Thursday, May 14, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Despite the fact that I write about exotic places and high drama and hot and heavy romance, I’m a very simple girl. I’ve been realizing how simple lately as I’ve taken such great pleasure in the very, very simple things in life.

For instance, I’m at my desk in my office working, right? I’m writing a scene where my hero and heroine are caught in an airport in El Salvador in the middle of a fire fight between a British diplomat and his SIS security team and an ultra-nationalist terrorist group who are attempting to explain to the Brit – with their AK-47s – that he is not welcome in their country.
Jezz. Like my H/H don’t have enough trouble of their own, they get caught in the cross-fire of someone else’s fight. Anyway, the bullets are flying, people are screaming, glass is shattering and the whole thing stops cold because I hear a bird sing outside my office window.

So I look to my left and there sits this beautiful Baltimore Oriole on my feeder just chowing down on the grape jelly I put out for him. Well, needless to say, terrorists and AK-47’s and romance just flew out the window (pun intended) as I watched this gorgeous guy enjoy his afternoon snack. Wow. The pleasure of watching such a beautiful bird just transported me. What a simple, wondrous pleasure.

Okay, so finally, I go back to work. The bullets are still flying at the San Salvador airport and not only are my H/H fighting for their lives but they’ve stumbled onto a young mother and an infant in dire need of help. Just as they are about to either catch a bullet or a flying shard of shattered glass I hear this sound outside my window. It’s like a vibrating rubber band or something. So, I stop what I’m doing -again - leaving my people hanging in a perilous situation to look to my left – and there is Mrs. Hummingbird sipping nectar from the feeder I hung on the window. (Mr. H had been here Sunday with his beautiful ruby throat and tiny emerald feathers gleaming in the sun). I actually shot this photo of the Mrs. without the use of the zoom feature on my camera – that’s how close she was to me. And the pleasure I got from watching this amazing creature was just humbling.

I’ve always appreciated nature but it seems that the older I get them more in tune I am with all those things we sometimes take for granted and the deeper I reach to enhance the possibility of these types of encounters. Not that my heart rate doesn’t still accelerate at a shot of a nekked cowboy or kilt wearing Scotsman and I darn near drooled watching Gerard Butler in PS: I LOVE YOU the other day, but other things do it for me too. Like birds. I have more bird feeders in the yard than an aviary and they are constantly filled with gold finches and cardinals and siskens and any variety of birds. One winter I fed five varieties of wood peckers.

So, what are your simple pleasures? What can make you stop in the middle of a busy day and just watch or listen in wonder? Do you take the time to enjoy the simple things in life? If you don't, don't you think it's time you start? Do you think that age makes a difference in what we find amazing? Or fun? Or enlightening? Am I just turning into a crazy old bird woman and if so, can the crazy old cat lady phase be far behind?


Cindy Gerard said...

sorry to post late. I got a chance for another simple pleasure - babysitting with my grandchildren so I'm at a remote location and just got a chance to post.
have a great day, everyone. I'll check in now and then but you'll understand if I have more fun things to do today :o).

Michele Hauf said...

Cindy, I watch birds too. Or rather, I get joy watching my cats watch the birds. I have a cat shelf right behind me and placed the birdfeeder outside the window so they can watch and dream about catching a feathery snack. It's the perfect excuse to stop typing and just laugh for a while.

So I'm a crazy old bird and cat lady. Hmm...

Kathleen said...

Like you Cindy, I will sit at my desk and look out my kitchen window and watch nature wiz by me. i hear the birds talking to one another and the squirls running back and forth trying to catch the birds. Or today the sounds of the trees whipping back and forth in the high winds that are moving through the city.
But one of my favourite things that I think is so beautiful, is the sounds of the childrens laughter and screams of delight as they play in the park as I am out for my daily walk. There is nothing like that sound of happiness and fun.
And it does not make you a crazy old lady Cindy!! If you are, we all are..not
And this next book you are working on sounds like it will be another winner in with Black Ops guys.

Cindy Gerard said...

Michele - when I had my office built on to the house I had the contractor install extra wide window sills so that the cats could sit or lay on the, and watch the birds. I should have included a photo of the two cats sitting and drooling and dreaming at the finch feeder :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

You're so right about children's laughter. It's the best reminder of everything that's good in life!!

Kylie said...

I wish I had an office with a view, LOL. But I do enjoy my four mile daily walks when the weather gets nice. I've happened across baby woodchucks, a napping raccoon, a mole (or shrew, can't tell the difference) and the first true bluebirds I've seen since I was a kid. I do my best plotting when I'm out walking!

Cindy Gerard said...

Kylie, you're right about plotting while walking. The exercise releases endorphines that help with the process. it's great!

lois greiman said...

Seeing the horses run out to pasture always gives me goosebumps. And I've discovered a nest of hawks in the woods behind that pasture. I'm trying to protograph their growing up. Very fun.

catslady said...

