Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Birds

A student of my husband's who was from a distant country, gave him a pair of canaries. The student's mom had sent them so he would not be too lonely. For some reason, they were to remind him of home. Perhaps he was from a home that had canaries in residence. The young man had to move on to another city and another school and knew my husband had twin grandaughters, so he asked Louie if he would like to take the birds. Of course, my husband said yes.

This was a pair of darling canaries. The twins were not too interested in them, but I was crazy about them. The male had a weird little crest of dark feathers that sat a little crookedly on his head. It actually looked like his toupee had slipped forward into his eyes. He sang his head off, but he did not last long.

One morning, there he was, croaked, in the water dish. I was shocked and saddened. Of course everyone thought I was overreacting. But this guy was charming. I put his body in a ziploc bag for later burial and put it in the freezer. I began to research replacing him. This is why my only google entry is some Illinois Canary afficianado club.

I soon found out that this bird was a crested Gloucester, and he cost over a hundred dollars. The gentleman I spoke with said he probably died cuz I left him with the female all the time and the female tends to harass the male to death. They should only be together to breed. He recommended not replacing him which was sort of a relief. I told the breeder that losing the canary made me sad, but when I found out how expensive he was I was even more sad.

The female was in a cage near my chair in the dining room and we became good friends. She was very demanding and insisted I chirp and cluck at her rather ridiculously when ever I sat down near her. Of course, I enjoyed this because she responded in kind. She also began to sing which is unusual for a female. She laid eggs furiously, and after about a year and a half she began to fail. I knew she was going and held her and petted her. No, seriously, I loved this bird. Well, when she passed, I put her in the freezer in a ziploc bag for later burial.

My relatives were freaked out by the birds in the freezer, but I kinda liked seeing their pretty yellow feathers and remembering them. But, mostly, they were usually forgotten behind the broccoli and the chicken breasts. Then we ordered the new fridge.

I cleaned out the old fridge the morning the new one was to be delivered. As each shelf and crisper was emptied and disposed of, I began to think of what to do with the bird bodies. It was a warm spring day, so I asked Louie to bury them out by the creek. I would have done it myself, but I was really busy, and wanted to avoid getting that little choky feeling I knew I would get if I buried them myself. So Louie agreed to take them out and inter them. I asked him to remember what nifty little guys they were and to think something respectful as he buried them. He agreed and walked out the back door and across the deck. I was standing at the kitchen sink and as he passed by the window and went down the stairs he said, "Here, kitty, kitty."

Friday, June 10, 2005


I need to research this matter a little, but, I think, somewhere in the New Testament, it says something about Jesus not liking self-righteousness, especially if it was because of him. I always took that to mean that He doesn't want people to think they are hot stuff just because they bought His program. Like He teaches humility and doesn't like pride, right?

But it seems that whenever I meet people who are into that new Christian-right modern religion thing that is growing everywhere by leaps and bounds, they think they are the only ones who know the secrets or truth. I was at a little holiday celebration with a bunch of them last year. It was supposed to be a get together where we shared stories of our own families' Christmas traditions. But, as the evening went on, and we played these little sharing games and read scripture, and heard a little homily, I started to think it was a kind of intervention since I was the only one still Catholic and not attending one of these brand spanking new Evangelical churches. So at the end of the evening we were supposed to write down what we thought of the evening and what we got out of it and I presented my little note as a diatribe on how I was already in Jesus and God's family, and had always felt that way and totally did not get the personal relationship with Jesus thing. I also felt I had to mention that what they said about Jesus saying, " I am the way the truth and the Life," was actually Him saying, "I am the Way the Truth and the Light." Huge difference to me at least. So they pretty much leave me alone now.

But my one immediate neighbor cannot resist a little expounding on the love of God whenever the situation arises. We have this little tacit war about who has the best perennials, and I think I win this year. I could have told her those Gerbera daisies punk out after the big show with the initial gorgeous, SINGLE bloom. But, whatever... So, she has these little meetings where all the gals from the church come over to pray and talk about God and stuff. And last week she had two on two days in a row. This is cuz her husband is training to be a pastor, and she therefore, is in training to be a pastor's wife, I am at least assuming. So I think that is swell and won't have sour grapes about her popularity, even tho I am a singularly unfriendly type of person. And the only thing that really bothers me about it, besides the fact that her daughters are champs at bitchiness, is how difficult it is to get out of my driveway when all her guests are parked up and down both sides of our narrow little rural street.

So, I was putting in a few more petunia plants, and planting a row of Barberry bushes, and it was kind of hot and I was getting really dirty, but things were going really well. I was certainly on a roll, and patting myself on the back, figuratively of course, as my partially roboticized body doesn't move around the gardening melieu very well and certainly does not allow for any back patting manuevers. And as I was perking merrily along, I was noticing the large number of cars in the street in front of my home, and I was listening to the ladies of the church, on my neighbor's screen porch, just over my shoulder, spiritedly discussing transformation and other stuff of a religious nature. And for just a moment I thought to myself that perhaps I was remiss in not joining in such types of soul betterment and was not doing right cuz I was not attempting to learn more about the Lord and how to get to be with Him. But I realized that what I was doing was a great form of worship and doing it and realizing what it was worth seems to prove to me that God and I are still on friendly terms.