Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Monday, June 22, 2009

For the Birds

How do we deal with disappointment? When life doesn't go the way we planned due to circumstances out of our control? From the time Eric left McNeese University late last July, he couldn't wait to get back to the Governor's Program again this summer. Andrew and I would have been in Pennsylvania this week. Andrew looked forward to spending a week at Camp Crestfield and visiting with family and friends around Pittsburgh. And I had planned to attend St. David's Christian Writers' Conference. This annual conference at Grove City College starts this afternoon. I can imagine the conferees spilling into Mary Anderson Pew South Hall, finding the registration table, greeting old friends with hi's and hugs, lugging bags up the winding staircase, and settling into their dorm rooms. They're anticipating a week of honing craft, networking, and enjoying the camraderie of fellow writers.

And we're not there.

So we're making other plans. I've been trying to make this summer as fun, interesting, and exciting as I can, to compensate the change in original plans. We're attending free concerts in the park, watching movies, taking a few classes, checking out art galleries, visiting with friends. Of course, we go to PT/OT. And eat at Sonic. We have two vacations planned. One, to a multicultural conference at Mo Ranch in the Texas hill country with our church, First Presbyterian of Lake Charles. And two, a trip to a beautiful cabin in the woods in Alabama near DeSoto State Park for a family reunion. We've never been to Alabama. Why Alabama? My sister Sue figured out it's pretty much exactly halfway between us, approximately a ten-hour drive from both directions.

Speaking of disappointing, this morning I awoke to the sound of Momma Mockingbird fussing like a madwoman about something, like maybe she was protectively trying to scare something away. Did a predator lurk nearby. I looked out the windows and didn't see any prowling cats or circling birds of prey. Though he still slept, I tiptoed into Eric's room to peek out his window at the nest. The babies were gone! Where did they go? Did a falcon, hawk, or owl swoop in and snatch them away when Momma wasn't looking? Did a raccoon or feline climb the tree, balancing on the thin branch out to the nest and knock the birds out, knowing they'd be easy targets on the ground? So I carried a ladder to the side of the house, climbed the rungs and peered into the nest. Abandoned. But I did find one baby bird quaking beside the house foundation. Was he a lone survivor? Or by chance, was it simply time for the birds to leave the nest and the other three flew away? I wouldn't think so, as it had only been two days since they hatched. But what do I know about nesting birds? I put gloves on and tried to pick the baby up. When he scurried out of my reach, it did appear one wing was possibly broken. I finally caught him, carried him up the ladder, and placed him back in the nest. Momma has been squawking at me all day. Is she thanking me, or scolding me because she thought they'd all left the nest, and now one is back?

Anyway, Eric's post-PT snack . . . an Auntie Ann's cinnamon sugar pretzel and a Sonic watermelon grape slush.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

i agree, the baby does not look like it is ready to fly. My eastern blue birds are on their second family. Last week there were eggs in the box, and today they were taking the worms i fed them into their box.
i am thankful we are able to keep our babies with us a little longer than the birds.
love you ... m

Anonymous said...

Angie, you are such a loving, nurturing person. My heart goes out to you as you and your family continue to persevere through these trying times. My prayers are with you. Although you are missing your anticipated writing conference, we are enjoying your gift as you daily share with us about your family's journey. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Bravo Angie for the creative way you have turned disappointment into a memorable time for your family. It is hard to change and a little scary, but now you get to see Alabama and vacation with the whole family. I think all of can benefit from your family. We need to find the good in every day and not always look to the future and miss the present.

Love, bev

Anonymous said...

Haven't posted in awhile, but wanted you to know I read your news daily, and am so pleased to hear Eric's good progress. Such determination, both his and your family's.
On the note of the little birds; I had several nests going earlier in the summer in porch plants--I daily was comforted by the chirps as the Momma and Poppa fed and cared for the little ones. To my great dismay, there was much commotion late one afternoon, and by the time I checked to see what was causing it, there was a big ole' jay sitting on the nest and helping himself, before I could chase him away. I literally shed tears, as I watched the parents return again and again, sitting on the hooks of the plants, peering into the nest. These little ones were with hours of taking flight, but never had the chance.
I guess it's nature's way, but still I was impressed with the parental care. God does equip all his creation with such wonderful instincts, even the tiniest. Blessings, Willa

Anonymous said...

TODAY I WAS AT SOUTHGATE SHOPPING CENTER AND AS I WALKED ALONG I SPOTTED A LONE SMALL BIRD ON THE SIDEWALK FLAPPING HIS WINGS AND TRYING AS HARD AS HE COULD TO GET INTO A NOT YET OPEN BUSINESS. I PEERED IN THE PLATE GLASS TO SEE IF THERE WAS SOMETHING HE WAS TRYING TO GET AT BUT I COULD SEE NOTHING. IT TURNED AND LOOKED AT ME AND HAD IT'S BEAK OPEN AND LOOKED LIKE HE WAS MAD AS A HORNET.I GOT INTO MY CAR AND FELT SO SAD FOR THE SITUATION.I'M SURE THERE WAS NOT A GOOD ENDING TO WHATEVER WAS GOING ON.DID NOT KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO.YOUR BIRD STORY REMINDED ME OF MY BIRD STORY.
JOAN

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Doesn't everyone have a bird story? Thank you all for sharing yours.

Shannon said...

I looked up the park you're gonig to, and that part of Alabama is really pretty. We were in Huntsville a few years ago, which is not too far from where you'll be. I'm sure y'all will enjoy the family reunion.
I know Eric misses GPGC (and is missed there as well), but it sounds like you'll be having a good summer.

Rick said...

Of course I have been to DeSoto--I was born in Decatur AL and lived in B'ham and Mobile my entire childhood and early adulthood. So hopefully you guys are renting a cabin with air conditioning! Bring lots of DEET and have fun. It is great to camp with lots of people. Keep healing Eric! Love, the Ettengers

Linda M Au said...

Hi, Angie! Everyone here at St. Davids misses you this year, but we are all so thankful that we have your blog, which keeps us close to you and keeps you in our hearts. A bunch of us from First Word are here -- hot and muggy here too but not near your temps. :)

We'll be counting on you next year...!