So many things remind me of my mother. I loved writing PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS for her, tucking in her love of the bare trees. How unhappy I was with winter, the lack of green, the gray skies. I still feel the warmth of her hand in mine in her garden, her hair blowing a little in the wind. “Look at the shapes,” she said. “How beautiful they are.”
And always during the first snow, I remember her love for the birds. As a child, I watched from the window as she clumped out to the garden in boots, using clothespins to attach pieces of bread to the wash line.
This morning I spent a wonderful hour in Mr. Twitter’s Garden Gift Gallery in Rutland, Vermont. My mother would have loved that place with its purple fence. It’s obvious that Becky, Mrs. Twitter, has the same feelings about wildlife as she did.
The feeders today are wonderful, many with baffles to prevent greedy squirrels from gobbling everything down. (Actually, I enjoy the squirrels as much as the birds and loved Mrs. Twitter’s peanut bells. That reminded me of my mother again. She saved onion bags and stuffed them with nuts, and they went on the line for the squirrels, too.)
And there on one of Mrs. Twitter’s shelves were those neat little suet cakes, some with blueberries, some with nuts. Ah, our refrigerator in the days of my youth! All the cooking fat was poured slowly into a can, refrigerated, and allowed to freeze to a solid mass. My mother would cut off the bottom and hang the can sideways with red ribbon. So much easier now.
I brought home seed and suet, two new feeders, one that looks like a coil of metal, good for stuffing in oranges, apples, or a bit of raisin bread.
The joy of it! Christmas for the birds, Christmas for me.