Hello all you frozen folks!
Okay, I know, it's completely obvious that it's dang cold out there, right? I woke up this morning at 6:45 remembering with a start that I forgot to fill the bird feeder last night. Now those of us who are dedicated nature lovers know that this is very taboo in this kind of cold. These little birds that have grown to depend on us for their survival, need to have the feeder filled at all times. Especially when after scrapping 1/4 inch of frost off the INSIDE of the window, I peek out and see -12 degrees staring back at me from the thermometer. Yikes, STRIPES! as my good friend likes to say. That's just absurd! Where am I? The tundra? I mean a serious reality check is needed for those kinds of temperatures. And, as I understand it, my hometown up there in the frozen northern part of NH was at -32 degrees this morning. Are we kidding here? It hurts to breathe in this stuff.
So, I put on my boots, slog on out to the shed where the bird food is kept and fill up the two cans resting in the metal bin. One of these cans has a paper label, and one does not. I grab the one with the paper label first, fill 'er up and no sweat. Then, I grab the one without and guess what? Within about 3 seconds my fingers started to burn. It brought back memories of a tongue stuck to a certain pole and an utterance of "Flick? Flick who?". Those of you who are Christmas movie lovers will get the inference. Anyways, let's just suffice it to say that can was seriously COLD. So, I also plucked up a new block of suet and crunch-squeeked my way out to the back yard. I dumped a 1/2 can of seed on the ground. I don't normally encourage the pain in the butt rodent squirrels to come invade the bird's space, but honestly, I feel for even them on a day like this. Even added a few bread heels to the mix for them. I'm a softy at heart, you all know it's true.
When I grabbed the heavy metal cover for the feeder, I got an instant nerve jolt sent to my brain that it was time to let go of it, pronto. But, I persevered and got the tube filled up. Meanwhile an entire chorus of chirps and twits and peeps was serenading me. The birds had been waiting for me to come do my responsibility and I like to think they were thanking me for finally getting out of my nice warm, cozy home to come and feed them already. Filling the suet was another matter because 1. it's kinda gross and 2. the screen mesh door was frozen shut. I used my super sonic atomically hot breath on it for about 30 seconds and it popped right open. Ahhh, the wonders of a body temperature of 98.6 and opposible thumbs! I was filling the suet and a chickadee flew in on the feeder and grabbed a sunflower seed and flew off. It was literally no more then 8 inches from me, he just couldn't wait another moment and had to chose between certain death (freezing to death with an empty stomach and nothing to feed his revving metabolism) or possible death from the "giver of food". He chose the possible death option and I got to have a special treat and thank you for my discomfort. Which was only oh so momentary compared to the hard lives they are living.
As I'm sitting here in my warm house, drinking my hot tea listening to my warm Little Red chatting with his daddy in our toasty bed, my mind goes to the countless people who are homeless today. This is not the kind of cold you can be homeless in and hope to live very long. I know there are more people without homes in our country then there has been in a long time (think Okies, ya'll, did you read the Grapes of Wrath?), it's staggering to me to know that so many are facing these hardships. No place warm to go, no hot meal and certainly no feeder to worry about the little birds who are equally as cold. Home takes on a whole new meaning when you think about just the basics of survival. The neighbors don't seem as completely annoying, that old bathroom sink looks a lot more charming when I'm sitting inside a 62 degrees house drinking a hot cup of tea. I'm feeling very grateful for the blessings in my life that offer me the chance to have such a warm and safe place to be right now in this moment. And, my heart and prayers go out to those who've faced this cold snap without a home, heat or a hot meal.
I'm going to drop those outgrown snowpants and coat off at the coat collection box our local realtor company is collecting. Doing it today. We are lucky to not see many homeless people in our community, but I know they are there. I think I'll throw a couple older blankets that still have life left in them in there as well. Someone needs them more then my closet shelf does today.
Thankful to be warm and safe, ~Peacemom