Trader Articles

Trying to get a story started is sometimes like pulling a thread on a sweater. I just have to find the right thread and the story unravels almost faster than I can type. Right now I’m searching for that thread and getting absolutely nowhere. Must be the weather. Rain, rain and more rain. I know it’s good and we need it but it’s tiresome. I’m sick of boots and sweaters, sweat pants and sweat shirts and Ugs……….I want shorts and sandals! I’m sick of beef stew…….I want BBQ chicken and potato salad! I’m sick of flannel sheets and muddy cars, loading in firewood and drying off the dogs. I’m sick of a wet cat walking all over me in the middle of the night. I want to plant flowers in my planters and mow the lawns. I want to finish painting my house (it’s been two years) and stain my decks. I don’t want to be doing these things in July, but the way it’s been raining, I may never get to them till fall. I’m bored.

Today I’m making another beef stew and hopefully it will be the last one this year. The meat is browning, filling the house with wonderful aromas, but I’d rather smell briquettes. I’d love to be out lying in the sun, soaking up Vitamin D, but instead I have to take vitamin D pills. I hiked down at the river the other day and the color of the water was delicious. My dogs were waiting for me to toss in a stick but didn’t realize that if I threw a stick in they would probably end up in Ferndale before I even missed them. Although that’s not a bad idea…. Tossing a stick in and seeing them drift away……… I’m sick of them too! I think we’re all getting cabin fever. Boredom.

A few weeks ago I found a quail dead on my deck. There wasn’t a mark on him so I’m guessing he flew into my window. We have huge coveys visiting our yard all the time. Sometimes there might be fifty of them out there, scratching and murmuring back and forth to each other. I love to listen to them in the morning, the males sounding a sharp alarm through the woods and fields. It was sad to see such a beautiful specimen dead on my deck. I gazed at him for a long time, taking in every feather.  His regal top knot was rigid, sitting like a crown on his noble head. His mask was velvet black with sharp white outlines. Descending down his throat were dove grey feathers that blended into a stunning black rimmed cascade of golden feathers down his breast. He was truly magnificent. I got my camera and carried the quail gently down into the taller grass. I posed him in amongst the vivid green blades so he stood upright and began taking photos. Side views, full frontal; I clicked away trying to capture his glorious beauty. I took a lot of photography in high school and college but I’m not too good with digital cameras mainly because I never read the directions. All in all I thought I got some pretty good shots. I took the camera back into the house and was on my way out to lay the quail to rest when a little meow caught my attention. There in her bed was Lola, the ultimate snoozer, the terrible mouser and sleeping machine who has been absolutely useless all winter long except to walk on me in the middle of the night, purring up a racket. Lola has a comfy bed that sits on a footstool near the stove. Her bulk fills it pretty good and often she’s oozing out over the sides. As I walked by she slowly stretched out her paws and with her eyes in content yellow slits, she gazed up at me. Suddenly I got another idea for Mr. Quail. I went back out in the yard and carried him into the house. I laid him gently next to Lola in her bed, tucking him into her side. Now, I’m sure you all think this is pretty sick, but it’s been a long winter and I’m BORED!

Anyway, I began snapping photos of Lola with the bird in her bed. She didn’t seem to mind at all. She’s such a terrible hunter that she actually sleeps in the bird feeder hoping one will eventually land in her mouth. After the photo shoot I took the quail out to the back of my property and laid him to rest. Anyway, the photos turned out great so I copied them to my computer and sent them off to a few friends with the caption, “Sleeping with the Enemy.” Guess what? A few of them fell for it, and that gave me another idea.  Boredom…………

I love bars. Not just because I own one, but because people who go to bars are generally interesting and love conversation. The Riverwood is no exception. We have great customers. That afternoon I went down to do a few things and happened to bring my camera with me. The photos were still in there on the chip. Again, out of boredom and to give everyone something to talk about besides tractor seats, I brought in my camera and asked if anyone would like to see some really cool pictures. Sure, who wouldn’t want to see some cool pictures? I brought up the image of the quail in the grass and we all commented on how beautiful he was, and wasn’t it amazing how close I got to him, etc., etc…….I pointed out that Gary and I feed them every morning so they are almost like chickens and that this particular male had become so friendly that…. (I quickly advanced the pictures to the one of him lying with Lola in her bed) he had actually started coming into MY HOUSE AND SLEEPING WITH MY CAT! Imagine my amazement when one guy said, “Really?” Oh, I tell you, the hook was set! “Yes”, I said, “I can’t believe it either, but it’s true!” Then someone said that I should send the photo off to National Geographic or something like that and maybe I could get a prize for it. We all admired it for a few seconds until I saw the light come on and I knew the jig was up……What’s that old saying? “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” The next day I took my camera to another bar………..

I guess I pulled a feather instead of a thread for this story. Boredom………it can make even the most intelligent and sane people do weird things. I think I need a hobby. Maybe photography or bird watching?