Birds of a feather…

It was the coldest day, the calmest day, and the busiest day…

We have entered the season of layers. I never saw a thermometer register anything above 21 degrees F. It will gradually (if we are lucky) slide down the scale from there but a slow slide is still little consolation as we pile on the fabric. People in New England move into Winter begrudgingly. When I see a young guy at the gas pumps wearing shorts and a down jacket, I have to wonder if we are the same species.


I spent the morning on a stool in front of the kitchen door. We watched the birds today. Earlier plans were to go to my store, where he and I would hang out while his wife did her errands. They would then grab lunch and head home. I was thrilled with the idea of having time with him in my little world. We got as far as the dining room and I realized he was having a slow day. Instead, I set him up comfortably in his wheelchair, feet on a footstool, with a blanket and the best view of the feeder and the “waiting tree” where they all flock and chatter. We had three pairs of cardinals today. The lovely ladies came dressed in dove-gray with wispy, red feathered cocktail hats. They were shy and illusive at first. Once we were still and quiet for a few moments, they flitted over from the “waiting tree.”


Red Feathered Cocktail Hat


The stunning males, in their military red uniforms, were squabbling over territories so the ladies became more bold. Three gray squirrels bustled around the top step under the feeder. The birds paid no attention to their games. We sat comfortably in silence. Soon he dozed in the sun and I quietly started his lunch.

I arrived to find the pasta delivery and some boxes from a cheese distributor. The store was bustling and even though Deb’s beloved small bottle cabinet was empty, everyone was in good spirits. I managed to get a few things priced and on the shelf before the huge, Land Air Express truck parked out front. In the bitter cold we unloaded several pallets of product; the olive oil was thick and heavy from the cold. Deb’s Dad showed up to pitch in and help and we got the task done with minimal discomfort. Somewhere just before closing time I remembered a local salon was stopping by tonight. Every year, the owner rents a van and takes all his employees shopping then out to dinner for a holiday party. He had stopped by weeks ago to warn me we were on the list, the last stop before dinner.  A day of bonding outside the routine and an end-of-the-year Thank You. He gives envelopes of cash at  each stop and they aren’t allowed to use them for anyone but themselves. They were a really fun group. The time evaporated like a puddle on a hot day, though it never got above 21°.

It was the coldest, calmest, busiest day…

9 thoughts on “Birds of a feather…

    • Thanks Laura. The store is out of control busy and the birds were, indeed very calming. I’m looking for the little things this time of year to slow me down and allow me to look at life between the craziness!

  1. Time to really watch the birds is a precious thing. We don’t have cardinals here but I e seen photos and they are beautifully bright looking thins like winter berries. One day I’d like to see one for real. The end of year shopping trip sounds like a fabulous gift for a hard working team.

    • Thanks Marie! Cardinals are my favorite but I have to say when the Blue Jays arrive to compete with them, the blue and red in the bare bushes is spectacular!! Hope you get your wish to see them in person some day!

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