Faded white paint and a bent tin roof offer a welcoming home for a family of sparrows.
A friend of mine died this week. I’d never met him, and I think I’m poorer for it, but another friend I’ve actually howdied with a couple times introduced me to Joe Bageant when she wrote of his departure from this plane. Then another friend (keep your shoes on; there aren’t that many more to count) said Joe was a great writer and would I like to read one of his books, the one called “Deer Hunting with Jesus,” if he could find his copy.

I did, he did, and I’m a good way into it. In fact, I bought it as an electronic book, so I can read it on my netbook, and I also can read it on my phone. Though I have to admit to a soft spot in my heart and fingers for a real book, especially on a spring or summer morning on the back veranda, in between poking the shutter button on a tripod mounted camera pointed at the birdhouse the Resident Gardener picked up at a yard sale a few years back.. The past two-three years we’ve had a family raised in that little shack hanging over the hot tub, and watching Mom and Dad go and come on their familial duties is about as relaxing and morale raising as life can get.

Reading also is a great thing to do when the satellite TV goes out, which it did the other night. After a few hours, I remembered why the house was so quiet and decided to call the company.

First person I talked with asked me what my problem was, and when I got done explaining, she went through my story, point by point, reading it back.

“Let me see if I understand this,” she began. “You have no picture.”


“There was a storm there,” she said.

Yes, a small one. It’s been gone about three hours.

Finally, she decided she could do no more basic troubleshooting and referred me to tech support.

A nice sounding young lady who said she was in North Carolina tried to reset my satellite receivers. (I try not to remember why I should be a little frightened about someone messing with my television receivers when I’m in Pennsylvania and she’s in North Carolina.)

She had me walk around and tell her that no ma’am I have no programming on any channel of any television, and finally she said she was looking at a weather report about it was snowing and 32 in Gettysburg.

It had been snowing, I said, but as we spoke, the storm was long past. In fact, I was looking at weather radar on my computer and it said what Grady the Golden knew without a computer. He had just come in from outdoors, and it was not precipitating at all.

But it had been snowing, a little, and I’ve seen 14 inches here in one April storm. I’m ready for my seat on the veranda, some warming sunshine, a hot cup of coffee and birds making birds in the birdhouse.