Winter Roses

In response to my first blog about the valiant yellow rosebud blooming in my winter garden, a long time friend and fellow bird watcher wrote from Virginia: “You need to get a heater for your birdbath!”

 A hot tub for my feathered friends? I’m running a spa out there already, with tiered feeders and homemade suet bars. Why not go 5-star? The flock of 30 turkeys would love a nice warm beverage with their birdseed. The squirrels and chipmunks would probably like to warm their toes as well. I could put up a sign: “Welcome to the Swearingen Wildlife Refuge.” Maybe I could get a tax-credit to underwrite the birdseed. 

But the daily drama outside my kitchen window is worth every penny. There are no yellow roses right now, but here are a few “flashes of gold” since the first blog: 

  • A technophobe launched a website with a lot of help from a friend. Thanks to all of you for your yellow roses of encouragement!
  • We got a snowstorm and a surprise visit from our daughter and the grands!
  • A big answer to prayer: Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other Americans were released from prison in Iran.
  • I attended a wedding shower where someone asked the honoree: “What first attracted you to your husband?” The bride thought a moment and quickly responded, “He was always ready to lend a hand to help anyone who needed it.”   

So I asked myself the same question? Since we’re ramping up to Valentine’s Day, you might        ask yourself the same thing: What did you first notice about the guy/gal who’s shared your life?You might be surprised at the answers.

The first thought that came to my mind was a bus ride. In mid-60’s Memphis, county students rode yellow school buses. Not so—city kids. When classes let out, lots of us rode the city bus home. By the time it got to our school, all seats were taken. We were like livestock packed tight the length of the aisle. Anyone who snared a seat was lucky!

So, of course, I noticed, when a boy from church, who went to a school downtown, offered the space beside him to a girl from our school. That was nice, and then I forgot about it. My stop was at the end of the line. At the stop before mine, it was just the two of us—him and me, sitting on bench seats across from one another. I sort of looked up once and then awkwardly stared at the ribbed rubber matting on the floor. He looked my way and then was up and gone. 

At the next stop, I got off and the incident faded. Later that fall, I noticed he opened the car door for his mom as she exited the building after church. That was nice.  Later that spring, he asked me out. I wasn’t his first choice, but I was the final choice.  That’s another story.

This week we got a good laugh remembering. I never knew he only rode that bus for two weeks due to an athletic injury that sidelined him from practice! I guess that was nice too.

  • Late breaking news: I came home and found a bouquet of yellow roses on the kitchen table!  My neighbor’s gift for taking care of her cat! She didn’t even know about the last blog. Thanks Bonnie!