There's been precious little sunshine in my part of the world lately. Every day has been chilly, damp, and gray with only the occasional bit of sunshine peeking through the leaden clouds. I wish we'd get some snow. It's been three years since we've had any, and we've yet to see it happen in the new house. I've been dreaming of sitting by the fireplace sipping wine with snow falling outside the window since we moved in. Oh, well...the winter's not over yet, I suppose.
This afternoon between work calls and emails I took George outside for a quick walk around the neighborhood. About halfway through I noticed turkey vultures circling around a yard, and saw what looked like something small with brown and white fur lying in the dead grass of my neighbor's yard. A squirrel? A rabbit? Not sure, and I averted my eyes because I really didn't want to know. Then when we rounded the next corner I saw more and more vultures showing up, and eventually counted 13 of them. Thirteen vultures seemed like a bad omen, so I hurried into the house and shut the door. I can't imagine why there would be so many of them for a single squirrel or rabbit or (god forbid) a cat. Maybe there are other dead things around. Turkey vultures will never make anyone's top ten list of favorite birds, but they provide a valuable clean up service and I respect that. I just don't care to watch them at work.
Speaking of birds, Neil mentioned American robins vs. English robins yesterday. When I went out later in the afternoon to pick up a few things at the grocery store the trees around our house were full of robins. A large flock of them seem to be moving through the neighborhood this week. Our yard teems with good juicy earthworms so it's probably like a robin's buffet after rain forces the worms up to the surface of the dirt!
I was out back today thinking about where to put a bluebird box we've been saving for a few years, since my late mother-in-law gave it to us as a Christmas gift some years ago. She loved feeding wild birds and she and her husband kept several bluebird nesting boxes at their home in Raleigh, NC. I wish she could visit our home....not only would she love the house itself, but she would really love all the birds and animals we see here. I miss her. Even though she's been gone for three years I can't really write about her too much, yet. I spoke to her husband a while ago. He's in his eighties but seems a good bit younger. I like to call him once a month or so, just to check in and to let him know that we haven't forgotten him. He doesn't feed birds or maintain nesting boxes now that Edythe's gone, it was really always more her thing than his, but despite Covid restrictions (which he's been observing very strictly) he manages to have a full and busy life. He loves the internet and technology and is far more tech-savvy than I am, probably. He regularly has Zoom meetings with his "old geezer" friends to talk politics and eat meals together (but apart). He also takes part in a virtual version of a group that call themselves "Pints for Presbyterians". That's men in his church that meet up at a pub once a week (with the pastor!) to have beer and conversion. They've moved it to Zoom for the duration of Covid, and I'm sure they're all looking forward to getting vaccines so they can resume their in person meetings this year! Lou is a gem. My mother in law picked a good man to be her husband for the last 20 years of her life! We respect him a lot because of how tenderly he cared for Edythe when she was dying, and also because he's a smart and interesting guy. He liked hearing about how we'd be putting up the bluebird box she gave us soon (and finally!)
So that's it for my gray Wednesday afternoon in Florence, SC. Working from home, wishing for snow, missing my MIL.
What's today been like for you?