Back in February our church held it’s yearly grand fund-raiser – a silent auction. The organizing committee really pulled out all the stops and created an incredible evening of fun and entertainment. Our Fellowship Hall was transformed into something that resembled a New Orleans night club/café. Sparkling gold, green and purple beads and baubles decorated tall round café tables and stools, and similar colors decorated the walls and the many tables cram-packed with items for the silent auction.
One side classroom held some very yummy food – and plenty of it! I went back a couple of times because there was just so much to choose from and it was all very appetizing. (Church ladies sure know how to cook!) The other side classroom was a fun “ticket auction” area. You bought a sheet of tickets that all had the same number on and you went round the room looking at the various items displayed and each one had a plastic cup in front of it. If you liked an item, you tore off a ticket (or more than one) and popped into the cup. You maintained the stub which carried the same number as the tickets.
Both the silent auction and the ticket auction were closed at the same time. We had made bids on a few items and were happy to win a couple, especially tickets for a showing of the Peking Acrobats which were dated for our wedding anniversary. When the results were displayed for the numbers pulled from the ticket auction, we were even more happy to discover that we had won several items including a “Bird/Garden Basket”. The basket contained several different items including a fun, round, hanging bird house painted bright blue with a straw thatched roof which we hung from a small tree at the back of our yard.
About the same time that I first noticed my Baltimore Oriole, I also noticed a small bird “checking out” the blue bird house. After observing him a couple of times I identified him as a Carolina Chickadee. He would sit on the branch that the house hung from and then he’d sit on the peg just below the opening into the house and kind of look in. Then he’d hop back on the branch. He did this several times and then he actually put his head inside the opening before hopping back onto the branch.
This “checking out” continued for several days until one day he brought his mate to check it out too. They would both pop their heads in and out, then fly back on the branch, then after a while they would fly off. About a week ago only one of them came but this time he actually went inside the house. He stayed a few moments then flew off. This continued for a couple of days and then, as I was sunbathing, I heard this rhythmic tapping coming from inside the bird house. It went on for a few minutes, then the Chickadee flew out. He returned another day to do some more tapping.
Finally, two days ago as I was in my early morning quiet time with God, I noticed the Chickadee making repeated fly offs back and forth to the house. He was most definitely on a mission, flying off then returning about a minute later and going right into the bird house; out again and back a minute later. So I grabbed the binoculars, watched closely, and realized he was carrying tufts of stuff into the house. Bingo! He was nest making. Since then they have both been back and forth carrying more stuff in to create a soft nest.
Yesterday, while I was out of the house, Richard said he saw an amazing sight. He had glanced over at the bird house and noticed a squirrel on the branch sniffing out the house. All of a sudden the two Chickadees appeared and started puffing themselves up, hunching their wings forward and beating them back and forth making a loud whirring noise as they hovered in front of the squirrel. When that didn’t budge him, they “dive-bombed” him, actually hitting him with their wings, and he finally ran off.
This truly confirmed that we have “guests” in the garden and that they had set up home and were protecting their territory. We are now looking forward to watching the family form and hopefully we will see the little ones when they begin emerging. What an amazing creation God has made.
The butterflies are dancing all over my stomach. We are about to embark on the most adventurous Harley ride ever. Today we leave Jacksonville , Florida and head to San Antonio, Texas. That’s almost eleven hundred miles one way!!. My biggest wish: that God protect us and give us safe and joyous riding.
Harley is packed and waiting patiently to rumble out of the garage. Rich has cleaned her beautiful blue chassis to a sparkling shine. The side saddles have been packed since yesterday, and once the king-pack is packed with “last bits”, the remaining two bags will be strapped on top and we will be ready to roll.
It’s amazing how much stuff you can get on a motorcycle if you plan carefully. I cannot believe that we will be gone for ten days and I have packed so little! The only real “rule” I created for myself was, only one pair of jeans for the three-day ride: they can be washed and readied for the return ride home too. Oh, and I also made myself not pack deodorant. We can share for this trip:-).
We are keeping a careful watch on Alex as he blows across the Gulf towards Mexico. Rich has been calculating times and distances and although we may run into some outer band rain showers, we should be arrived at destination before anything too strong might hit. We have good rain gear and so are well prepared for riding in the wet. If things should change drastically then I guess we will have to “hole up and hunker down” while we evaluate and readjust.
I am looking forward to seeing some new country and more of God’s great creation along the way. We have been as far as New Orleans going west from here but this is much further west. Our first stop is projected to be Pensacola by this evening. Tuesday we plan on heading for Lake Charles in Louisiana and then Wednesday will see us arriving in San Antonio.
I also need some personal down time, and there’s nothing like riding the back of the Harley for that. I know I will be spending much time in prayer and there will probably be tears too. But that’s OK because my “Buddy” will be with me upholding me and getting me through. Harley time is great for some private personal self nurturing.
Why the tears, you ask? Because of sadness surrounding my daughter, and more sadness surrounding my eldest son. Then throw a deep sadness in there for the shaken relationship with my sister and voila, the makings of a good country and western song!! Hopefully there will be much joy along the ride and even greater joy at our destination to balance out any sadness I may be carrying in the depths of my heart.
So I may be “off the grid” again for a few days. Richard will be taking his trusty Netbook with him so I will have ability to write if the urge comes. I will just have to see how my availability happens around the events that are planned for San Antonio. Safe travels to one and all and have a wonderful Fourth of July!