Report from the MountainsJune 10 | Posted by editor | News, Opinion Tags: Bette Sherman, Guest Column
Today I did something that I haven’t done since 1968. I hung wash on a clothesline. I have wanted to do this for some time, but I don’t own a drill – to put some holes in a post to screw in hooks in so I could string a clothesline. Finally got the holes drilled, got some hooks, and I was all set except for the wet wash.
They are all out there – hanging in a neat line, but I didn’t realize what an exercise that gave me. Bending over, standing upright, lifting my arms; bending over, standing upright, lifting my arms. WOW. I feel like Jane Fonda.
Next washday I will have to find some music with a solid beat – I could start Wash-er-size. Anyone know how to tie knots so the line doesn’t slip????????????? This is a line I have to put up and take down. The hooks stay, but the line has to go.
It was a delicious night – the slider door was open, the air was clean and cool – the overhead fan kept the air moving – I slept. Then came the dawn and a little wren sat in the dogwood tree and pretended she was Janice Joplin. How one little tiny bird can make so much noise is beyond me. The air was clean and cool, the overhead fan kept the air moving but I no longer slept.
Anyone who says it’s too quiet in the country doesn’t have a wren at the door; and the peepers in Judy’s pond after a rain – to have any kind of conversation requires you to go indoors and close the windows and doors.
If you are having a drought – I have an easy solution which doesn’t require you to learn how to do a “rain dance”. Put up a clothes line. The first day mine was up it was a lovely sunny day. There was a gentle breeze, the sun was bright and the birds were not aware that there was something to aim at. Since then it has rained every day – not all day – the mornings are lovely and you can’t see a dark cloud in the sky. Get wet clothes out on the line and wham bam – a rumble far off in the distance. Oh, look. There’s a little black cloud looking for a place to take a dump and high in the sky – it’s a bird –
it’s a plane – it’s Superman – no, it’s a bird.
I went out on a job – stopped raining. Didn’t rain the entire week I was gone. Nary a drop.
I am on a job; sitting on the deck watching the birds at the feeder. There’s a small flock of sparrow size. There are a couple of recently fledged youngsters who think they should still be fed. They flutter their wings, stretch their necks out and holler (chirp loudly); most of the time the parent ignores them. Momma peck at the feeder while Jr. shakes and hollers. Reminds me of a kid having a temper tantrum in the grocery store – lying on the floor, kicking his feet and exercising his lungs. Guess he figures he will be an adult for the rest of his life, why not be kid for as long as he can flutter his wings and holler.
I am also the squirrel Nazi – Cardinals don’t like those tube feeders so I lay a line of sunflower seeds along the railing. The squirrels know they are there and those rats with fluffy tails are persistent buggers. This deck is only a little over 4’ wide and the part of the railing I lay the seeds on is in front of the door. They sit there till I not only click the latch, but am half way out the door before they scamper away. Abby, the Corgi, is willing, but she’s just not quick enough.
The first time I saw her (I don’t know if it’s a he or she, but for this story let’s pretend it’s a girl). The first time I saw her I immediately felt sorry for her. My reaction was to get sunflower seeds and put them out for her but there was no way I could get to the seeds without scaring her away. So I watched her go about her scavenging, thieving business with a bit of pity and a bit of awe. She could climb the posts and railings as well as her four legged relatives. She could hang from the gutters and scamper across the roof, she could jump as far and as fast, she might be a tad slower in a sprint, but even in my prime I probably couldn’t outrun her. She’s up a tree with her tail thrashing and chattering if she is annoyed. She can sit up on her haunches and look like the worried washer-woman. I am in awe, but no longer do I need to feel sorry for her – she’s doing just fine.
Bette Sherman is a favorite of the Georgia Mountain Beacon and is a regular contributor. She is retired and is a pet-sitter who loves to write.