Isn’t winter going away? Besides it being chilly, there was an inch of snow that fell overnight. I know what is going to happen. At some point, we will skip spring and go straight into summer. Weather is so unpredictable!

Maybe, the bluebirds will come back. My wife saw a pair of bluebirds check out a bird box placed on a tree on the perimeter of our backyard from her kitchen window two springs ago. I had never seen a bluebird in my backyard. The box fell off the tree the next day. The birds never came back. This time I made sure the bluebird house would not fall down. Let us see if any bluebirds use it this year.

Tilla, my favorite dog, was only on loan. This was brought to the forefront when I found another lump on his neck. It felt like a cyst like the larger mass on his back. I realized suddenly he was not going to be around forever so I needed to appreciate him now. Humans most of the time outlive their pets. I had to enjoy him now. Not tomorrow but today.

It is the second day of spring but we will have to wait at least another two days for truly “spring” weather. The first day we had a minor snow storm. I expect the warmer weather will rapidly melt the snow. It won’t hang around for months this time. We already have some crocuses blooming although I did not see this first hand. They only bloom in the bright sunlight. Before I know it the long cold winter will be a distant memory.

What do I know for certainty? My wife loves me. So does my favorite dog–Tilla. Probably Coco, his sister. Maybe, that needs to be enough. Two dogs and my wife. Maybe, that should be sufficient. Let me bask in that love. I did nothing to earn that. Of course, I did not mention Jesus. He loves me, too. I don’t know why you can feel so separated and so alone sometimes?

My birthday is coming up (and I am just depressed). I can not tell you exactly why although I can guess. Part of that is grief. Most of my life is over. I can’t go back. Wishing is futile. Somehow I need to settle things. My relationship with my daughter is fractured. I don’t know how to repair it. Lectures and judgements don’t do it. I am aware of the ticking time. I am running out of time. I guess, everyone wants to leave a legacy. I am working at getting my first book of poetry out but it is a long and uncertain process. My wife is the only one who really cares about that. She is my editor and a good one. Things really don’t matter. I really don’t know how much time I have left. For that matter, no one knows for sure. I know that somehow I need to make peace with the people who matter to me. I don’t know how. I am just depressed. That is all I know.

It was only a week ago our yard was completely snow covered. The temperature then rose. A week ago we would have dozens of birds feeding on the ground, sometimes, at one time several cardinals, and flocks of slate covered juncos among others. Now we don’t see so many. Since most of the snow melted the birds must have more opportunities to find food. We do see many goldfinch come to our feeders. It is that time of year for them. About the beginning of spring they come in flocks. They love sunflower seeds and are now coming to the sock I hung up filled with suet.

Cool Hand Luke has her favorite spot. She sits on a pillow in the left hand corner of our bed. We make sure the pillow case is flannel, which she likes. My wife does not like black cat hairs on the pillows she sleeps on. The pillow Cool Hand Luke sleeps on is to the left of her head. Cool Hand Luke is a black cat I’ve had for thirteen years, longer than I have ever had a cat. In fact, I brought this cat into our marriage. The cat, for some reason, does not get along too well with our other cats. Some of them torment her. She is an affectionate cat and often can be found sitting on that particular spot in the bedroom.

I saw my first robin of the year. Spring is almost here. There were times the last few days I thought I saw one but this time its red breast was unmistakable. Yesterday, I saw a pileated woodpecker cross the road and alight on a branch. Across from my house across the street is a tree with many holes it it and I have, also, seen one there. I have also seen red bellied and downy woodpeckers on the same tree. I always keep my eyes open on it expecting to see another pileated woodpecker on it. But not yet.

The ten day forecast is forties high every day. That is the first time in months. Spring is less than two weeks away. Maybe the weather has turned a corner. Now I can start inspecting my garden every day for the sign of the first flowers of spring. There is still quite a bit of snow on the ground. Let us see if it melts within ten days of this “heat wave.”

I don’t know why it is so hard to get rid of old letters–some decades old. Some memories I don’t want to delve in any longer yet I save the faded correspondence. Cards with nothing notable on them I trash easily. Some letters from my sister I wonder about. The memories seem so far away. Some are bad, some are good. Once in awhile a photo drops out of the letter and the passage of time is revealed. Was I really that young once? I have grown old. I don’t want to to rid myself entirely of past memories. Friends and lovers.

And I know when I am gone someone else will probably trash them. I just can’t bear to throw away most of my letters. Part of my life is embodied in those letters. It is so hard–patches of my history, my life is everywhere. Dates are sometimes important: they mark milestones of my past. I am always surprised how porous my memory is. Friends wrote me letters I have long forgotten. I do toss some. People have fled in the corridors of my mind. It is so hard. Clues of my history, my life is everywhere.

The birds stop feeding and disappear about an hour before dusk. They must roost somewhere for the night. That has been my observation. Even if there is birdseed on the ground they disappear till the next day. I notice that in the winter some of them seem to have more feathers, perhaps, for insulation from the cold temperatures. I just love watching birds. And if you can identify a new species, that is even better. Usually, though, I see the same birds. You never know. A bird I saw only a few times was the red breasted grosbeak and last year all a sudden I saw a flock of three outside my window feeding on the ground. In less than two months I will be seeing ruby-throated hummingbirds who have traveled a long distance to come to my nectar I have prepared for them-several thousand miles. I always await their arrival.