The Gathering Place

Mar 12, 2017 | 0 comments

A Party of Jays at T&C’s

When I was growing up, there was always a place in the neighborhood that was like a kid magnet.  There was the Heckes House (or the beach in front) in Oysterville or the Reading House in Alameda or the Dangerfield’s in San Rafael. But never our house.  I always attributed that to the fact that there were siblings (and often their cousins) in those other places.  The homes I lived in were more adult-centered.

As an only child, I didn’t give the ‘gathering elsewhere’ phenomena much thought.  It was just the way it was.  And when Charlie was little it was the same in our neighborhood in Castro Valley – except for the occasional convergence on our swimming pool on hot summer days, there were more possibilities for fun where families were larger.

Mom and Bambi Heading for T&C’s

I don’t think about that ‘gathering’ aspect of our lives nowadays.  We are mostly too occupied with other things to spend hours and days just hanging out with friends.  Hip-hopping over to the neighbors to find out if they can come out and play evaporated, as Corinthians suggests, when “I put away childish things.”

But, lately, I’ve noticed that there is another type of magnetic gathering place here in Oysterville.  It’s where our furry four-legged friends converge.  Not all at once, but fairly consistently throughout the year.  The deer and the bear, the raccoons and various other critters (even our chickens!) seem to gravitate to Tucker and Carol’s place.  I know that they come through here, too.  We see the chomped leaves of our camellias and the scat on the lawn but the furry folk don’t often hang out and pose for pictures here.  Not like at the Wachsmuth place around the corner.

Yesterday’s Seed Thief at T&C’s

For instance, for the last few days Nyel has been doing wild bird seed duty while Carol and Tucker have been gone.  He goes over about at first light (a detour after his chicken duties) to open the smokehouse door and the plastic tub of birdseed and scatter a cup or so in the yard.  Yesterday, he had been beaten to the punch by a saucy little squirrel who had managed to pry that plastic lid up and probably thought he had died and gone to heaven.  He didn’t scamper off immediately, either.  He took time to pose for several pictures first – if a bit belligerently,

I’m sure the magnetism has a logical explanation but I think it’s a subtle one.  Kids and animals instinctively know the most welcoming places.  It’s no doubt a measure of my curmudgeonliness (is that a word?) that I’m sorta glad it’s Tucker and Carol’s place, not ours.

Can T&C come out to play?



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