Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



Listen to me, mama!

I’m working on a little watercolor cat postcard for someone and doing delicate work around the eyes when Katie barks. At me. She’s lucky my hand didn’t slip, but I knew enough to put the art away for awhile.

She’s feeling ignored.

She doesn’t want to go out back to her pen, a place she enjoys these days before things get to hot out there in the coming weeks. She wants to go out, but not to go out, if you know what I mean. I attempt, a second time, to take her out to her pen and she detours to the folding chairs on the other end of the deck.

There she settles in her favorite location to watch the road. She looks over her shoulder at me, still attached to her leash, and says I can either stand there like a dummy, or sit in the chair and enjoy the evening. With her.

So I sit.

She watches the road. I watch the birds in the trees above as they make their decisions about dinner. They are coming in for their evening meal and Katie and I, though we are sitting very still, are objects to consider.

A single gold finch begins to sing…three notes, the last on an upward question; “You still here? You still here? He’s not sure what to do about us, so he keeps asking.

The group of three chickadees aren’t worried about us at all. They work themselves down to the lowest hanging branches, just above us, cock their heads, consider us unimportant, and shoot off to the feeder, each grabbing one choice seed and skidding back up into the branches where they tap open their seeds, the sound multiplied by three.

I think I hear a nuthatch, they sort of whine when they want something, but I can’t see it. Then a downy woodpecker swoops down to the feeder, and I realize I might have mistaken it for the nuthatch.

A titmouse flutters above my head, not sure if it should go get something to eat, or pull some hair for a nest. I must have moved; suddenly it flies straight up and over to the feeder.

More goldfinches join the lonely one, each singing, none brave enough to eat with us sitting there. Soon there is an entire choir, but apparently they find no strength in numbers.

I nod off a little, no worries, Katie is keeping watch while simultaneously breaking twigs into smaller twigs. She’s a multi-talented little girl.

Suddenly there is scrambling and chirping and two chipmunks race up the railing and across the deck and down the other side. Since she is so focused on her twigs Katie misses all the action. I nod off again.

Hearing something scrambling in the leaves below I glance down, expecting to see Chip or Dale. But no. It a towhee! I’ve lived here more than twenty-five years and I’ve only seen this bird twice before! It scratches around in the the dry leaves for a moment or two, and then flies away.

Katie doesn’t understand why I am so excited, or why she gets a treat when we go inside. I owe her that towhee sighting, and all the other bird (and chipmunk) games we got to watch. Because if she hadn’t said “enough mama,” I’d have missed it all.

Katie is full of good ideas, if only I’d stop and listen. She’s napping now, probably dreaming up something else fun for us to do.

As I’m sure she’s told you, she has to do everything around here.


Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

24 thoughts on “Games

  1. Dawn–this was such a great read. Yes, I think Katie might have mentioned all she has to do…..That last picture of her sleeping–absolutely adorable.


  2. We sat out on our front patio after our afternoon walk. Keltic didn’t want to settle down; I tried bringing a bowl of water and gave him and Teddy’s a pigs ear. We did manage to sit outside for about an hour. Not many birds in our front yard though.


  3. Katie, what a GOOD girl you are, making sure your mama doesn’t get bored with inactivity while this virus rages! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a towhee either, but it’s a pretty bird. And how cool the birds and critters didn’t pay the two of you any mind while they went about their usual business! Sometimes, ya just gotta get outside!!


  4. That’s an entertaining read with the birds on the background. Towhee are kind of aloof unless Kathie is a bird magnet.


  5. I agree with Perpetua, you have a bird magnet on your hands. Thanks for including a link to the bird ID.


  6. Its always when you do not have your camera you wish you did. I can never get as good of a picture with my phone. Our puppy Cricket is getting really good at games. She wants to go out but by the time she gets up from being under my desk and walks to the backdoor its time to take a break shes tired. She is all of 33#s at 11 weeks old. We go out with her slow moving self and she goes to potty. All shes worried about is her treat for going outdoors she is the first one in the kitchen to sit down prim and proper. Life is good the dogs keep us moving.


    • I WAS sort of missing my camera…but I think I enjoyed it so much just observing and I might not have done that if I had the camera with me.

      Your ‘puppy’ is going to be huge!

      Liked by 1 person

      • This pups a monster and wants to eat all the time. I get up at 4 am feed her by 4:30 a.m. she eats 4 cups at that time. By 8 shes eating the big dogs food. Then she gets dinner around 4 in the afternoon another 4 cups.


  7. I very much enjoyed this. I don’t think we humans take as much time as we should just sitting. Good job, Katie. 🙂

    I’m wondering about the goldfinches. Ours disappeared entirely. We still have the feeders out, but they no longer come around. Maybe they are visiting with you.


    • Mom used to say hers (that were there in Alabama for the winter) left her to come up and spend the summer with me. Do you usually have them in the summer?

      I think Katie is brilliant. We might just nap out on the deck again this afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think we usually have them around in the summer. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure. I see them at the end of summer, when the sunflowers and zinnias go to seed (because they love the seeds). Hmmm… maybe they do go Elsewhere when it warms up. I’ll have to pay more attention. 🙂


  8. Thank heavens for Katie. You’ve reminded me of something Mum sent me yesterday – search for Off The Leash The Weigh In. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Awe, Katie is AWESOME!! Enjoyed your visit outside with all the wildlife!! ❤️🐿️🐦


  10. Sometimes we humans need that extra push to get outside and just sit and commune with nature. Good girl, Katie!


  11. Bird watching with your dog, I love it, Dawn!


  12. Sweet girl! Listen to Katie. Our Liam had a fenced-in backyard—probably a half an acre—in which to race around and bark in. The birds, generations of them raised in the trees along the edge of our yard, were unfazed by his barking, which was loud and frequent. Guests who came over were amazed by this. The birds learned that Liam’s barking was nothing to worry about.


    • Oh I am laughing, literally, out loud. Katie has a pen in back (they don’t allow fences where we live) and she sits out there on cool days enjoying the scenery. Mostly, if we’re honest, she falls asleep these days, and since she’s deaf she doesn’t wake up when the squirrels chirp at her from the deck or the trees. And when she’s inside she barks ferociously at them, flinging herself against the windows…they sit on the deck railing and watch her curiously. They’re not at all alarmed by all the commotion, they know she’s just a silly little girl. The birds actually sit on her pen to wait their time at the feeder, even when she’s inside it.

      Liked by 1 person

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