you that my mother mentioned that a couple of robins were building a nest near one of her gardens?
Well, during her Memorial Day Gala, with the help of one of the men and a 6-foot ladder, I was able to get this picture to show you:
Beautiful blue robins' eggs!! And I think my mother described it best when she said: "Only God could have created that particular shade of blue..."
She's right, don't you think? (And don't worry---I will leave the poor things alone. My mother lives too far away for me to get up there to take pictures of the baby robins like I did the mockingbirds. And also, leaning out precariously in the air from that tall ladder definitely wasn't as easy as snapping pics in a hanging pot on my own balcony....)
And here's my other surprise.
But before you call me such words as "insane", "stupid", "certifiable", "nuts" or "looney as a toon", let me just explain, okay?
I mean, HEY, it was my BIG CHANCE. Everybody thinks I'm crazy, but all that I wanted was a simple picture, okay? Is it SO DANG WRONG to want a close-up picture of a buffalo? I ask you, is it so wrong for an amateur photographer to want a picture of a buffalo? I mean, they even live in my own damn neighborhood, for Christ's sakes--- and so I think it is just pure-dee RUDE (and flat-out UN-NEIGHBORLY ) that the one stupid buffalo acted like he did when I took a picture of his buddy.
And okay, yes, I will admit that I did have to be saved by a quick-witted ranch-hand who jumped from a moving vehicle to save my stupid life. But dang it, I got the pics, didn't I? And the ranch-hand is okay, too. (Er...I think his blood pressure came down quite nicely and I did check it several times for awhile before I left to make sure....)(When I left, he was muttering something to the effect of "going to the bootlegger" but I'm not quite sure, as I was trying to get out of his hair just as soon as I could because he was ALSO talking about me needing a "good switchin' like his grandmother used to give to dadgum fool children"....)
But really, I totally expected that stupid buffalo to act in that that way. After all, buffaloes are very similar to regular cow bulls, who are amongst the most obnoxious and rude creatures on God's Green Earth. And--- at least I learned a very good lesson about Buffalo-lology.
Ya hear me? NOW I KNOW......
Now. I. Know.
I know now that if a buffalo is real quiet.....and you think he's feeling just fine and dandy about having his stupid picture taken simply because he isn't stomping the dirt and snorting bull snot out of his nostrils like regular cow bulls do when they're pissed off.....
....but then he suddenly scares the beejeezus out of you and makes your hair stand on end by making this totally HORRIFYING bellowing noise that practically busts your eardrums and sounds like somebody set off every chicken-farm steam whistle and fire-house alarm within a 35 mile radius.....
Then you want to get the hell out of there.
(Or else have an alert ranch-hand save your stupid ass...)
Oh, and here's another handy lesson in Buffalo-lology.
Whatever you do, don't forget to keep ahold of your camera or you could die for NOTHING!!--- which is most definitely NOT what I intend to do, dammit. By golly, if I have to die-by-buffalo-stomp-goring, it's going to be WORTH IT, dammit!
Because if, by some unfortunate piece of luck, I end up showing up early at the Pearly Gates of Heaven, and St. Peter is standing there with his hands on his hips, rolling his eyes with disgust because he's highly pissed off at me for losing my life to a stupid mad buffalo simply because I wanted to get a "good picture"--- I want to be able to say to him:"Hey listen, Saint Pete-Bob. Go on and admit it---it's like taking risks when fishing for the big sharks off Galveston. You know damn well that you'd have done the same damn thing if you'd had the chance. And I'll go down in history at the hospital for dying like a good Podunk Cowgirl and Road Nurse......with my cowgirl boots on and my camera still in my hand. Now look at this shot---does he look like a complete asshole or what?...."
Anyway, I am awaiting the call.
(Dear God, please don't let anything be wrong with my niece..... )