Friday, August 8, 2008

Getting the Mail

Hawk/Vulture Feathers & A Nice Birthday Card

Odd photo, right?

Well, this is what I collected on my trip to the mailbox today. I am interested in getting a bit more exercise lately, so I have been walking the 1/3 mile to mailbox more often lately instead of always driving to get my mail. Even on hot and sweaty days like today, a little walk seems like a good way to get some exercise.

The feathers I gathered on my way back up the hill toward my home. I occasionally find one of the big hawk or turkey vulture feathers, but it is very rare that I would find so many all at the same time. those large feathers measure 10-12 inches from root to tip. After finding the second large one, I began to look around me to see if maybe there was a dead bird lying nearby, as if there had been a big bird fight. I saw no birds, just more feathers. Strange. I do enjoy collecting the feathers, especially the really big ones. Reminds me that I live amongst the wildlife.

The birthday card is from my Dad to me. He included a nice note and a nice birthday gift check that I surely was not expecting. The card is nice. The gift check is nice. The best thing though is that my 89 year old Dad remembered my birthday which is later this month and he sent me a card and gift well ahead of the date. I am impressed and very pleased.

You see, although my Dad still lives independently, his memory is failing more and more and I worry about him a lot. Until today, I hadn't heard from him for over a week, and was just reminding myself earlier today to remember to call him later this evening. He lives in the great state of Texas, so I need to remember the time difference between here and there when I make my calls.

Anyway, for most of my adult life, I have been the one who would remind my Dad of family birthdays etc. My older sister's birthday happens to be tomorrow, earlier in August than my own, so usually what happens is that I remind my Dad about hers and that triggers his memory about mine. For the past couple of years I've dropped the ball on that reminder duty and have not reminded him about my sister's birthday. So he remembered mine this year all on his own. That is what pleases me. He even got the date correct and did not mix it up with my sister's this time. (He noted my birth date on the inside of the card. That's how I know.)

I don't have a lot of my relatives left on this earth, so it is very comforting to have my Dad reach out all the way from Texas to send me his happy birthday wishes and his love. It is a connection to my roots that I seldom get to experience. I am mindful that I don't know how much longer my Dad will be here, so I value his gift even more. Thank you Dad (Daddio). I love you.

My Dad in his favorite restaurant in Texas

© Copyright 2008 Mountain Harvest Basket


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Happy Birthday Farmer Jen (early wishes are good)! What a blessing it is to have your daddy remember your birthday at his age. Both our dads have passed away, but we still have our moms. But I know what you mean about their memory as they age. (My mom is 88 and my mother-in-law will be 92 this month.) Neither live independently, however.

So cherish these times forever, as I'm sure you will. He looks like a sweetie.

Hardware Bob said...

What I do know about your Dad is only from your many stories. That he is a character, a man that challenges you, annoys you often, is stubborn, set in his ways, calls you at the most inappropriate times, and even abruptly hangs up on you in the middle of a conversation.

This time he came through with blazing colors, showing lots of love and respect for his little girl. I am glad he remembered your Birthday so perfectly. That's really something for a man nearly a century old.

Happy Birthday Jen.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi CA Grammy,
Thank you for the early birthday wishes. I really appreciate that. Approaching birthdays cause me to reflect on my life and sometimes I can get a little down about this time of year. Maybe feeling old, I guess. So your cheery wish is much appreciated. Dad can be sweet sometimes.

Hi Bob,
Thank you too for your early happy birthday wishes. Birthday wishes mean even more coming from my special loved ones. I hope that you can meet my Dad someday while he is still on this earth. Everything you mention about him is true. I was really happy to get that card from him. Made me smile all the way back from the mailbox.

Twinville said...

I wonder if hawks and vultures molt? Maybe not a full molt, like chickens, but a molt where they lose a few non-essential feathers a couple times a year?

I was touched by the love and devotion you have for your father. He obviously loves you so very much.

Happy Birthday Farmer Jen.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Twinville,
I don't know about the birds molting, but I found several more big feathers today walking down to get my newspaper. Something happened to make those feathers fall out, but I'm not sure what.

Yes, my Dad loves me. He just has his own unique way of showing it usually.

Thank you for the happy birthday wishes.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Wow - your weather pixie is wearing her cutest little bikini today, the weather must be really nice where you are! lol
I have a great big soft spot for old men. The older the better, as far as I'm concerned. :-) I loved HW Bob's description of him...he sounds like a very interesting man. Is it hard for you to live so far away from him? I giggled when I saw him at his favorite restaurant. That's SO darn cute!! :-)
I'm really glad he was able to surprise you so nicely this year, jen... he raised a very wonderful daughter.
Um, when is your birthday, anyway? :-)

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Danni,
Thanks for the compliment on my being wonderful. I appreciate that. My Dad left when I was only 7, so he didn't really raise me, that was more my Mom's doing. You are right that he is an interesting person. Very independent and headstrong. Living day to day at a physical distance from my Dad is not difficult, and it is what I have done nearly my whole life. However, as he ages and needs more help, it is difficult being far away because I can't just run right over there to fix things or explain things to him or his helpers. I don't see him very often due to the distance and I am frustrated sometimes because I could probably help him make some needed life changes if I could ease him into them a little bit each day. Hard to do that over the phone. He can be very very stubborn.

So like, why do you want to know when exactly my birthday is? I've seen what you do to/for friends that have birthdays. I couldn't get that stupid song you posted on your site out of my head all yesterday evening!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Mwah, ha, ha, ha....I just want to know when your birthday is so I, so I can look up your horoscope. Yes, that's I can look up your horoscope.

If you don't tell me, I bet I can convince HW Bob to. Remember, I complimented him on his nostrils. :-)

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Danni,
Yes, HW Bob has lovely..uh..nostrils...

I am a Leo. Queen of the jungle.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch the day...was that the 15th or the 16th? Or...?
Help me out here, HW Bob...

Hardware Bob said...

Is Jen having a Birthday? I have been sworn to secrecy even with the world's most beautiful nostrils.

Nice try though........

Farmgirl_dk: said...

HW Bob...(sniff)...after all we've been through together!
(Seriously..she's not listening right now...quick...tell me!)

Farmer Jen said...

I am too "listening"!
(I am addicted to the computer)

You will know in good time...all in good time Farmgirl ;)