Hey, I resemble that remark - roflmao. I AM the crazy catslady lol. I wish I lived on a farm where I could have more wild life around me but I do have watch raccoons, possums, birds, cats and dogs and whatever else wants to wander my way :)

ForestJane said...

Watching tomatoes grow.

No, I'm serious. :) I love going out to inspect my containers every day after work to water them and see what's changed. My blog has pix every ten days or so - so the tomatoes start at green pea sized, to marble sized, now I even have some approaching tennis ball sized.

I think it's because I only have 3 tomato plants - like in "The Little Prince," I've named them, tamed them and now I'm responsible for them.

At least I'm not as nuts as the guy in Florida who has a webcam on his tomatoes... real time updates, you can literally watch them grow. :D


Cindy Gerard said...

Lois, I'm with you on the horses. When I worked in the sunroom, I had a view of the pasture and always saw them at play. Now my office is on the other side of the house so I miss that. Sometimes I do take my laptop outside on the deck and watch them though :o)

Catslady - our house cats use the doggie door and go in and out of the house whenever they want to. Trust me, there are disadvantages to living on the farm because they are always hunting then bringing me presents - if you know what I mean ....

Cindy Gerard said...

Forest Jane - I hear you on that. We have an asparagus patch and I swear, those stalks sometimes grow 6 inches in a day. You can actually see them grow. It's amazing!!

Oh - and ps to Catslady - since becoming a cat owner - or should I say owned by a cat - I have come to realize that it's easy to become crazy about them, old lady or young :o)

Anonymous said...

I love watching the birds come by. One of my favorites would be the hummingbird wars we have over the feeders in the middle of the summer.

Lately I've been catching a quick glimpse of a bright blue bird. Not a blue bird, or blue jay. I'm thinking blue bunting maybe?

Christie Ridgway said...

I enjoy the warmth of the sunshine. Basking in it for just a few minutes with my cat is a great rejuvenator!

Love to watch the birds, too.

Cindy Gerard said...

Arkansas Cindi - I'm so envious of you and anyone who has seen a blue bird. I just haven't been able to attract them.

And yes, Christie - sitting in the sun with a contented cat. What a 'big happy sigh' moment

Estella said...

I am an old cat lady who, also feeds the birds a ground squirrel and a gray squirrel.
My cats are so old(20, 19, 12, 12) the don't have the ambition to chase the birds or squirrels.

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- You sure picked the right place to live for simple pleasures! Smart woman!

We had a cardinal in the yard a few days ago, but we don't put out any feeders. We have so many squirrels, raccoons, possums (yep) that the hummingbirds would probably be the only ones who'd actually get the food.

Bird watching aside, I do like the simple things, quiet moments. Hello...quilter/knitter here. (g)

I don't think you're a crazy bird lady. Just by binoculars. My uncle is a major bird watcher. No one calls him crazy. (g)

MarthaE said...

Yes simple pleasures! Especially in the morning I like to sit on the balcony of our room and watch the hummingbirds come up to the feeder we hang there. The dogs and kitty usually sit with me until they take off to chase the squirrels! Sometimes we get to watch the deer come in to eat corn or peas we plant for them... again until the dogs take chase. Little dogs but one barks and the other is very fast!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Martha E - the hummers are just amazing, aren't they? What tiny miracles.

Deb - we have had the occasional raccoon and possum out here too. And deer sometimes tip toe through the flower beds. It's too cool.

Estella - you must be a very good cat momma to have such old beauties. There's something so special about an old cat or an old dog. They are just so comfy.

Helen Brenna said...

Chiming in late here.

Any kind of wildlife works for me. And I LOVE the Oriole's song. It's lovely. Deer. Turtles. Bees. Even snakes, I'll sit and watch.

Yes, I'm strange.

Cindy Gerard said...

Helen - okay, I was with you until you got to the snakes. Hum. Maybe you are strange :o)

Playground Monitor said...

Late to the party. I have 3 bird feeders in the back plus two bluebird houses. For some reason the bluebirds have chosen not to nest there this year. :-( But I was getting the blower out of the shed (really just a corner of the fenced yard with a top on it) and noticed a bird's nest built on the bushblade attachment to the old weedeater. I thought maybe it was left from last year. Then today I looked in and there's a blue egg. I'm guessing it's a robin's nest.

Snakes? Ewwwww. I can handle anything but that.

I'm with you on grandbaby-sitting and children's laughter. I get to babysit my granddaughter later this month. Grammy is very excited about that!


MJFredrick said...

YES on children's laughter! I'm a teacher, but even when I take the day off, I open my windows to hear the kids playing at the nearby school.

I love my hibiscus. I have about a dozen plants. The flowers last for one day, and if you miss it, you miss it. I try not to miss it :)

I love to watch my cats play, too. They're mostly indoor cats but this time of year they go outside a lot. I like to watch them rediscover nature!