Thank Yous, Regrets, Ramblings

I spent the week before Christmas crying over the death of our dog Millie. She was sixteen and had a number of health problems. I knew she would pass at some point, but it still hit me hard. When I feel great loss and / or depression is when I work on my gratitude. Oh, I still grieve …and I am tearing up as I write this, but I am counting my blessings at the same time.

Millie, thank you for letting me be part of your life. Thank you looking for me in the house when you awoke from your naps. Thank you for going on walks with us and letting us see you enjoy life. As a youngster running loop de loop patterns in the backyard. Rolling in the grass. I am left with many memories of your happiness.

There were other deaths. Another old dog passed a few months before. He was our little proud man Dash who enjoyed barking at the t.v. (usually at animals or cops on Live P.D., but once at Lady Gaga).

My cousin Steve lost his long struggle with cancer in October. I am sorry we both let years pass without contact. I am grateful for your later attempts to keep us 15 first cousins in touch with each other.

My gratitude to loved ones near and far….A goal for 2023 is to let people in my life know how much they mean to me.

I am thankful for the flamboyant…

Poinsettias at Target

And The Subtle…

Native Green Poinsettia In My Backyard

I am thankful for a cat in my lap while I watch t.v.

Thank you to the cold…

A cold weather snap in Central Texas forced our family gift exchange into a more traditional holiday home visit instead of the usual covid protocol parking lot gift exchange of the past few years. Masks were worn and we had the best visit in a long time.

And the cold weather kept another family member from bringing our presents until after Christmas, giving us a wonderful post holiday visit.

Thank you to the mighty

And the meek

Green Anole in Backyard

Thank you to books and of course, authors

Thank you to my writing group members for the laughter and love and for sharing your expressive gifts

Thank you to my sister and fellow bloggers out there. I love the support you give me and I love that you are sharing creative selves and your interesting lives.

Thank you to C. R. X. for your independent spirit and your smiles.

Thank you to D. Mc. for putting up with me and loving me despite my eccentricities.

Thank you A. B. for being my long haul and long distance friend.

Thank you to a.m. radio for playing the oldies with good beats and with lyrics I can sing along to…”I love rock and roll…put another dime in the juke box baby!”

I am thankful to the longer days and the songs of birds.

Estoy tan agradecida!

(I am so grateful! from my Spanish phrase a day calendar for Dec. 29th)

(All photos taken by the author in December of 2022)

Autumn Gold

To paraphrase Carson McCullers from her novel “Reflections In A Golden Eye”: There is a backyard in the South where a few days ago a murder was committed…

Yes, a week ago today, Tuesday September 20th, a crime was committed. I murdered some beautiful little creatures. It was negligent homicide. Our little backyard pond needed some water added, so I set the hose running and meant to check on the water level after a few minutes. It was a nice, evening and three of us in conversation on the back porch was a distraction. At some point I realized that I had not monitored the water level. It was overflowing into the yard! I pulled the hose out. I did not see any goldfish flopping around in the grass, so I figured all was okay. The next morning (Wednesday) I fished out seven pretty, little, golden corpses, which I netted and dumped into the compost bin. Yuck! Not because of the decaying bodies, but because of my guilt. I had poisoned them. I started to think that maybe we should just get rid of the pond.

This little pond has attracted so many interesting creatures: frogs, toads, dragonflies, wasps, snakes, opossums, raccoons, and an occasional bird. Colorful waterlilies add beauty and the sound of the trickling, pump fueled, waterfall is relaxing. And I enjoyed seeing the goldfish moving about in the water. But, I was not a good caretaker of this little oasis and these critters would have to find somewhere else to hang out.

One more corpse floated up on Thursday morning, the first day of Fall. I pulled some water plants out and tossed them in the garden. I wanted to see if any goldfish had survived. But, I didn’t see any. Maybe they were hiding after seeing their family members die. No more little bodies showed up Friday, and I began to let go of my self-criticism. I am human. Humans make mistakes.

Saturday morning I brought my notebook and pen out to the back porch and attempted to write a poem about the falling leaves in the yard behind ours. I wrote:

As each leaf descends

And says goodbye

Sun reflects gold

A little while later, my husband and I were enjoying our morning coffee. My binoculars and camera were nearby. I like to take pictures of lizards and whatever else catches my attention. The binoculars are for checking the trees and sky for birds. This was the peak of migration and I was hoping to spot something different than our resident birds.

And then they came!

Yellow Warbler

Warblers! Lots of them and more than one species. They came to bathe in our pond! Golden treasures from above.

Immature Yellow Warblers?

Golden Cheeked Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Mixed Group (taken through window)

This lovely parade of migrants lasted about 20 minutes, when our dog Millie wandered out and scared them off. I feel so blessed to have witnessed these visiting birds reveling in the same water that I had been contemplating getting rid of just a few days earlier. I guess the Universe has forgiven me. Or at least I have forgiven me. I will be a better caretaker of this small environment. I promise.

(please let me know if my warbler i.d.s are not correct)

(all photos taken by B. McCreary)