Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grandma Loved The Hummingbirds

I'm sitting here in front of my computer, the rain is coming down, the wind is blowing. It's nasty outside.

From here, I can see the hummingbird feeder. The hummers have been eating and fussing all day, chasing each other away from the feeder, perching for a minute, then flitting away again. I've seen them in Oregon in a snowstorm, huddling at the feeders, all fluffed up and sipping the warm nectar my Mom put out for them.

Grandma always loved the hummers. She lived with my parents before she went to the home. The feeders hang outside the breakfast nook, where Grandma could watch them every morning while she was having coffee with my Dad, her son.

The morning sun glinted through the red nectar and the hummers would be busy as bees. Swooping in and out, sipping and then slipping away when a more aggressive hummer would zoom in. Brave little creatures, I've stood out there next to the feeder and they've buzzed me, too busy defending their territory to pay attention to a mere human.

Grandma loved those little hummingbirds. I think it was because she could relate to them, being tiny herself.

She was also a speedy little thing. In her younger days, a good trip from Los Angeles to Washington meant that she didn't get any speeding tickets.

She always flew, whether it was in her car or her little airplane. I didn't know until her wake that my dad hadn't ridden in any kind of a vehicle with her since 1953 -- at least as a passenger. LOL, that was the year she took him up in her airplane and that was the end of that for Dad!

I think she loved those hummers because they reminded her of her freedom, when she was younger and could pack up and go at a moment's notice. Like the hummers, she was always ferociously independent. She could and would cuss you out like a mule-skinner if you got on her bad side.

Grandma always did exactly what SHE wanted to do. No matter what anyone else said or thought. In fact, I suspect that's why she became a pilot. My birth Grandpa wanted to learn to fly. Supposedly, Grandma said she didn't want to learn, but then she changed her mind.

Knowing my Grandma like I do, what really happened it that Grandpa said "Women can't fly!"

Then Grandma raised herself up, said something unprintable, and proceeded to get her pilot's license.

Ironically, Grandpa never did get his pilot's license.

Yes, Grandma used to go and sit in the breakfast nook every morning, her sharp little eyes seeking the hummingbirds out, watching them flit here and there, chirping and whirring.

I think they watched her too. They knew that kindred spirit that lived in her.

Today I watched the little hummingbirds, in the middle of a California winter, raining and blowing, still hovering at the feeder. I bite my lips, tear up a little.

I miss her feisty little self.

And I'm sure when I get to the other side, she's going to meet me there and tell me all about me writing this. In unprintable words.

Then she's going to point out the hummingbirds feeding on the flowers that twine around those Heavenly Gates and take me to see the rest of the family.

And knowing my family, Jesus will be having a piece of homemade apple pie with Grandpa Jack (Grandma's fourth husband and her soulmate) and playing cribbage -- the cheating way...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

grandma is exactly as my sister describes and i am not ashamed to say that reading this made me feel like she was still here i miss her so much and grandpa jack and all my grandparents we were blessed with three sets. when some never even had one. I will never forget the day she passed and i will never forget how much i love her still.