This Old Bird Is Now On The Radar Screen Of His Children


The Honorary General telephoned yesterday afternoon to ask if I could pick up her new prescription on my way home from work. She reportedly is allergic to one of the eye drops she’s been taking twice a day for the past 2-½ weeks. Consequently, the blurred and distorted vision is attributed to that medication.

Frankly, I was glad she called. For one thing, it provided an explanation for the blurred vision. In addition, it confirmed for me that she was safely back home from the eye doctor. I could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

She asked night-before-last if I could drive her to her appointment on Wednesday. I politely declined by explaining that I was scheduled for a meeting with folks from the outside coming in. It would be difficult to cancel at the last minute. Besides that, she had driven to Dripping Springs the day before. Surely, she had the ability to negotiate traffic. She did say it had been difficult to drive, but I discounted her story. The Honorary General doesn’t take chances (end of story). In addition, even though she doesn’t have a history of drama or being deceptive, surely after two and a half weeks, her visual acuity had to be better than ever. If it wasn’t, she wasn’t getting her money’s worth.

When I got home from work yesterday, she asked, “If my vision isn’t better by Monday, would you drive me to my next eye appointment?” She went on to say, “I really had a difficult time with traffic in Austin. I couldn’t always clearly see the traffic lights. I found it frightening.” How could I argue with her statement? It would have been distressing to have that experience.

Consequently, I’m feeling a little guilty (okay – very guilty). Did I mention that I have to be either Catholic or Baptist? The levels of guilt I’ve been known to carry are beyond normal limits.

I should have known the Honorary General was providing factual information on Tuesday when she told me that she couldn’t see well when she drove to Drippin’ the day before. Unfortunately, I interrupted her pronouncement as hyperbole.

Yesterday, her body language spoke volumes. There was no mistaking her communication. She was not going to drive again unless she felt safe in doing so. I should have picked up on the red flags earlier.

Tuesday evening she came into my office to provide me a moment of enhanced structure and redirection. Did I mention that I don’t get by with much? She wanted to know, “Why didn’t you remove both of the two new nests the birds were beginning to build on the front porch?

Before I go farther, let me clarify. The Honorary General and I love most creatures both great and small. Actually, that is truer of the Honorary General than me, but it sounds good. I don’t have the words to describe my disdain for snakes, rodents, an occasional aggressive cat and barn swallows, but a person has to drawn a line somewhere. When barn swallows show up with 1001 extended bird family members all wanting to homestead on your front porch, it becomes a desperate situation. Apparently the birds can’t read the “No Vacancy” signs. (I wonder if that’s where the expression, “bird brain” comes from?) The only hope I have of attempting to keep the front porch presentable is to remove the attempts to build bird nests as quickly as they surface.

Before you become too critical of my lack of hospitality, please hear me say we have many functional bird nests at our house. I just don’t want them on the porch. Besides looking like we live inside an unkempt birdcage, there is also the issue of safety.

Do you remember Alfred Hitchcock’s movie entitled “The Birds?” I think the movie was released in 1963. The imagery of horror from the film sometimes reminds me of life on the edge of heaven. Trust me, I’ve thought about renaming our place “Barn Swallow Ridge”. You don’t have to spend a lot of time in a venue filled with barn swallows to think of Hitchcock’s movie.

Didn’t the movie start out with a chance meeting of a couple in Bodega Bay, California? The man wanted to buy a pair of lovebirds for his sister’s birthday. It is a complicated plot, but after the chance meeting, birds (not the lovebirds) started attacking people. One of the main characters in the film goes to talk to farmer to ask about his chickens. When she found him, he wasn’t in a talkative mood. She discovered his eyeless corpse. The farmer unfortunately was one of the victims.

At some point, a drunken doomsayer announces his belief that the attacks are a sign of the Apocalypse. In short order, sea gulls invade the town and mayhem, death and destruction result.

Did I mention in typical Alfred Hitchcock fashion, the movie has a very strange ending?  “In the final scene, the car carrying Melanie, the Brenners, and the lovebirds slowly make their way through a landscape in which thousands of birds are perching”.

This old bird is now on the radar screen of his children. They were not pleased that I didn’t drive their mother to her appointment yesterday. In typical manipulation through guilt fashion, one of the two let me have it. I can’t argue because she had a point. Lesson learned!

All My Best!



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