Mixed Messages

I can almost watch the long “To-Do” list growing as it waits. My mother instilled a work ethic long ago that said pleasure comes only after all the chores are done. Most of the time, that’s not a bad idea.

But sometimes, another admonition that I did not get from her, “Take time to smell the roses,” calls out to me. On a recent cold winter afternoon, I sat in front of my fire surrounded by writing paraphernalia, but drawn to the hazy view of the bird feeders out the window. Dreary gray skies had the forecasters hinting of possible snow. (Ha! This is South Mississippi. All we got were a few spectacular icicles.)

The birds seemed to be aware and began stocking their equivalent of bread and milk. Had they heard the forecast? I’d refilled the nyger seed for the finches who waited no more patiently than three-year-olds for a turn at their feeder. A swarm of cardinals behaved better and made room for a couple of mourning doves at their two feeders while the overflow crowd pecked around at the nyger seed the little birds had scattered on the patio. One mama cardinal found a post on the patio chair between feedings to fluff out her feathers and get warm.

There lay my temptation – the entertainment of stopping to watch the birds jockey for space to feed or taking care of the long “To-Do” list? I’m a bit different from my mother in thinking that smelling the roses ranks closely with and sometimes takes precedence over getting the list finished. Maybe I could satisfy both. If I could get a blog out of it . . .