Among gardens, garden centers, statuaries and yard art, the stone figure of a monk gently holding a bird in open hand is sometimes found. The statue of the robed monk is St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology. But what of the monk who holds a spade?
This time of year I find it hard to do anything but work in the yard.
Remember when "the birds and the bees" was a euphemism for the "facts of life" which was a euphemism for sex?
With my own eyes I saw the carpenter bee wiggle into a hole in the wall right beside the recycle bin.
I suspected Jane Goodall was dead, only to discover she is very much alive and, on April 3, celebrated her 81st birthday.
Jack Henry, Jack for short, is my cat, and he's finally given up trying to force himself on top of my laptop computer.
A few weeks ago I looked out the window only to see the earth moving. Then out from under the fallen oak leaves scattered across the field, hundreds of robins popped forth, foraging for worms. Robins move ahead of warm fronts, and the rains had made the ground soft, easier for digging worms.
A couple of weeks ago I took a short drive from the Prairie, and a disturbing thing happened. I've pondered it ever since.
For the second time in a week the ground was covered with snow and ice. The first storm left mounds of snow covering outbuildings, vehicles and piling right up to the lake water's edge. The pristine snow made the white ducks look dingy.
On days when fishing is out of the question and the 24/7 news has taken its circuitous route about dozen times and the SEC channel is showing decades-old football games, Sam opens a book.
As the days grow longer and the sun shines warmer and the occasional temperatures tip 70 degrees, a retired man's fancy turns to fishing.
It was an early, frosty morning and a lone deer fed in the field. You have to wonder why it nibbled at the cold, dead grass. Soon, another joined it and then another. In the distance they looked like shadows on the pale, icy ground.
"It's a small house, a fixer-upper. Could you be happy there until we can build our own?" The young man had his concerns.
Someone or something was disconnecting the battery wires on the deer feeder. Checking the canister there was plenty of corn but no power. This was the second time in a week.
I've been mopey about another bookstore closing.
Last week was a cold one. We spent much time glued to the digital thermometer and calling out temperatures to the household.
Sam likes to see how high the water is down at the spillway, if it has any "color," and who's fishing -- so we took a drive.
Born in 1899, Gladys Tabor was a writer and a columnist for Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle. If Gladys were alive today I'm sure she'd be my best friend. Taken from "Stillmeadow Sampler," published in 1957 Gladys' words speak to the coming year ...
While Sam watched the MSU girls' basketball game, I wandered through thoughts of Christmases past settling comfortably on Saint Nicholas.
Tom had a hard day at work. After supper he spent a few hours watching TV before bed. Two hours later Tom heard the sound of frogs bellowing in the night; the sound got louder and louder, filling the room. A light bounced off the ceiling while Tom dreamt giant amphibians leaped across his bed in the moonlight.
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