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Friday, January 22, 2010

Let's Visit

There aren't many visitors expected here today.  Well, not the human kind.  If someone appears in my driveway, he is probably lost.  I'll quickly go out to meet him ready with directions to a neighbors home, or to let him know sight-seers aren't particularly welcome.  The stranger probably won't be a woman, though once a woman showed up here on our hill.  While she knocked on the door, a family waited in her car.  She was ready to witness about her faith but quickly became sidetracked by being in a "real log cabin." Though she thought she was several miles from home, we soon learned that her house was behind mine, right through the woods, easily walkable.  I convinced her she didn't need to "save" me.  She went home, no longer a stranger, now a neighbor.  I've never seen her again.
It's likely that my visitors, today will be wild - not Hank Williams Junior wild, but forest wild.  There will be birds for sure, though I might also see a rabbit or squirrel.
When I was a young girl, my mother and I expected visitors each afternoon.  If not, it was because we were out visiting others.  In our neighborhood not very many women had jobs and television was not watched as much during the day as it is now. 
Women came by the house, shared a cookie or piece of cake with a cup of coffee. And visited.  They talked about their husbands, their children, people at church, and their homes.  It wasn't particularly gossip.  It was communication.  The women kept the community connected while the men kept the economy flowing.  Older women visited with young. It didn't matter if you had children the same age. Younger women went to the homes of the ladies who were too old to easily go out.
Now, we are more likely to do our visiting at functions that involve our children such as ball games.  If you don't go to church, or aren't a member of a community club, you may never talk anyone who isn't the same age as you unless you are related.

My visitors, today, will be the birds.  I greet them as I would a dearest friend. Each species is welcome for its own personality, the reticent cardinal with its striking plumage brightens the yard. The chickadees flitter in and out, quickly grabbing a morsel that they prefer to eat alone, perched in a bush nearby.  The  bluejays loudly announce their presence but their shyness is revealed as they fly off at the slightest movement overhead or by me, the human at the window.

The brave titmouse will probably come first, flying in even as I fiill the feeders.  If I tarry too long the titmouse will zoom toward me feint a landing then reversing her motion with a loud flutter.  If I stand still long enough one will land on my hat, provided I've filled it with tempting seeds. 
One morning I noticed different chirps coming from outside the window and was greeted by a flock of starlings who had decided to stop by. This was new! They talked differently and interacted with each other differently,

Their shiny black feathers stood out stark against a yard newly whitened by snow. I was glad for the visit. Like the others, I greeted them, welcomed them to my home. Let them enjoy a snack, learned a little about their life and said good-bye when they decided it was time to leave. 

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