Posted tagged ‘humor’

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 8: My Dead Arm)

September 19, 2014

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear
This post appeared first in our late summer 2014 issue of
Chip Notes.

My arm was killing me. Every muscle burned, my fingers cramped, and my shoulder barely fit in its socket any longer. In other words, I was in agony, and it was all my father’s fault. I was furious with those stupid birds of his and his stupid idea about carving every freaking bird that had ever been stupid enough to set its freaking feathers in Vermont. And I was mostly mad about his stupid idea to rebuild the barn on the old foundation next to Gale’s house and keep his stupid birds in there.

I was going to be maimed for life because of this! I was never going to be able to use my right arm again. My fingers were ice cold and I could barely feel them, much less move them. Any doctor would agree this was child abuse. I should be put into foster care and live in a nice, normal apartment in a city and never have to look at another bird again as long as I lived!

And not only that, my hand was sticky, and I hated that more than anything.

But I forced my smile back on. “And what would you like?” I asked a sweet little girl standing in front of me.

“Chocolate, please,” she said with an eager light in her eyes.

“Chocolate it is, then,” I said, and bent over the cooler again, trying to hide my pain.

I had been scooping ice cream for three hours. It had seemed like a really good idea at first. My father was hosting his first open house. It had been advertised all across the media. His “project,” now officially called the Birds of Vermont Museum, was open for visitors. In reality, today’s open house was a test to see if anybody was interested. To see if anybody was insane enough to make the drive all the way out to Huntington to see a bunch of wooden birds. Of course, there was no charge. We were still ages away from having all the permits and stuff that were required to become a business, even one not for profit.

To sweeten the deal, my father was offering a free dish of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to everybody who showed up that day. For some stupid reason, the ice cream gurus had donated a bunch of bottomless cardboard tubs of the rock hard, icy, sticky stuff for the occasion. And for some stupid reason, I’d thought that was really nice of them and volunteered to be in charge of it.

And now my right arm was totally dead. I didn’t think anything could ever make me hate chocolate. But this afternoon was doing a good job of it.

“Here you go.” I handed the little girl her dish and dragged my eyes to her mom. “And for you?”

“Vanilla, please,” she said.

I decided to hate vanilla, too. I made my poor, abused fingers close around the scoop that lived in the vanilla tub.

“And how were you lucky enough to rate this job?” the mom asked.

I looked up at her as though she were out of her freaking mind. Beyond her, the line of people reached across Gale’s kitchen, down the hall, out the front door, along the path, across the driveway, and down the side of the road all the way to the shop. Which we were now supposed to call the Freaking Birds of Vermont Museum.

“I’m his daughter,” I growled.

“Oh, how marvelous! Your father has such incredible talent! Such patience! Such vision.”

I looked at her again to see if she was sane or not.

“To create such a project! And not want to make any money at it! All that work, to educate people about nature and conservation and – oh, everything! I had to come up here the minute I heard about it. This is something that must happen. I wanted my daughter to be able to say she’d seen it in its earliest days.” She nodded at the little girl dripping chocolate all over the place, who nodded back vigorously. Then the mom looked back at me. “You are so lucky to be part of all this.”

I looked up at her, my arm suddenly feeling a little less leaden and sticky. Did she really mean she hadn’t come all this way for free Ben and Jerry’s?

“I mean, look at the turnout!” she said. “There are hundreds of people here. You must be so proud.”

“It’s amazing,” someone behind her said.

“They look alive,” someone else said.

“I’m going to start a life list,” another voice added.

No, don’t! I almost said aloud. It won’t lead to good things! But then I found myself really smiling as I handed the mom her little dish. “Here you go,” I said. “Thanks so much for visiting the Birds of Vermont Museum today. And what kind would you like, sir? We have chocolate and vanilla and suet with sunflower sprinkles. Just kidding,” I added.

He laughed. “Chocolate, please.”

“Coming right up. Don’t let it drip on your binoculars.”

Everyone laughed. What great people, I thought. What a momentous day!

