Birds, the beach, and an occasional surprise.




It’s super Tuesday and the first time I haven’t voted since 1961. Do I feel guilty? Only if Obama loses by one vote.

Good things come to those who wait? Maybe. Mostly it sucks. Waiting in lines for stuff: the bank, grocery store, a toilet. And the good ones: the birth of your child, Christmas morning when you were a child, your birthday before you were 30…

Yesterday I watched brown pelicans circle above the surf, fishing. When they see lunch they plunge head first straight into the water. The first time I saw these magnificient birds was 34 years ago. I was on a summer road trip in Mazie, our burgandy and cream VW bus, with my three kids and two teenagers. We were staying at a friend’s beach house on Santa Maria Island off the west coast of Flordia on the Gulf Of Mexico.

Besides playing in the warm, phosphorus water that turned our bodies a magical silver, my favorite place was the pier. A hubbub of fishing activity, brown pelicans circled overhead ever viligant for an easy meal. They were as guileless as Hansel and Gretel-never suspecting some of the fish they sought were already caught. What? Fish close to the surface just sliding along?

So the magnificant birds plunged, swallowing both the fish and the line.Predictably they were then dragged on to the pier where the pelican was held down by several people who extracted the fish. Usually the pelican flew away a few minutes later-confused by what had just happened. I don’t know if any of them learned their lesson or if they thought the experience was a one time thing. Someone told me that pelicans eventually go blind from the force of the water on their eyes. That is a bum deal.

The Bald Eagles on Homer Split in Alaska are about as bad. On a tip from a fellow drinker at the local American Legion hall in Stuart, I watched several eagles hover above the Homer pier waiting for salmon parts-mostly fins and heads to be tossed to them or into the water where they could just scoop them up. I was disappointed because I thought our national bird was classier than that but feeding yourself & a couple of chicks is not easy regardless of status.

My new Spanish tutor dumped me. I admitted to not being the best student ever but told her that I thought my enthusiasm would overcome my lack of disclipline. She wanted me to write Enero & Agosto 10 times & wasn’t satisfied with my answer when she asked me what people do in other countries when they can’t speak the language? I casually mentioned that I married my algebra tutor back in the old days, that he obviously hadn’t been so picky when it came to academics.

I want to be like Sophie. When a perfectly coiffed standard poodle strutted by her on the beach this morning she didn’t even raise her head. She is absolutly comfortable in her own aging skin.

Sitting on a beach chair in the sun I counted how many men I saw adjusting their balls in an hour. 11. I noticed that adjusting and spitting are highly public functions here. My mother would be appalled. Rest her soul.

Last week my Mexican doorbell rangout. Standing outside was handsome Ivan Gustavo. As you might imagine, I was thrilled. ” Ivan, I called out over the railing, good things do come to those who wait! Here I am waiting for my car and a good looking, hunk-o- man appears! Lucky me.” Driving isn’t everything.

Humor is reason gone mad. -Groucho Marx

Paz en tierra. -Ruby

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