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I fill the bird feeders faithful every morning, and tell the million or so sparrows flocking in I’d like it if they’d “not eat it all … leave some for the other more colorful birds;” or “go get a paint job.”
Some sparrows actually show up another day looking as though they’ve been dipped head first into a bucket of red paint. I applaud them; and then, some spoil sport advises me they’re probably purple finches, hatched that way.
I step out the door and moments after hearing the door lock go “click,” I remember I’ve forgotten to take my keys with me; now I have to remember where I stashed the duplicate. It is where I will never forget where it is; but then, I had to move it because it was getting all rusty and covered with green crud. “Where is it now … uhhh?”
I decide it doesn’t matter I’m physically challenged. I can have a vegetable garden if I want one. All I need to do is figure how and when; no big deal.
My friends rally round so I won’t hurt myself and cause them to suffer spates of guilty remorse. They lug bags of soil and mulch, and urn-size pots; plop them where they think I said to put them; applauded themselves; and, go on their way.
I toe-nudge a bag of mulch and ankle-wrestled another of soil. I determine: “This is going to be harder than I thought.”
But, one day, it all falls together and a splendiferous garden of assorted high-rise pots boast emerging tomato and pepper plants above the hoary mantle of rotting leaves and trash. I swoon in delight and hurry to share the news.
Then, alas, one day shortly thereafter, some shiny, pebble-size, green and gold-speckled balls of grinding fury move in and begin voraciously snacking on my plants. How’d they get up there?
What shall I do? I could crush them but why bother. They’ve already eaten 99 percent tomatoes and peppers, and likely the closest I’ll ever get to my longed-for garden.
Life is so cruel.
As many of us do, from time to time, I recently visited briefly with someone whom I’d known years ago -- during a different lifetime one might say. I was forced to consider how our lives have taken such diverse paths.
This person is now in what I consider a vastly elevated employment position in comparison to mine. “How strange,” I think. And, then I think: “It’s not too late for me, is it?”
“There are options to nearly everything. We just have to become aware of the possibilities;” no mystery involved. The thought that: “There is always tomorrow and if there isn’t … we can still do the best we can with what we have.”
And, “if there is a potential for more, we can wait for it, can’t we?” That’s all that’s really necessary, isn’t it?
Lois Eckhardt may be reached at P.O. Box 413, Wellman, IA 52356.