And what big muscles I’m going to have.


Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books (in Essex and Burlington, Vermont), and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here
Part 4: The Summer of Pies
Part 5: My Addiction
Part 6: Habitat Shots
Part 7: Growing Up

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Expert birder pwned by 4-year old

August 27, 2014

Guest story by our friend and expert birder, AW.

While the four-year old (L) picked and munched on fresh beans from the garden, I noticed some birds in a dead tree. Red-eyed Vireo, a young Eastern Phoebe, and wait! Oh! A warbler? A Wilson’s? That would be cool, a first in my yard.

Me: Hey L, there’s a really cool bird in the tree; I think it’s a Wilson’s Warbler. I’m going to go set up my scope to get a good look if you want to come look at it.

L: Okay, I’ll come.

Me: This could be a Wilson’s Warbler! It would be great to see one because they just pass through Vermont when migrating. We don’t get a chance to see them often. (more…)

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 7: Growing Up)

March 14, 2014

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear

Things were starting to get out of hand.

My father’s carvings had been well received during their debut in the art gallery in Montpelier. People had flocked in to see them. Photos had been taken. Articles had been written. In short, Vermont was interested in his project. After their few weeks in fame and glory, my father returned his carvings to his shop in triumph.

The problem was, they seemed to have grown while they’d been gone. Or else the shop had shrunk. The first day they were back, I stood in the doorway, surveying the long, rectangular room. Or trying to survey it. I couldn’t really see it, or the bench, or the wood stove, or any of my father’s tools. Or my father, for that matter, and even in his younger days, he wasn’t hard to miss. (Meaning that he wore red shirts back then, too, of course! I don’t mean to imply anything about his general recognizable shape.)

The whole room was full, as far as I could tell, of green, leafy branches, tree trunks, and bright spots of plumage.

“I’m back here!” My father’s voice came from somewhere near the window. I turned sideways and squeezed between Plexiglas cases in his direction, stopping to glance at my favorites — the red-winged blackbirds. Yup, the mud I’d painted down at the bottom still looked good.

I finally found my father sitting on his stool, peering in my direction.

“You made it,” he said.

“Yeah, it’s getting a little tight in here. What’d they feed these guys in Montpelier, anyway? Did they put steroids in the suet, or something?”

My father didn’t laugh. “I’ve been talking to the Shelburne Farms people. And the Ethan Allen Homestead.”

“About?” I prompted.

“Housing them,” he said. “The collection.”

So he’d evidently noticed the overcrowding of the avian population in the room, too.

“What are they thinking?” As tight as it getting in here, I suddenly felt kind of funny about the carvings all going away permanently. I’d kind of missed them just while they’d been off on their maiden flight. And would strangers take good care of my mud, and everything? I mean, that mud was the first and only mud I’d ever painted! It wasn’t just any mud, after all. It was part of my childhood memories.

“No one seems to think they’ve got enough room.”

“Are you kidding me? Those barns at Shelburne Farms are huge!”

My father cleared his throat and said something that sounded like “…more cases, and a wetland diorama, and endangered species…”

I blinked. “You mean, there’s going to be lot more? A lot more?”

My father looked kind of sheepish and muttered something about investors and interested parties. I didn’t know much about that kind of thing, but I knew that he was talking about money. For the first time, I began to realize that this project might get really, really big. And not only that, it might really happen.

‘Holy cow,” I said. “Are you like going to get famous?”

My father suddenly looked horrified and leapt off his stool. “Let’s go canoeing,” he said in a rush, and he was gone as though he’d grown wings himself.

It took me a lot longer to find my way to the door of the shop. Something in the atmosphere had suddenly changed. I looked at the cases and the birds inside them in a new way. Yeah, they were bigger all right. Even my mud didn’t feel as though it was all mine any longer. Whatever was starting to happen here might get really weird, like turn into a legacy or something. And outlast my father.

And even me.


Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books (in Essex and Burlington, Vermont), and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here
Part 4: The Summer of Pies
Part 5: My Addiction
Part 6: Habitat Shots

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 6: Habitat Shots)

April 26, 2013

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear

“Take a shot in that direction.” My father pointed down toward the brook through some hemlock trees. “Good ruffed grouse territory.”

“Okay,” I said. My job was to take an interesting photo. So I crouched down, trying to get into ruffed grouse mode, going for an eye level perspective. If I was a grouse, I’d lay my eggs right under the trees. Of course, I wasn’t a grouse, and this was another of my father’s crazy attempts to get me into his “carve all the birds in Vermont” project. He thought it would be helpful to have a plastic sleeve hanging from each display case with some facts about the bird and a photo of its nesting habitat. I thought all the leaves and flowers and stuff he was putting in the cases would be enough to clue people in, but he wanted photos, too. Wouldn’t it be nice if I took them?

Well, I liked taking photos, and my father’s fancy Nikon with interchangeable lenses was pretty cool. But nesting habitat was not exactly an exciting subject to photograph. We’d been hiking for hours, and I’d been dutifully taking shots of deciduous trees, evergreens, moss, and even dead stumps. That part wasn’t really so bad. The real problem was that habitat shots had to be taken in the spring when the birds were nesting. The birds needed to take advantage of insects, who were also doing their multiplying thing. Right now, every black fly in Huntington was taking advantage of their favorite food source—me. They didn’t care about my artistic endeavor, they didn’t care that I reeked of insect repellant, and they didn’t care that I was allergic to them. My eyes were going to be puffed shut tomorrow, I knew it.

I am a grouse, I thought. I snapped two more shots down toward the brook, even climbing into the brush to get a nice, curving limb to frame the top.

“Okay,” my father said. “Now I want to go to a farm up the road. There’s a pair of cliff swallows building under the eaves of the barn. We can get barn swallow habitat inside. And all the apple trees are in bloom. They’re real pretty, and they’d be good blue bird habitat.”

Anything to get away from the buggy brook. I swatted my way out of the woods—flies never seemed to bother my father—and scratched my way up the road to an old farm that looked as thought it had been there since the glaciers moved out. I liked the way the buildings nestled into the hillside. Sure enough, there was a small colony of cliff swallows building their funny little jug-like nests under the eaves. I didn’t even ask how my father had known they were there. While he chatted with the farmer, I photographed the eaves, then some rafters inside where some barn swallows were busy irritating the cows, and then I wandered around the apple trees in full bloom and thought about how nice a big bee sting would look right between my puffy eyes. Maybe some poison ivy to set it off. Then I tripped over a branch buried in the new spring grass and landed in a woodchuck hole, twisting my ankle.

My father got the car and drove me home. Fortunately, I wasn’t bleeding—my father was not good with blood—and the camera was okay, so there was no harm done. “An old war horse,” my father said, seeing me looking at it on the seat between us.

I didn’t think he was referring to me. A young warhorse, maybe.

“You may as well keep it,” he added.

“Until next weekend?” I asked, wondering if my ankle would be up to more traipsing around.

He kind of shrugged. “Till whenever. If I need it for something, you can bring it back.”

“Oh,” I said, it slowly sinking in that he’d just given me a really nice camera. On a kind of permanent borrow.

“Might as well take the lenses, too.” I noticed that they were in the back seat. A 300mm lens and a wide angle.

“Thanks,” I said, meaning it.

“It’s a good camera,” he said. And that was that. Then he added, “But we need to get the film developed right away.”

“What’s the rush?”

“Montpelier.”

Right, I thought. The state capital.

“Library,” he added.

“You’re going to carve books next?” I’d believe anything.

He shot me a look. “No. Going to have the carvings there next week.”

“What?”

“There’s an art gallery upstairs in the library,” he said patiently. We’re going to have a big opening. Newspapers will be there.”

I looked at him, wondering how he’d known how to set up something like this. He’d probably enlisted Gale. He didn’t even look nervous. I’d be frantic.

