Tuesday, June 12, 2007

If you set your mind free, baby, maybe you'll understand.

Great blue herons are dogging me. There are at least two on the lake near the Brit's, but for the last year or more we've been acting like there's only one and calling him "Brother Heron" or "The Sentinel" or "Brother, the Sentinel." We had some shtick, on one lake walk, about how the Brit was meting out urban justice and the Sentinel was his sidekick, scoping out lakeside crimes-in-progress. Like most of our lake-walking shticks, the urban justice riff was short-lived, but at least we got some good monikers out of it.

You can tell a gawky flying bird is a heron and not a crane because herons crank their necks back into a sort of S shape when they fly. I saw a giant one sailing over the St Croix yesterday, as we snoozed on warm rocks high above the water. I saw another flying over the highway today. Synchronicity again, or am I just in the mood to notice birds? I took some exceedingly crappy pictures of a bald eagle yesterday, too, but really, when an eagle swoops down toward your riverboat you better just watch it instead of trying to frame it for later.

I snapped a lot of other pictures, too, less crappy ones.

It was a good day, though the sun took a lot out of me and I was also rocking my first UTI (and first antibiotics) in ten years. The short female urethra is a serious design flaw if you ask me. Anyway. We went to Taylor's Falls, site of the world's largest logjam (in 1883. It took 57 days to break it up. There was enough lumber in the logjam for 20,000 houses.), among other things. We took the riverboat tour. It was so splendid and hot that I had almost no energy for hiking afterward, but that was okay. It was beautiful and I had many moments of perfect serene contentment and really, what more can anyone ask for?

Well, maybe Coco Roos. That's the generic equivalent of Coco Puffs and yes, it's true, I bought a big ass bag of them and have a dreggy bowl next to me. Cereal seems to be my junk food of the moment and it's pretty much TV's fault. I've seen a lot of Life commercials on TV lately, and therefore have had to fill the Brit in on the iconic "He likes it! Hey Mikey" bit and also on how delicious Life is. The power of my own suggestion was so strong that I then had to buy some.

Today I gave a recital and as with all performances, I'm left with the endorphin rush tempered by good old "what now?" Since it's too late to contemplate that question for reals, I am going to tell you a kid story. Henry lately declined to go to the park with his dad and Jude because he wanted to wear his tuxedo. "Fine," said his mother, "but if you stay home you have to go to the grocery store with me." He agreed.

So he got his bowler hat and his cane and all his accoutrements and then went to the bathroom, where his mom was getting ready to go. "Mom," he said seriously, "when we're at the grocery store, I really want to sing for money."

I'm not sure where he got this idea, but does it matter? "You can sing," Mol told him, "but not for money." He grumped about this but acquiesced.

And sing he did. What did he sing? "Stayin Alive." People were stopping my sister: "Is he singing...Stayin Alive? I don't even know all the words to that song."

I mean a kid in a tuxedo, singing Bee Gees in the grocery store. What a wonderful world. Have I mentioned that my sister is pregnant again?


  1. If you don't already have it, it might be a good time to listen to The Decemberists' The Crane Wife. To go along with your embirdening.

    And another nephew or niece on the way? That is big, big news.

  2. Yay for herons, and yay for your sister!

    I need to start going to that grocery store, too.

  3. I lub Henry Haven. And soon we'll have other stories about a New One? It's all too good.

    I often see herons, and I feel the sightings are a personal sign for, I dunno, something. When I see them near the highway or in the LA River I spend too much time wondering what God is trying to tell me. When I saw one struttin' across a parking lot on the northside of Puerto Rico, I thought they were following me.

  4. Those two better just keep on procreating, because they make the best kids. And by 'best,' I do mean 'most entertaining.'

  5. Hurrah for another awesome niece or nephew! Congratulations Aunt Maven.

  6. I don't think the world can stand another kid as cute as your nephews. Remind me to talk to your sis about birf control.

  7. I eagerly await the West Coast leg of Henry's Grocery Store Tour '07.
    You can travel with him and visit our stash of nervy great blue herons. Edgar is the one who patrols our dock and whom I recently had to shoo off the stern rail of the boat. Here's another awesome and well-dressed bird: the black-crowned night heron. Their "crown" is really dark greyish-purple, and they sit all scrunched up so they appear to have no neck. I call them "capsule birds" because of their ovoid appearance. They're ok with that. Me and birds = sympatico. XO Violet