The two of us were standing in line at the grocery store

I was holding  two pounds of sausage and three pounds of hamburger meat.  We planned to grill out that evening.

The lady was about ninety, white haired with bright blue-eyes.   She stood there, holding her buggy with both hands.  In it was with a big bag of birdseed and a small bag of catfood.  She also had a half gallon of milk, a loaf bread, a pack of cheese and two cans of soup.

The person in front of the two of us was buying enough food to feed a baseball team for the winter.  We were going to be in line for a while.

At first, we talked about the weather.  It was 99 degrees outside. Nary a cloud in the sky.  We’re in Mississippi in July, what else do you expect?

Then we started talking about feeding birds.

I said something about the cost of birdseed.

I’m getting to be an old man.  Entertaining me is a bit easier than it used to be.  I’m learning to slow down, watch life move by me, instead of trying to run with the pack.

I put up a birdfeeder in my back yard last May.

Now my back porch is a fast food restaurant for two red-headed woodpeckers, four cardinals, some wrens, an occasional Blue Jay and a bunch of squirrels, plus the local chipmunk.    Word got around fast.

“There’s free food over at the Windham’s Porch.”

Suddenly,  I’m running a cheap restaurant, watching the birds fly in, grab a bite to eat and fly away.

I’m buying a bag of birdseed every  week.  I wanted some advice.


“I’m learning to love to watch the birds.   I have a squirrel that comes and climbs into my feeder.  He doesn’t want to share at all.” I said.

“I know what you mean.  I don’t know how to keep them out of my feeder.  They fight with the birds. I’ve got squirrel, he’s a big one, he scares them away.  I love to watch the Cardinals come by and eat.” she said.

I’m thinking this lady is running another free food store for the birds. It’s just up the road.

“And, my daughter, she brought me another cat last week.  Now I have three.  I feed all of them now.  And they eat a lot, you know.  I spend all my money buying birdfeed and cat food.” she was on a roll talking to me.  “But I love watching the birds. I hope the cats don’t scare them off.”

“Doesn’t she know?”  I asked myself.

I didn’t want to look at what else she had in her buggy.  I guess birdseed and cat food costs more than the milk, cheese and soup.

When it was her turn to pay, she reached into her pocketbook, pulling out a few dollars.

“Here, I can pay you for the birdseed and cat food with my money.  I’ll pay for my food with my card.”

That’s life.


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