Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Thank God for Little Things: They Give Us Hope

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Thank God for Little Things: They Give Us Hope

Article excerpt

Lately I seem to spend a lot of time watching little things.

This morning it was quail chicks. There were eight of them, with their mama and daddy, all scratching and pecking at the bird seed on the ground outside my window.

I sit at that window for hours, pecking on a computer like Big Bird in bifocals pecking at seed, pretending to work while really just watching those chicks.

I wish you could see them.

They look like little feathered watermelons, not much bigger than your thumb, doddering around on two spindly legs.

I can't get my fill of them.

Twice a week or so, when my husband fills the feeders that hang from the pepper tree, he scatters extra seed under the window to lure the birds a bit closer to my eyes. He says he does it to make it easier for the ground feeders to forage.

Maybe so. But mostly he does it for me. I like birds the way some women like jewelry. He likes to keep me well-supplied.

Birds are not the only small things I watch. When I go to Trader Joe's (my favorite market and home away from home), I stop by the pet store to check out all the pups.

I wish you could see them.

Shelties, Labs, dachshunds, Yorkies. Some of them ignore me. They won't even sniff my hand. But there's always one or two that will give me a look that says: "OK, I'm ready. Write a big check and let's go home."

So I try to explain why I can't take them home because I travel a lot, they'd be alone and they deserve a better life than I can give them. Then I hang my head and go home to watch birds.

Birds are easier to watch than dogs. They never want to go home with you. And they don't bark when you leave.

My favorite little things are little people. Grandchildren, for example. Mine, in particular.

I wish you could see them.

When I can't watch them in person, I study photos and videos that their mamas are kind enough to send to me:

Randy, almost 3, reads a book to his baby brother. …

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