The family had been gone on vacation for 16 days that July. They left after George got home from work on Friday and drove straight to the Atlanta airport. What was an Alaska cruise had expanded into driving as far as they could around Alaska then cruise back to the lower 48.
George, Alice and the two kids trudged into the house at 10 PM the night of their return. Alice ordered George into the bed. He was going to work the next day and that man would keep working otherwise.
It was late July and the kids still had two more weeks before school began. Alice noticed a family of Purple Thrushes homesteading in the drying Boston Fern through the kitchen window. To think she thought of watering the plants last night.
The birds could hear her and would stop as if keeping their activity a secret.
“Sara, get the video camera. Walter help your sister.”
Walter sissed at his sister, “Thanks for saying I’m bored, now we got a family project”.
Sara brought the camera.
“Walter, we need the tripod.”
“You didn’t say we needed the tripod.”
“I told you mom wanted the tripod.”
Attaching the camera to the tripod on the counter, Alice focused the video camera on the nest as the children slipped into the other room.
“We pick Louise up from the kennel this morning.” Alice called after them.
“She wasn’t about to let anything get in the way of the family watching the young birds hatch and fledge. Alice cautioned Walter as they returned from the kennel, “Don’t let Louise use the front door. Bring her around back into the house.”
She might disturb the filming.”
“Whatever” mouths Walter.
Sara rolls her suitcase of dirty clothes to the laundry room. Sara pauses to look at the camera and sees the bird flying into the plant.
“There’s a nest”. With a shrill, Sara heads for the front door.
“Don’t do that Sara. We need to use the side and back doors for a few weeks. We don’t want to run off the new neighbors.” Alice chimed.
Louise pauses at the sink and immediately puts her big paws up on the counter. Cocking her head to the side, she lets out a good bark. Walter walks over combing his hair. Pieces of grass are on his clothes.
When George got home, Walter escorts him seriously through the side door into the house to show him the bird’s nest.
After the first day of school, Alice looked at the half written essay by Walter as they organized his backpack.
“What I did over my summer vacation?”
Nothing. If these birds had not laid eggs
in one of my mom’s plants, nothing would have happened.
“Do you need this paper?”
“No, the teacher made me write another one. She said it was too short.”
Alice put the paper carefully aside to put in his Alaska scrapbook. One day, he would have a good laugh.