Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Birds and Home-made Ice Cream, Surgery and Softball

At dusk, I stood at the living room window. The supper dishes had been put in the dishwasher, and I had a book in hand to begin reading. A strange looking duck or goose walking down by the lake captured my attention, but then it suddenly raised its head and extended its long neck, and I realized it was a gray heron. We see white and blue ones frequently, but I had never seen one this close to the house. The big bird quit walking and stood very still almost up to the martin house. The martins were swooping and swirling with their usual early evening intensity, and the hummingbirds were darting merrily around their feeder on the deck. The heron stood stock still so long that I finally became bored and sat down to read my book only occasionally looking out the window. I stood up later to move to a different chair with a lamp beside it after it had darkened inside although there was still some daylight outside. The heron was gone now and not a martin was in sight evidently already settled down for the night.

Gerald’s native grasses have greatly increased our quail population. I never go out on the deck but I hear “Bob White!” repeatedly although I usually don’t see the birds. We have observed wild turkeys this summer, and one hen flew to the island where she evidently had her nest. We probably won’t see any babies, however, since varmints usually break up nests before they are hatched. Gerald did see a baby coyote run into the corn field up at the other farm when he came upon its mother.

We were able to take Katherine to evening services at her church on Sunday to hear our friend Wendell Garrison’s final sermon there. He had only agreed to this six-month span as interim pastor as he has a deadline looming to finish his fourth devotional book which goes to the printers at the end of summer. We will miss him and Mary as it has been a treat having them in our community on the weekends. The congregation will miss them too. We stayed for the home-made ice cream fellowship in their honor and were astounded by the varieties of both ice creams and homemade cakes and goodies to go with the ice cream. Before we left the sanctuary, Wendell had teasingly quoted Willard Scott’s favorite Baptist benediction: Let’s eat! We were able to visit with friends, and it was especially good that Katherine had the opportunity to visit with so many during this social hour. Because of the steady stream at the Garrisons’ table for hugs and goodbyes, I only said my goodbye to Mary, so I have just emailed Wendell. Katherine and Gerald did get to talk a bit with both of them. Finally it was time to go home. David had not been able to go with us, so Katherine took home some of the delicious frothy summer treat for him. (Sam is at camp this week.)

It was good this evening to hear Erin’s voice—strong and lively after she was finally back home after a very delayed surgery this afternoon for her torn ACL. I thought she would sound groggy, but I told her she sounded sassy instead, Her cousin Sarah is bringing Erin’s dog Sadie over to the farm in the morning for Gerald to take care of for a few days. The surgeon said she did not need to wear the heavy brace some have to after surgery because her legs are so strong after years of catching, She was supposed to be in Colorado scouting this week, but she had to miss this tournament where all her family are and where she had planned to see many of her college friends. But our Illinois contingent of the family rejoiced with Southern Force at the news they had beaten the California Cruisers today.

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