One of the first pieces of writing for which I was recognized was an essay, of sorts, that I wrote in the first grade, detailing my grandmother’s love for feeding local birds in wintertime. I don’t recall anything of what I wrote, save for a passage that my mother thought was hilarious and my grandmother herself got a little huffy about. “I do NOT do that”, she remarked when she read my passage about her hollering at the squirrels and chipmunks who stole tidbits and treats meant for the birds, as she stamped and swore in front of the kitchen window. Well, it could have happened that way, I thought. A few dramatics certainly made my ruminations more interesting! And my young writerly instincts were correct; this piece of writing won first place for the whole grade level in a contest I hadn’t even realized I had entered into.

The writing portion of this recollection is neither here nor there, really. In my 44th year, and during my little garden’s period of looking crappy and dead, I have recently hung up my first ever bird feeder. Though it took a week or so for the neighborhood avian population to take notice, check it out, and feel safe enough to start poking around, I am now enjoying watching them from my office window all throughout the day. It’s a delightful pastime, and I wish I’d thought to have done it sooner! And it occurred to me, as I ran outside this morning, shaking my spatula at a particularly audacious squirrel and shouting “fuck off into the sun, you thieving little shit!” that perhaps my grandmother is the one who is laughing now.


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