Feed the Birds

It’s all gone to the birds. I’m sitting on my front porch, laptop snuggly on my legs – it’s a bit chilly out here yet, so the warmth of the processor is as good as a cat, and less claws. I’m listening to the birds. The tiny town we’ve settled in is a bird sanctuary, and my son decided he was going to buy a bird feeder. I find it interesting that he opted to spend some of his savings, unprompted, on a feeder and seed and then make sure it was set up for the birds. Given how much is going on, why that? But he did, and then I pointed out he’d hung it virtually on the front porch, where the birds were rightfully wary of it. Perhaps in the small pecan in the yard?

We’ve got doves, and grackle, and the ubiquitous LBB. He wanted to attract the cardinals (we had one nesting in the vines at the porch) and succeeded. In the distance I can hear the Canada Geese at the town pond (I know the sign says lake. It’s a pond). I won’t take much time, today, to sit here watching and listening to the feathered neighbors, but someday soon I will be able to do so.

We write about the chaos. Living in the peace of feeding the birds is much easier, but it makes for a boring book. Likely a blog post, as well, but I do have a point… somewhere. They wander off, you know. Book plots revolve around the biggest events in a life, and a series strings those together like pearls on silk, if pearls coruscated with the internal fires of eruptions and explosions. Drama! Action! Adventure! And here I am sitting on my porch sipping the cold caffeine (I have got to start coffee…) and contemplating popcorn ceiling repair.

Drama can be a small thing. In our case, the grand adventure started over a year ago, with a decision to move away from the state I’d been in for several years, and my husband had spent the majority of his life in. Neither of us knew what lay in store, but we sat on another porch a thousand miles away and talked it over for hours before making a mutual decision. Despite there being a plan, and, shockingly, the plan being maintained, it’s still had it’s snags and crises. Of such things a book could be written. Not mine, but…

Adventure, my First Reader is known to say in exceedingly dry tones, is what you want to happen to that other guy, way over there. In a book, this is exactly what we enjoy. We aren’t living through it, slogging though mud until our feet start to rot, and the leeches seethe under the rags hanging off our bodies. We are sitting quietly with book in hand – or listening to it as we drive – and thrilling to the courage of a character who is doing things we wish we could.

And the tiny dramas of doves arguing over the feeder. For avatars of peace, they squabble a lot.

16 comments

  1. In the Adirondacks, there’s the Fulton Chain. Every time we drove past the Fifth Lake ,we girls would call it Fifth Puddle.

    1. Touring a cave in eastern Pennsylvania, we all laughed at a tiny sign proclaiming a body of water about 3 inches long and half an inch deep ‘Lake Inferior’. It was fed by drips from a stalactite and the guides said it never dried up.

  2. I’ve had what qualify as mild adventures. I’d prefer not to again, thank you. I’ve started to understand the appeal of the household fiction that the English used to call (still call?) the “Aga Saga” after the ubiquitous Aga brand stoves. They are quiet stories about domestic dramas that resolve happily with the return of calm and routine. Not exactly cozies, but close.

    1. Slice of Life!

      I like to split the difference — there’s a group of anime that is basically “exciting people doing normal things.”

      Like wizards, and half-elf casters complete with her own Scary Tower, and terrifying lizard men, and dragon queens… going to a nice little Japanese cafe that specializes in American food.

      Or “high school kid that is headed for Trouble in Japan moves into a really cheap apartment building, discovers that his neighbors are all monsters, he grows up.”

      There’s enough fantastic to make it pretty and catch interest, but most of the drama is just… home stuff.

      1. They also make nice interlude/reset periods in more dramatic stories.

        I still remember that little arc about Sanji teaching a kid how to make good curry.

        I don’t even remember how he ended up sneaking around on an enemy warship in the first place, but he just had to stop what he was doing and teach the newbie how to cook, because bad cooking offends his sensibilities.

    2. My western vacation last year included a few mild adventure that I’d just as soon not repeat.

  3. Last, fall, I put a bird bath about ten feet from the front window where I have my desk. The birds really do bathe. Who knew? They’re pretty adorable.

  4. Yeah, adventure often sounds a whole lot more fun when it happens to other people. Sometimes it sounds more exciting than it was when you retell it to other people, too, because anything people think I’ve been through as Big Grand Adventure was really just… okay, I can’t make this work, how about I try that? Step by step, grinding through until I found a way, or persistently made one.

  5. “The town pond”
    Yes, you’ve lived in Ohio. I’m sure you’ve seen Lake Erie at least once. Living in Michigan, the only one of the Great Lakes I’ve never seen is Ontario. I should do that some day…

  6. I rarely envy characters’ adventures – if well written, my attitude is often “thank goodness that’s not me!” I envy the training montage. I want to become excellent at something in 15 minutes.
    I didn’t much care for the series where “training allows you to live indefinitely” (don’t recall the name; Star something? The big bads were alien dinosaurs), but they did spend an awful lot of pages training instead of montaging it all.

  7. Bird feeders and bird baths are vital! They amuse the cats. And me.

Comments are closed.