Just what we didn’t need, a hurricane in the middle of a pandemic. Hurricane Hanna chose not to keep her distance or stay at home. Instead she chose to waltz into the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall on the Texas coast as a category 1 hurricane without much warning. The eye of the storm came in just south of Corpus Christi with some wind damage and flooding caused by rising water but no loss of lives. We were fortunate but hurricane season is just beginning.
My plumbago blooms; the cactus blooms.
President Trump tweets daily and plays golf on the weekends.
We order groceries online and do curbside pickup. A sister dies.
A couple of weeks ago we went out to Freer to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 92nd birthday. It was a beautiful clear crisp day with just enough warmth to make you want to soak up the sun after being hunkered down at home. Then we saw the vulture perched defiantly on a light pole as if waiting for something to die. Yet to its right and just below was an equally defiant bird – a male cardinal resting on a dead limb. Neither flew away as Husband took a photo.
The tranquil scene seemed to me a perfect relection of this time in the middle of a pandemic. Yes, there is death and the threat of dying, but along side the darkness there is hope. While a vulture conjures up thoughts of death and decay, the cardinal is seen by some as a sign of a departed loved one or at least a good omen or good luck. My mother always told me to make a wish if I saw a cardinal. That day I put two fingers to my lips, made a wish and blew it a kiss as my mother had taught me when I was a child at this same place.
On one of my walks this week I had to stop and see who was driving this car parked in front of a house. No, it was not the cat and the car was not running. The window was rolled down. The cat turned to look at me and seemed to pose as I took my phone from my pocket to take this photo. It just calmly looked at me as I continued on my way. When I came back that way it was gone – the cat, not the car.
Last week a slight cool front came in for us – in the low sixties. I still had a couple of hummingbird feeders up for stragglers that might be hanging around. I saw one perched on a feeder for quite some time and mentioned it to Husband. He went out to check it out and took some photos with the hummer still perched and fluffed out.
He was able to get very close but the visitor never moved. Usually, they don’t stay put for very long as anyone has tried to photograph them would agree.
He finally went up and picked it up. It put up no resistance so he brought it into the house and warmed it between his hands.
It was a ruby-throated hummingbird and you can see a hint of red. When they flash it in flight, it is a beautiful iridescent red displayed on their throat area.
It has opened its eyes but still made no movement – unusual for a hummer. Yet we were afraid it might suddenly take off flying in the house.
I found a small cardboard box, took it outside in the back yard and placed a fluffy towel inside. Husband brought the tiny bird out and placed it in the box while it glared back at him as if to say, “Were am I?” Husband now took the camera again and took a photo of it in the box. With that final flash of the camera, our friend regained his senses and quickly flew out of the box and high into a neighbor’s dense tree.
The next day I saw a ruby-throated come to the one feeder I had left out. (The other one was becoming cloudy and that is not good for them.) In the several days since we have only seen one lone hummer visit the feeder. Was it our cold hummer? Maybe, maybe not, but I hope we have helped it on his way south and were good hosts to all of them.
The quote below was enclosed in a birthday card to me from Son a couple of weeks ago. It was timely in many ways.
“Legends say that hummingbird float free of time, carrying our hope for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”
On a recent overnight trip Husband and I stopped in Crystal City, Texas to check out a historical site (future post) and found Popeye the Sailor Man. The city claims to be the “Spinach Capital of the World,” so it seems appropriate for statue of Popeye and a Spinach Festival that started the day after we were there. The festival featured music, a beauty pageant, carnival, a spinach cook-off and for the first time ever, a spinach-eating contest. Contestants had to eat cans of spinach; I assume they did not have to open them Popeye-style. It was 52 degrees that day so it was cold for us in November. The next day it was warmer.
Wednesday Son and I drove to North Beach to see Daughter who works on the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay. As I stopped at a stop sign, we looked up to see these monks walking single file and looking rather out of place amid the tourists.
Where had they been? Had they toured the Lex? Were they going to visit the Texas State Aquarium next? Son captured the moment with his phone.
We started as strangers with a dance one night,
although neither really liked to dance.
Yet we found magic as we twirled and swayed
to our own version of a country western two-step.
Now we have traveled around the sun forty times
as we flow from season to season together.
Love, laughter, dark moments, loss, joy,
surprises, fear, triumphs,
disappointments, sunshine, magic and music, wine, travel, cats and kids. I love you madly still!
May we embrace all the seasons of life
for every day we share.
Happy 40th anniversary!