Jewish World Review August 23, 2002 / 15 Elul, 5762

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

Rare sighting made on the patio | Running through the house, I half yelled and half whispered to my husband, "Quick! Look on the patio! You've got to see it to believe it!"

He bolted to the kitchen window and gasped."When was the last time we saw that in the backyard?" he asked.

"I'm not sure," I said. "I think it was Spring of 2002. I remember it was shortly after we sighted those bald eagles on that camping trip up north."

"You just don't see something like this very often," he said.

"No you don't," I said. " Maybe you should get the camera."

"You know, the Mitchells had one of these on their patio about a week ago," he said.

"You're kidding. I talked to her just yesterday and she never mentioned it."

"Oh she probably didn't want to gloat," hubby said.

"Yeah, right. Do you know if the Mitchell's clocked them?" I asked. "Yes. Apparently they roosted for 10 minutes, 40 seconds.

Conditions were clear skies, full sun, 80 degrees in the shade and a full pitcher of lemonade. They think the lemonade was the draw."

"I wonder if it was regular lemonade or pink. That kind of thing makes a difference," I said. "What's more, a lot of people underestimate what a factor the weather is. Hey! What are you doing?" I asked.

"Opening the window so I can get a better angle with the camera."

"Be careful!" I snapped. "The slightest noise could startle them and scare them off."

"But I thought you wanted to record them."

"Not at the risk of losing them. If we could just get one decent shot to enlarge to an 8x10 I'll be happy. Uncle Fred thought he was so hot spotting those West Indian manatees last year. Big whoop. Wait 'til he hears about this."

Just then the phone rang. Instinctively, I throw myself on that portable like a 75 percent markdown at a summer sidewalk sale.

"Good catch," hubby whispered, crouched beneath the window sill. "The phone would have blown it for sure. The last thing we need is to disrupt their delicate eco-system. It's OK. Two of them still have their eyes closed. The third one is stretching but only semi-conscious."

"Did you hear that?" I whispered. "I think I heard a car door in the driveway. Great. Now I suppose the doorbell will be ringing. Do you want to handle it or should I?"

Ten seconds later hubby crawled back into the kitchen and said, "Distraction intercepted. It was a carload of kids. I told them the 'fridge was empty, the DVD player was out on loan and we no longer had internet capabilities. They took off doing 50."

I was just about to high five him, when I heard it in the distance. Faint at first, but unmistakable. The chimes of an ice cream truck. In only seconds, the scene on the patio disintegrated. One shot north, another scuttled to the east and the third followed in flight.

"Why didn't I see that coming?" I asked, dropping my head into my hands."We only had them a lousy 8 minutes. That's two minutes less than the Mitchells."

"Don't be so hard on yourself, honey," my husband said, putting his arm around me. "It'll happen again. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week or even next month, but sometime. And really, eight minutes isn't shabby. After all, you can't expect two teens and a 20-year old to sit on the patio forever."

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here.

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© 2001, Lori Borgman