Melospiza melodia or song sparrow. Photo from Wikipedia
This morning, while I was out back with our dogs at 6:30 AM, a little song sparrow perched on the fence, began to sing. Such a wonderful little bird, she was thanking me for the full feeders. In spring the song sparrows build nests around our home and raise their young. They sing until winter returns. We live in the part of the US where song sparrows live year round, so I see them all winter too.
For years I filled the feeders, but these days, David has discovered the birds and taken over their care and feeding. He also feeds my parrots many mornings, a job he does when I am away or indisposed. He talks to them and has developed a friendship with Jesse the Monk Parakeet or “Quaker Parrot.” More importantly, he helps me care for the parrots in the evening when we clean the cages and sweep the days-worth of scattered seed hulls.
I am happy for his help, and would be overwhelmed if he didn’t help, because I have too many interests.
I don’t think of my activities as hobbies, but I suppose some would. I think of these ventures as interests. Believing half-measures avail us nothing, when I have an interest, I become totally involved. Well mostly.
Take cooking. For me, cooking has been a life-long interest. I love trying new recipes. But many is the night when I am absorbed in something, and don’t cook. For example, last night I was so absorbed in my family tree, I didn’t get up to do much of anything until 10:00 and bed time. My poor dog slept under my chair, longing to climb in my lap. David ate a bowl of leftover rice with butter and some of the fruit compote Kathy bright over. I ate cereal, I think. Somewhere along the way, we cleaned the bird cages and I finally covered the last parrots around 9 PM.
Yesterday, Kathy and I visited the Fort Myers garden center where I found more herbs, including the Cilantro (Chinese parsley) I wanted for the various Asian dishes I like to make. I also located some savory for soup, lemon thyme for fish marinade, and a beautiful Fuchsia plant. I planted everything outside yesterday, and this morning watered and fertilized pots (not the herbs) when I was out with the dogs.
Hobbies like reading and crocheting take a back seat when the weather is nice, but I did manage to read 1177 BC: the Year Civilization Collapsed, by GW professor and archeologist Eric Cline. A wonderful book, especially if you are interested in the ancient history of the Levant. And I began reading John Adams by McCullough. An entertaining and useful book because he describes life in New England during the eighteenth century, which is where I am now in my family tree.
Life is good now that I am retired and my wonderful kids are adults. My daughter is visiting Saturday and we will talk about many things including the family tree. It’s fun to have a daughter with shared interests. Connie and her husband will visit my youngest son in May and help him deal with home repair issues. Later in the month, she is traveling to Atlanta with her youngest daughter, a rising senior at Virginia Tech who is headed for a summer internship with the firm that makes the “Got Milk?” ads.
Just last week, I recommended The Big Thirst, by Charles Fishman, a book about water conservation, to my oldest son who lives in San Diego and has responsibility for the water requirements on several western military bases. We are all very occupied with our jobs, or interests or “hobbies” but we keep in touch. And I take time to listen to the song sparrow.