Thursday, October 06, 2011

A Bird In the Hand . . . Then Count Your Fingers

Michelle and I have just returned to this island from Italy and Africa. While the island woman seems no worse for wear, the island man is just a draggin’ his wagon.

Unlike our last trip to the Med earlier this year, things were library-like and stable as stone this go around.  In a word, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Hmmmmm. I think if she had to pick, the cowgirl’s single best memory might be her first camel ride in Tunisia (the great brute she chose must have been a nasty piece of work since I noted he was the only hump wearing a metal anti-spitting, anti-nipping mask).

If I had to choose right now, I think my favorite memory would be scaling Mt. Vesuvius with Michelle. This was actually my second fling on the ever-so-active volcano (above). When he was eleven-years-old, my son, Clip, and I hiked up this classic cone overlooking Naples; but since we were with some Swedish friends we had met earlier, there were just too many distractions for me to enjoy the mountain to its fullest. The day with Michelle was glorious.

Or maybe my best memory was when the lights were turned off three hundred feet down and the glittering boats glided through the pitch blackness on the underground lake. When the musicians within the boats began solemnly playing Chopin there was not a peep from the two hundred spectators. I have been through Carlsbad Caverns, Mammoth Cave, and maybe two dozen others, but never have I seen such a place or experienced something so moving as the Dragon Cave of Mallorca Island (below).

On our way home from the Tampa airport Tuesday night, we stopped and picked up a little white parakeet in Tarpon Springs. Michelle’s son, Matt, and her daughter-in-law, Danielle, will spend the next five weeks in Africa dodging wild beasts and Somali kidnappers and we will spend the next five weeks trying to avoid having our fingers severed from our hands by a two-ounce bird.

A few months back, Matt was out washing off his jet ski when lo and behold down fluttered a parakeet squarely on his shoulder. With no visible means of support, the couple placed ads in hopes of finding the owners. Zero. And so, the two adopted the feathered waif. Very quickly it became crystal clear to Matt and Danielle why this parakeet was looking for a home. Indeed, I have already found that this little white devil can really put a chicken licken on your finger or hand. One would never imagine that such a tiny creature could have such strength in its beak, but mercy me he sho do!  My theory?  Someone just got tired of that constant pain and tossed the bird out the window. Whatever, for the next 4 weeks, 5 days, 6 hours, 24 minutes, and so many seconds, we have a feathered can-opener in the house and we'll have to cope as best we can.


Coming Tomorrow, or the Next Day:

Michelle’s Forbidden Sex Secrets REVEALED!