“We’ve got to start getting people interested in the project, you know,” he went on. “Need to find someplace to house them.”

At the rate he was carving, he wasn’t going to have room to breathe in the shop much longer.

“There’ll be a reception. With food.” He looked at me hopefully.

“Of course I’ll be there,” I said. And not just for the food.

“Good,” he said. And then he smiled, just a little. “It’s upstairs. Your ankle will be better by next weekend, right?”

Of course it would be. Who wouldn’t want to get all hot and sweaty lugging bird cases to an upstairs gallery? I heaved a sigh. I’d never figure out how he managed to talk me into getting deeper and deeper in this project of his.

The next morning, I limped into school with my eyes puffed mostly shut, my arms and legs sunburned and dotted with red spots, and my left ankle wrapped up.

“What happened to you?” my homeroom teacher asked. All around us were kids with honorable injuries, acquired by heroically sliding into home plate or after bursting through a finish line. Everyone turned to me, waiting to hear my glorious tale.

I dropped into my desk with a sigh. “Wood chuck hole.”

Everyone’s eyebrows went up.

I nodded wisely like this was a big deal. Lowering my voice, I said, “Okay. Let me tell you guys about… habitat shots.”

Author’s Note: Visitors to the museum will notice that there are no photographs hanging from any of the cases. My father finally realized, as someone had tried to tell him, that people would get the idea where the birds nested from all the leaves and flowers and stuff in the cases. The habitat shot phase passed quickly, but to this day if I take a photo with no apparent subject, my father will look at it, smile a little, and say, “Looks like a habitat shot to me.”

And I still have the camera, tucked away somewhere safe. Permanent borrow: thirty-five years and counting.

Kari Jo and Bob Spear, examining "Habitat Shots"  1981,  Photographer unknown

Kari Jo and Bob Spear, examining “Habitat Shots”
1981, Photographer unknown

Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books (in Essex and Burlington, Vermont), and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here
Part 4: The Summer of Pies
Part 5: My Addiction

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 5: My Addiction)

February 28, 2013

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear

Addict
Main Entry:1 ad*dict
Pronunciation:*a*dikt
1 : to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or excessively

I sat in my health class, knowing I was doomed. I had all the symptoms: obsession, distraction, longing… I began to feel huge tears welling up inside me. Life as I’d known it before was over.

My teacher led me into the hall. “What’s the matter, dear?” she asked, putting her arm around me.

“I couldn’t help it!” I sobbed. “It’s not my fault! He made me do it!”

She looked very concerned. “Who did, dear?”

“My – my father!”

“What – did he do?”

“He – he gave me – binoculars!”

———————————————————-

It happened on my birthday. We were sitting around the kitchen table, and there were two gifts from my father before me. Both were carefully wrapped in the comic pages from the newspaper—he and Gale were recycling before recycling was popular. Two innocent packages that were about to change my life forever.

Kid fashion, I opened the biggest one first. As the paper fell away–the last moments of my youthful innocence–I saw that I held a box containing a brand new pair of Nikon binoculars.

I looked up. I’d been hoping for books.

“They’re the best,” my father said excitedly. “Small and light, but with great optics. 8×24. That means they magnify eight times the naked eye. Twenty-four is the size of the objective lens. That means they have a superior light gathering ability.”

He must have registered my lack of enthusiasm. “They’re what everybody has now,” he added.

I was pretty sure none of the kids at school had Nikon 8x24s with superior light gathering ability. He must mean his birding buddies–folks who wore mud boots year round, baggy clothes with lots of pockets, dorky hats, and were always talking about their all-important life lists.

“You’ll need this, too,” my father went on, pushing the other present toward me.

It was a book, but it wasn’t fiction. It was Birds of North America.

“Wow,” I said.

He chose to interpret that as excitement. “Figured you were old enough,” he said. He dug my new binoculars out of their Styrofoam packaging as though he was dying to get his hands on them.

