Monday, May 19, 2008

Scissortail Weekend

Scissortail in Flight
Photo by: Jim McCulloch

This weekend, I went to visit my dad. It was the first night Suna and I have spent apart since I moved in. We both survived and had a really good time. Suna and Beccano made it a mother-son weekend.

My brother and sister-in-law were there visiting when I arrived. We don’t really have that much in common, so these visits turn into a tall-tale festival. We have all heard each other’s tales so many times that we could almost save time by numbering them.

When Dad and I were walking through a recently harvested wheat field, we saw the summer’s first scissortail (Muscivoria forficata). (Unfortunately, I forgot my camera this trip.) In this part of Texas, scissortails are summer birds. Dad says you know it’s summer when you see the first one. All I know is that they are beautiful birds, and I really enjoy watching them fly. Among other things, it turns out that the scissortail is the state bird of Oklahoma, but I don’t hold that against the poor bird. (The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is a tradition, after all.)

Dad wants me to sell part of the farm to his neighbor. For once, he and I agreed exactly on what the best thing to do is. Now all I have to do is work out the details with the neighbor. It is a rare situation where everyone wins. Dad is not using the part of the farm the neighbor wants. The piece will even out the a ragged border on the neighbor’s property and give his cattle access to water. The sale will pay off all my remaining debt, max out my IRA contribution for the year, pay for a needed repair around the house, and give me a nice nest egg to tide be over between contracts.

Grateful Monday

I am really grateful to have my dad still around at 85—still looking out for me. I hope he’s around when he’s 100.

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