Saturday, June 28, 2008


I'm starting to realize that I will become one of those older folks who keeps a pair of good binoculars handy near the window. I'm sitting on the deck watching the non-early birds (the early ones already woke me up a couple hours ago) swoop or hop around our back yard. Robins chase each other from tree to tree. A flash of red signals a cardinal in the box elders, and yes, there's his mate in the grass. They must be after the (damned) mulberries all over the ground. They're igmoring a squirrel who seems to be on the same gourmand mission. Now see, if I had my binoculars, I could see him holding the berry in his two front paws and nibbling on it. I mean, I can see him, but I want to be cloooooser!

Of course, depending on where you live, binoculars can be useful for observing all kinds of things. Like what are they building in their yard down the street? Does she have a new dog? Or tracking someone's lawnmowing progress. A cardinal rule is never to aim at windows; that's just not right.

When we were kids, my brother would get stomach flu and have to be on that miserable restricted diet. The one that starts with plain tea (ugh) and jello, works its way to popsicles and ginger ale (which he cannot abide to this day) and saltines, and culminates in a baked potato and broiled lean meat after about a week. He often had to return to the jello phase, poor guy. But he would sit with my mom and make a list, which she would transcribe verbatim, of all the things he'd eat once he was better. And once or twice there appeared treats of his own imagining on that list. My favorite: chocolate binoculars.

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