Grandparents Day

Bless-Our-NestAs a child some of my fondest memories came from spending time at my grandparent’s house.  My grandparents lived in the heart of the city, surrounded by houses yet somehow we still had a very large garden, fruit trees, chickens and a rooster!  I spent much of my time outside picking fruits and veggies or chasing the winged beasts.

One fateful day I was swinging on a plank of wood tied to a branch of our pear tree that, when looking at it, should have fallen apart with the first strong wind.  As rickety as that swing was, I played on it every day for at least 8 years and it held strong till it was cut down sometime while I was in high school.  The higher you went the louder the groans and squeaks were.  It was magnificent.

I was pumping my feet hard, aiming to kick a yellow pear dangling precariously among the leaves.  I was oblivious to anything and everything around me, only focused on that pear and the desire to karate chop it straight into the air when I heard the whoosh of the kitchen window flying open.  Typically, the kitchen window opening brought kind words from my grandmother or a silly joke about a grizzly from my grandfather but today…it brought my grandmother hanging half way out and wielding a BB gun!

I slammed my feet into the ground trying to stop my momentum but only succeeded in sending myself into a dizzying tail-spin.  As the world spun around my head I caught glimpses of my grandmother, and the gun, and…were those feathers?  I could hear my grandmother hollering, then what I can only imagine was her dumping a fist full of pellets into the chambers.  “HOLY COW MY GRANDMOTHER IS GOING TO SHOOT ME!”

The world began to slow down, I could clearly hear my grandmother now.  “You get!!  Get out of here!!  Leaver her alone!!  CHAAARRRLLLLIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!”

POP POP.  The gun had been fired.  I squeezed my eyes closed as the swing stopped spinning and rocked, jarringly, back and forth.  I heard my grandfather’s boots thundering down the back porch staircase and almost instantaneously was lifted high above the ground.  “I’ve got her, Nita!”  My grandfather called out as he turned to head back up the steps.

My grandfather started up the narrow flight of wooden steps with me snug to his chest.  As we ascended to the porch I looked back at the swing, still swaying from the commotion.  Much to my surprise I saw the new rooster my grandfather had just brought home, wings spread wide and talons read to rumble.  It hopped from one claw to the other, bobbing it’s head and glaring from me to the kitchen window and back.  A dark, murderous glare.  It was in that moment I realized, you can’t trust a bird!!!

POP POP.  The gun went off one more time as we reach the top of the stairs.  The rooster flew up and clawed the air, flapping it’s red and black wings while swinging it’s head back and forth.  I stuck my tongue out as we rounded the corner and into the house, but not before I saw that perfectly ripe pear drop, splat, to the ground.  Stupid rooster.

Though I don’t actually remember, I like to think we had rooster stew that night for dinner.  And I’ll never forget the daring efforts of both my grandparents to save me from the evil clutches of that devious bird.

It’s memories like these that prompted me to send my grandmother something this Grandparent’s Day, which is September 11th this year.  And what better to commemorate such a memorable experience, that most definitely shaped my hatred for anything with feathers, than the Bless Our Nest Sculpture.  It was either that or a new BB gun, but since my grandmother appears to be a horrible shot, I thought she might enjoy a trinket to add to her collection more.

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