Life’s Just Ducky by Maureen Locher

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Maureen Locher photoFor years at the end of June teeny little yellow flowers bloom alongside the road. I am such a chicken. As much I want to slam on the brakes, run out and pick daisies or other such lovely wildflowers, I never do. I’m not a rule breaker. If I grab them for myself they won’t be there for others to see floats my logic.

But I own these flowers. I don’t know how much road the township owns and I don’t want to know because running all along my property are these petite beauties. This morning before I left my house after a completely-not-one-wink-of-sleep-night I tossed out a big old hint, “When you guys cut the grass (hope does spring eternal!) don’t cut down the yellow flowers by the road. I want to transplant them.”

Lately my primary sanity moments occur when my hands are knuckle-deep in dirt. That’s about the only time I can tune out all this “life” to forget that my parents are adjusting every day to assisted living, when I can pretend it’s not as hard as it is. Hard for me. Hard for my folks. Hard for my brothers. Just plain hard. We are all in foreign territory and manage as best we can through this tenuous time.

Last night my brothers and I did not see eye-to-eye on a few need-to-thrash-out points. And sleep never came. At 5:30 I decided it was time to “wake up.” I took a bath, washed my hair, brushed my teeth and greeted the day – with aches and pains and grumpiness. But, to quote my dad, I kept “plugging away,” through a zombie-like breakfast, the morning’s work and a York Peppermint Patty pick-me-up. Returning home I spied something yellow – something yellow in buckets by my steps. Dug-up yellow roadside spill! Someone did it! Took the hint! Oh happy day!

I planted my bunches and wanted more, so me and my shovel walked to the road, and out from the ditch pops a wild mama duck, squawking, running, half-flying, scooting willy-nilly over the grass. And then I see them: eight baby duckies! Oh what a reward for a crummy, sleepless night! Such adorable little quackers. And all of a sudden from the corner of my eye a ninth ducky made a beeline for the road. What a little dope. Wrong way little one. Come back. And she zoomed across the road. I ran her down like a lunatic, but her big family was long gone hiding under the trees, so I took her inside and showed her to my family before depositing her safe and sound under the trees.

What unexpected bliss for a catatonic mama awake for 39 1/2 hours straight! Tonight instead of counting sheep, I’ll try counting duckies. Duck, duck, duck…zzzzzzzzzzz.

Copyright 2010 Maureen Locher

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