Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


The worst part, the frigid-cold-seeping-right-through-your-boots ( and two pair of thermal socks) part of winter is over.  We have had a few thaws, so the creek is running fast.  Walk out the back door and the rushing tickles your ears...spring is near.

I know this is only a teaser.  I know Old Man Winter will assault us with at least one more dump of snow and blow of wind.  I know it's not time to plant peas.

The creek is hurtling by, high in the middle.  The ice still reaches from the sides, riddled with crystalline walls - crumbling.  It's time to assist Mother Nature.

I started it.  The boys learned it form me.  But I was simply reenacting what we had done as children.  And if we could spy on Neanderthal tots, we would observe them breaking off pieces of ice, launching them into the rapids.

Sticks pry (primitive, yet effective use of tools) hunks of ice, then poke, pushing as far into the center of the stream as one thrust will allow.  Now it's time to pray them past all the snags and roots and rocks.

Of course, encountering snags and roots and rocks calls for another age-old technique - throwing stones.  Sometimes one good lob will loosen the ice craft, allowing it to freely tumble over the waterfall, which drops about six inches.  The waterfalls renders floe into crushed ice.  So we launch again.  And again.

The rocks we toss become larger and flatter with each passing attempt.  The splashed become increasingly far reaching until I notice the water seeping through the weave of my socks.  Soon the creek bank is ice free.

We are all damp and chilled and in desperate need of hot chocolate.  But nor for very much longer.  Spring is in the air.

Mima's Notes:
We still find it hard to resist a thin layer of ice.  There is something so satisfying about the crunch of what was a pristine sheet under boot.  I was walking with my granddaughter.  We are in this same time of year.  It thaws, then freezes - promising spring, then retracting the promise.  Teasing us, forcing us to wait a bit longer.  The puddles along the roadside have an icy veneer, which we stomp!  We are aiding the delivery of spring, in our brief bouts of violent midwifery.

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