“This is where you focus,” he said, like I didn’t know what the knob in the middle was for. I’d played with his binoculars when I was younger. I liked looking through a lens backward—it made everything seem really far away. My father carried his binoculars with him wherever he went. I’d never seem him use them when he was actually driving, but I wouldn’t put it past him if something for his life list flew over.

He was waiting for me to do the obvious, so I picked them up. Well, I thought, this wasn’t the end of the world. I got dragged on bird walks all the time, and it would be good not to have to stand around getting cold or swatting bugs, pretending I could see what everybody was so excited about. At least the binoculars were light, so my neck wouldn’t break. I raised them and turned to the window where a bunch of chickadees swarmed like bees around a feeder.

I looked, focused, and then—holy cow! I could see their eyeballs! And all the little feathers on their heads stood out. Their sharp beaks dug into the seeds they anchored to the branches of a lilac with their feet.

My father chuckled. I lowered my binoculars quickly. Ten minutes had gone by. Huh.

Then my father pushed the bird book toward me. “This is where you mark your life list,” he said, pointing out pages and pages of bird names in the back. Each name had a little box in front of it to be filled it.

Like I was going to start a life list. The kids at school would never let me live it down. Not that anyone knew what a life list was, anyway.

“You’ve already got a bigger one than a lot of people,” my father said, tapping his finger part way down a page. “Start here. You’ve seen Common Loons when we’ve been canoeing.”

“You mean, I can count species I’ve already seen?”

“Sure.” He pushed a pen at me.

Dutifully, I filled in the box next to Common Loon. “Hey, can I count the Red-throated Loon we saw on Chincoteague?” I could remember him dragging my attention away from the wild ponies for that.

“Of course.”

I filled in that one, too, and then flipped back a few pages. “I’ve seen lots of gulls.”

“Ah, but were they Ring-billed, or Herring?”

I didn’t know gulls came in different flavors. According to the book, there were at least half a dozen in Vermont regularly!

“Burger King parking lot,” my father said. “We’ll eat there tonight and you can get two, maybe three species of gulls.”

Well, I wasn’t going to say no to French fries.

“And look! There are sparrows under the lilac. You can get two–no three–species right now!”

I had my binoculars up before I’d even realized it. When I looked down a few minutes later, my father had my book open to the sparrow section. He had a grin on his face.

Darn it, I thought. He’s done it to me again.

Consequences of Addition. Photo ©2012 Alaria Lanpher and used by permission.

Consequences of Addition. Photo ©2012 Alaria Lanpher and used by permission.

Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books (in Essex and Burlington, Vermont), and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here
Part 4: The Summer of Pies

upcoming event: Potluck Birding (open mike for birders)

October 22, 2012

Open Mike for Birders

Potluck Birding: Open Mike for Birders
Saturday, October 27 • 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
An experimental evening of tasty food and delightful birds from you. Get inspired for your winter birding vacation.

  • 5:30-6:15: Potluck dinner : bring a dish to share
  • 6:30-9:00: Share your favorite birding images, calls, stories, etc.

Up to 15 images per presenter pre-arranged on a flash drive or CD. We have Picasa and an old version of Powerpoint.

Please sign up for a presenting time-slot with the Museum so we can coordinate hard- and software!

Free for participants; donations welcome.

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 4: The Summer of Pies)

September 14, 2012

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear

One summer day when I was in my early teens, my father greeted me in the doorway of his shop with two aluminum pie pans in his hands. He was looking really excited. Since the pie pans were empty, I got a feeling that this had something to do with The Birds in Their Habitats thing that he had going.

As soon as I got inside, he asked, “Want to make some leaves?”

He sounded exactly the same way he’d sounded when he’d asked me a few months ago if I wanted to paint some mud. Here we go again, I thought. I was a teenager, and I had, quite frankly, a lot more important things on my mind than birds. Like the novel I was writing, and my friends, and well, boys. But I knew that “No,” would not be the right answer.

