WE CAN SPEND HOURS sitting there, Daddy and I, in that room with windows that wrap all the way around the corner. He works hard to make the most of this stage of retirement, but his world is narrower now, that much is true. All of us—his kids, his grandkids—are grateful he has this wide view to the world outside, this wonderful window to his birds.
Look there at that dove, Cathy. You know doves eat on the ground. But watch him—he thinks he’s just a regular bird who can eat from the feeder.
There’s that Thrush. I thought he was done with me. But here he is, back again, poking at the seed in those roots. He must know you’re here.
Those are Hedge Sparrows. See? (We look together in the bird book, the one that belonged to his father, my Grandaddy Rigg, the bird carver.)
I always bring the big camera when I visit Dad—the one with the zoom lens—so I can shoot through the window to the bird feeders outside. We both get such a kick out of it when I download the photos and transfer them to his iPad. We flip through the images one after the other after the other, zooming in and out, identifying interesting marks on birds in every shot.
THIS PAST WEEKEND Tim and I spent a few days with Mom and Dad, and on this trip we included Little Bit. That sweet dog sat in Andad’s lap for a long, long time looking out that window, watching and listening and considering.
I’m not sure I’ve ever loved any animal as much as I loved that little dog at that moment.
Love, love, love, love, love.