Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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All of My Friends

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Birdbrained Birdbaths

What we wanted.
What we got.




Debbie and I had spent the morning dreaming about the big ‘B’.
Boys.
All of whom were fascinating and none of whom were interested.
Sigh.
We were drooling over yet another male lead in a long line-up of romantic movies.
This one was a Western. My personal favourite.
Mmmmm . . .
Suddenly, Debbie jumped up and shut off the TV right in the middle of blood and blue shadows under the midnight sun.
Who does that?!
“I want to do something,” she announced.
I glowered at her and briefly considered pointing out that we were doing something. Her whole demeanour suggested . . . action. Which probably meant that, sooner or later, I was going to have to get off the couch.
Ugh.
“I want to build a birdbath.”
I stared. Had I heard her correctly?
“I’m serious!” Her voice started to gain in pitch and enthusiasm. “I saw one in a magazine article. It was made of cement and had an all ‘dignified and harmonious-with-nature’ theme. It started with a little pool up top, then looping around with a waterfall plunging down to iridescent bubbles at the bottom!” In her eagerness, she began to pace.
I hated it when she did that.
“We could make a little thatched roof to limit weather-ly interference.” She spun around to face me. “So what do you think?!”
I should point out here that her asking me that was merely a magnanimous gesture. We were doing it. She just wanted me to feel included.
I rolled my eyes and pushed myself to my feet. Let’s get this over with . . .
Pulling her little brother’s wagon, the two of us walked downtown to the hardware store. Then followed a frenzied rush to grab anything she thought would help. And the expenditure of two months of allowance.
As we toted her baggage home, she talked endlessly about the indelible impression her creation would make. About how the town gentry would stroll past, abandoning their normally impartial opinions in their excitement over this brush with the . . . wet and bird-like.
Yeah, she dreamt big that Debbie.
What followed could only be considered inhumane – which is really ironic, considering we were creating something to benefit nature.
Because I was a farm girl – with muscles - I hauled cement. Mixed Cement. Formed cement in a great hole which I had also helped dig.
Then I collapsed.
Debbie looked at the mass of grey glop in the bottom of our hole and then at her exhausted friend.
“It’s perfect!” she said.
I, too, looked into the hole. At the plop of cement in the bottom. Seriously?
Debbie got the garden hose and filled the little indent in the top of her creation. “See? Perfect!”
I blinked. Then turned to look at the paraphernalia strewn about. “What about . . .?” I got no further.
“Perfect!” Debbie nodded decisively, then gathered everything else up and packed it away.
After that, when the weather cooperated, Debbie happily filled her birdbath. Her beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing work of art.
Well, to her . . .
Debbie’s family moved away from Milk River decades ago.
But I think her birdbath sits there to this day.
A monument to what can be accomplished by the lazy and unmotivated. Or of an afternoon spent with a friend.
Take your pick.

Every week, Delores of Under the Porch Light offers a six-word challenge. Okay, yes, I know I've exceeded that, but I'm playing catch-up.
This (and last) week's words? Cementharmoniousdignifiedfrenziedbaggageloopinginterferenceplungingmagnanimous,
gentrybrushindelibleimpartial, thatchedglowerbirdbath, inhumaneiridescentBlood and blue shadows under the Midnight sun.
Whew!
Go ahead and see what her other friends have done!

10 comments:

  1. Every great work of art begins with a vision. And then, well, that's where the trouble comes into it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. The vision is the easy part. Then comes the . . . commitment. Ick.

      Delete
  2. Wow! Two weeks words and the phrase all in one story, resulting in the most enduring birdbath of all time.
    Well done, I like this a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, River! So many words could only make a solid result!

      Delete
  3. You'd best have a nap now. That was an epic piece of work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like how you think. Be back later . . .

      Delete
  4. Great writing, great story. I had a friend just like that growing up and I dreaded "let's do something". Most of the time I ended up having fun though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun! She was always coming up with projects. And most of the time, they turned out just fine.

      Delete
  5. Debbie sounds like a "finisher". I never start large projects because I know I'm going to falter half way through and never get back to it. Imagine a HALF-finished slab of concrete - that would be worse than what you two ended up with :) Great job on all those words. Your mind is an amazing tool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't tell you the number of times I started to clean out my top drawer. Then got tired of it and just stuffed everything back inside. Yeah, finishing's something that came to me late in life...

      Delete

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