A big elk trudged on by just below the yard fence as I made my way onto the deck for my morning tea this morning. His antlers were broken on one side and his gait reflected that of a fighter who had lost the last round. He was alone since he had been fought and I paused and wondered if his spirit had also taken a beating in the apparent loss. My question was almost immediately answered as he began a long strong bugle – his call to the cows in the herd that he is strong and a good candidate for them to mate with. It is also the confident call that realizes the main bull of the herd could also come and challenge him once more if his harem starts to wander the challenger’s way.
I had to smile at his cavalier attitude and determination. It was a nice take away from a cool autumn feeling morning.
This is a picture of one of the bulls traipsing about the neighborhood recently. Could be him, could be one of five or so others that hang around the herd.
Thank you to everyone who sent out birthday wishes for me. I had a great day(s) and felt well loved.
As many of you know, my family doesn’t make a big deal out of birthdays. Growing up, we would get our favored dessert – elderberry pie for me – but that was mostly the extent of the celebration. Never wanting to be the center of attention (or scrutiny), it was fine in my book to not have a party.
Maybe because we never dwelled on birthdays, the number on each one never gave me any pause. I didn’t say crap when I turned thirty, and forty didn’t seem much different. Fifty came and went and I felt like I was at the perfect age to hang out with the older eighty-year-old friends and still my younger set in their twenties and thirties. The number of years since birth just seemed like the speed limit signs as you drove out of town. Like your age, the 20mph was in the school zone and flashing – a warning that the zone is temporary and extra caution against severe stupidity should be exercised. Then, you enter into the housing areas where the speed increases much like the decades – in ten mph increments.
So while those other “zero” birthdays that moved us in number from one decade to another, were never scrutinized, this 60 mph marker looked like a billboard as it approached. It could be: because my dear mother never even made it to that marker, or I’ve let myself go completely grey over the last several years and so the mirror no longer plays along with my inner view that I am still this much younger dark haired gal, or maybe because life throws curveballs and suddenly you are spending hours on the phone with social security office – something the older generation was supposed to be dealing with and not me, or it could be the reminder of this would be my first birthday without Ted in 35 years, but for whatever reason, this one loomed large for me.
It was fortunate then, that at the last moments, a distraction of a plan hatched for a quick trip to the east coast to see friends who actually have been with me through all of those previous decades and life changes. Buddy passes from her sister were provided and they have the condo on Topsail Island in NC, – so cost didn’t factor in. An added bonus was that we had several birthdays to celebrate as both husbands of my gal pals have birthdays just before mine (and they have a few years on me, so I still got to be the baby of the group – one wasn’t with us in person, but we kept him in spirit with us).
We took beach walks and jet skied the intercoastal waterway to check out other islands along the coast – sometimes at breakneck speeds faster than the age that was approaching as we raced to and fro. We ate some great fish and some really yummy oyster shooters on more than one occasion. We engaged in some people watching everywhere we went as it is a fun pastime in any locale. We laughed till our bellies hurt and made great memories of our current time together as we regaled those of the past as well.
It was a beautiful and fun diversion that made me feel like I was rolling back the years instead of adding onto them.
I guess we only had the camera’s out when we were in establishments. 🙂