“Okay,” I said as non-enthusiastically as I could. The next thing I knew, I was sitting on a stool beside him at his workbench. He handed me a cutting board covered with a thin piece of black rubber. What that had to do with leaves, I had no idea. Then I noticed a pile of silvery, oblong shapes on the bench between us. Each one was slightly different, but in general, they were about three inches long and maybe half an inch across. One end of each was pointed, and the other end was rounded. They reminded me of long fake fingernails, except they had delicately jagged edges.

“Watch,” my father said. He laid down the rubber-covered board, put a fingernail on it, then picked up a long, narrow tool like an oversized pencil with a very sharp tip. He pressed the tip gently to one end of the fingernail and drew a fine line all the way up the middle to the other end. Then he drew in a lot of little lines running from the center line out to the jagged edges. And when he held it up, the fingernail looked like a pretty, silver leaf.

“I’ll paint it green,” he said, as though that would explain everything.

I just looked at him. The word “habitat” formed in my mind. This had to do with habitats, I knew it!

“I’ve got some more nests,” he said, “and the limbs they were built on. But the leaves have all dried up and fallen off, and besides, they have to look like spring, if I’m going to carve eggs to go in the nests.”

I guess that made sense. “But how are you going to get the leaves to stick onto the branch?”

“Glue,” he said, as though he’d already got it all figured out. Then he added, “But it’s all got to look real, so I’ll make some more branches out of wire and wrap them with cotton and coat them with glue, too, and paint them to look like bark, and then glue on more leaves.”

I think I might have been staring at him.

“I’ll cut the leaves out,” he went on as though I was really thrilled about this, “and you can press in the veins. Here.” He handed me the sharp tool and pushed the pile of fingernails toward me. There were maybe three dozen there.

“That’s a lot,” I said.

He was busy picking up the pie pans and pretended he hadn’t heard me the way that people who are hard of hearing are really good at doing. In a minute, he was carefully cutting out more leaves from the bottom of the pan.

I gave into peer pressure and got to work. My first center vein came out a little crooked, but hey, nature’s not perfect. After my fifth leaf, I had the technique down. I was creating some pretty awesome looking leaves that any nest with wooden eggs ought to be proud of.

The problem was that my father was cutting out more leaves faster than I could press veins into them, so my pile was getting bigger, not smaller. And then he bent down and pulled out a couple more empty pans from beneath the bench.

“Hey, where’d you get all those?” I asked.

He smiled. “Gale’s been buying one of every brand she can find. Some pans are a lot better than others. They don’t have so much writing and stuff on the bottom, so I’ve got more space to cut. I think we’ve got it figured out now.”

I just stared at him. Most people bought pies based on how luscious they looked. Gale was buying pies based on what the bottom of the pan looked like?

Then he grinned. “There’s a blueberry pie we’ve got to eat up for lunch.”

The day suddenly got a whole lot better.

“Hold on,” he said as I was about to jump up. “We’ve got to get another dozen leaves done first. But then there’s a cherry pie for dinner.”

I gaped at him.

“And maybe you’d like to have some of your friends come up next weekend? I’ve got plenty of sharp tools. Tell them there’ll be lots of pie.”

I decided that leaves might be okay after all.

The days became a blur of eating pies and making leaves with my friends and eating more pies. Soon pairs of warblers began to perch proudly around their nests surrounded by lush green habitats, and I got to buy new clothes because none of my old ones fit any longer.

The glorious summer of pies ended very abruptly one day when the UPS truck pulled up in front of the shop, and a delivery man staggered in. In his arms was the end of an era — a roll of aluminum sheeting the same thickness as what pie pans were made from. It was all shiny and pristine, unmarked with any lettering. It looked like it was five feet long and weighed a couple hundred pounds.

“I found it in a catalogue and Gale made me order it,” my father said very glumly.

I could tell that even he could never make enough leaves to use it all up.

“Oh, well,” he said. “There’s still a few pies left in the house. Can’t let them go to waste, can we?”

We laughed, and then went back to that day’s quota of leaves before lunch.

I had no idea that we were getting closer and closer to having a museum in the family.

Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books in Essex, and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here


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