It’s A Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood

I’m back from an absolutely fantastic trip to Charles Town, W.Va., where I witnessed the very first meeting – ever – of John Reitmeier, Crookston, with his biological brother, Michael Terry.

It’s a beautiful-beyond-words-story that I’ll soon tell the world. 

Back here on Greenwood Drive, our yard is cleaned up and raked, (I cannot take credit for that), the fattest robin I’ve ever seen in my life is hanging out in our backyard, and my ole Schwinn is home from the bicycle infirmary.

Can’t tell you how much I missed my Schwinn.

 My friend, Paul, said I was riding to many miles and teasingly threatened to sneak into our garage to let the air out of my tires.

So naturally, one morning when I went out to ride and found a flat tire I blamed Paul. He never would do such a thing, of course, but he and Marlys, another friend, are trying to get me to slow down so they can catch up to my miles so far — 420. I’m doing my best not to let that happen.

Before I went to West Virginia, we took the Schwinn into the Ski and Bike Shop. The neatest young man works there – Damon Andrews, No. 25 on UND’s Fighting Sioux football team.

When we picked the bike up Thursday night there was smiling Damon again who invited us to the Sioux’s spring game Saturday at the Alerus. Since the yard is done I think we can do that.

One evening this week I looked out the family room window to see this robin.

Never in my life have I seen such a healthy looking robin. I wonder where he spent the winter. Wherever – it looks like he dined well.

We watched Mr. Robin for the longest time. He would tip his head to the side, position it close to the ground, and then all of a sudden peck at the ground and pull out a long worm and chow down. I tried desperately to catch him with one end of the worm in his mouth and the other still in the soil, but it never happened.

As I watched Mr. Robin, a song came back to me that I remember singing at a vocal music festival in Bottineau, N.D., when I was in elementary school. If I remember correctly I received a “superior” rating.

The song, “The Birds’ Return,” is from “The Golden Book of Favorite Songs,” which is what my cousins and I grew up with around the piano in my grandmother’s living room.

“The Birds’ Return,” is such a springtime song.

First verse:

All the birds are here again

With their happy voices;

Noisy sparrow, wren so bright

Chirp and sing from morn till night

Telling us of springs delight

Everyone one rejoices.

Second verse:

On the ground and in the air

See their colors flashing

Robin dear with breast of red

Scratching in the garden bed

Bluebird calling overhead

To and fro they’re dashing

Third verse:

Through the woods and pastures green

Feather’d hosts are flying

Meadowlark with warble gay

Bobwhite whistling all the day

Mockingbird bird in coat of gray

To their calls replying

The melody to this song will forever be fixed in my mind. It and the words take me right back to my grandma.

The Schwinn has one new inner tube, one brand new tire and tube, new liners between the inner tubes and the tires, freshly tightened spokes, a tune-up and if bicycles have sprockets it’s got a new one of them!

The Schwinn is calling – as are the trails along the river, the sparrows, robins, bluebirds, meadowlarks, bobwhites and mockingbirds.

Time to ride!

Until Soon