Miracles Are Found When You Look for Them

Like most people, I have a set of beliefs. You know. Those things that crop up with the regularity of the sun setting. Mostly unconscious, I seem to intuitively know what the parameters are and stay close to them.

When I stop for a moment and really observe them, I think its safe to say that to some extent they define me and become who I am. The things I do, say, think, and react to all come from that core of beliefs. Don’t know why, it just is what it is.

The first person to say my name as synonymous with optimist, I vehemently argued with. Me?? Optimistic?? Obviously they were delusional. The second time I heard it, I laughed. This time it was just a projection of who they wanted me to be. Whatever. I think it was the third time that I allowed myself to consider the possibility that maybe it could be true. Personally, I think I’ve just gravitated in that general direction after spending some time in the Dark Side camp! 🙂

This morning was stormy and grey when I woke up. Perfect day to get the kids off to school and then lay back down for some catch up sleep! After sending the kids off to school, I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed back upstairs.

“Hmmm…” I thought. I’m pretty awake, so I should check my email in the morning for once! Crawling onto the bed, I put my coffee on my bedside table and booted up my laptop. Thunder was rumbling off in the distance and I was ever so happy about not having to be anywhere! About the time I pulled Gmail up, the sirens began wailing.

“Seriously?!” I grumbled, grabbing the remote to see where it was THIS time. We spent the weekend diving for cover and under a steady rain to the tune of 7 inches of water. Usually the warning for our county is pretty far north and we are in the very south western part.

The newscaster had broken into programing to tell us that it was tracking to come right across us in 20 minutes. SIGH…

I shut down the computer and went BACK downstairs, flipping the tv in the kitchen on and calming the cats who were becoming very agitated by the wailing sirens and rumbly thunder. Checking the windows, I didn’t SEE any signs of tornadoes. Wind, rain, lightning…yes. Tornadoes? No.

Suddenly I heard through the static of wailing sirens, mewing cats, thunder, and rain against the windows the drone of the newscaster clarifying into understandable words.

“…Ok, we just received a call from one of storm spotters that there is a CONFIRMED tornado on the ground around the intersection of County Line Road and Balch Road…power lines down…trees across roads and houses…blah, blah, blah…”

I heard it as “blah blah blah” because the location was close to my kids’ school. TOO close! After hearing the address, the rest was just blah blah blah.

“Bump that!” I told the cats, running upstairs to change into real clothes and a ball cap.

Grabbing some AMP, keys, and my camera bag, I headed over to the school. I drove by and found nothing. Relieved and a little annoyed at the newscaster, I figured they just had the wrong road. So I drove down County Line with the thought that if they were partially right, I might get some cool storm damage pictures I could post. I was definitely awake and moving now, so the whole catch-up-on-sleep thing was a moot point.

I was approaching another main cross road and there was a police blockade preventing access. I was RIGHT! They had the wrong street!! But it was obviously too dangerous, the police were keeping people off of it. So I turned into the neighborhood preceding the blocked road. The houses looked alright. Messy yard, the occasional Bradford Pear limb broken off, no big deal.

Further in, however, was a completely different story! At the cul-de-sac in the very back of the subdivision, it was chaos! Trees on houses. Fences down. Trampolines blown into fences blown into neighbor’s yards. People wandering around with umbrellas.

Parking in the curve, I grabbed my camera and keys and got out. Next to my car was the neighborhood playground, clubhouse, pool, and tennis court. Most of the bricks and wrought iron fence around the pool was lying haphazardly around the pool. Most of the chairs, tables, and other pool equipment had blown into the tennis courts which had apparently been the catch all for most of the loose debris flying through the air. The fence was bowed out where a very LARGE trashcan had blown into it with enough force to almost break through.

“It’s incredible, isn’t it?” a random guy asked me. “WOW! Yeah,” was about all I could articulate.

About that time a rhythmic sound that didn’t belong registered in my addled brain. “Do you hear that?” I asked nice random stranger, “what IS that?”

As we looked around for the source, an umbrellaed woman who had wandered out of her partially-roofed house tentatively asked, “You don’t think the horses got out, do you?” Horses??

Looking past the wreck of a pool, I realized that the sound was the sound of horses running through sucking mud. Oh shit. Running around the debris, I saw the thin electrical fence stretched across the pasture, ending in a tangle of trees across a very large gate. Everything seemed intact.

Then I saw the horses running towards the gate. “Guess we’re about to find out”. They skidded to a halt, snorting. But they couldn’t get out of the gate. Leaning back, I shot a few pictures of the horses as they ran off, kicking into the air when one got too close to the back of another. Standing up, I turned towards the tennis courts and found myself eyeball to eyeball with a robin that had been embedded into the fence!

“Oh NO!” It had to be dead! Wing through one hole, body half through another, feathers plastered to the little body and wire fencing.

Then it blinked.

Running around the damaged fence into the court, I gently pulled the wing out, maneuvering the body at an angle to free it from the fence. It didn’t struggle. It just looked at me. LOOKED at me. Lifting its wing, I saw that it was raw and bloody, but didn’t seem to be broken.

Looking around me for something to put him in, I thought surely with all of this debris there was something. Yeah, right…like what? The roof tiles? A garbage can?

Walking back into the circle, I flagged down random nice guy and umbrellaed lady, asking if they might have a shoebox, maybe? The lady was kind enough to go back into her house to get me a box. Apologetically, she said she couldn’t find a shoebox, but would a Hallmark box work?
Very cute, square, with all the tissue paper still in the bottom of it. Perfect!

Nestling the bird down into the tissue, I closed the top, put it on the seat of my car, and headed back home. “NOW what?”, I thought. I mean, I used to work with Wildlife Rescue years ago, but that was DECADES ago!!

When I got home, I put the box on the kitchen table and grabbed the phone and a phone book. While looking for a clinic of some sort, I called my good friend Becky who has been known to go out of her way to help an animal…maybe she would know.

She did, in fact, know a vet in town who ran a bird clinic and actually treated most of the wild birds for the state! What are the odds?
So I called the office and told them my situation.

“Bring it in,” I was told. At no cost to me, Dr. Renfroe would assess the bird and decide if it was possible to rehabilitate him. If so, he would release him. If not, he would send him to Birmingham where he could be rehabilitated before being released. (Wow. Who knew all these options were available to a common little robin?)

And guess what? Yep.
The little guy was beat up, had some contusions under his wing, but no broken bones or punctures. After cleaning him up and giving him some medicine to err on the side of caution, he was released back into the world no worse for his adventure.

See? I knew some good would come of the disruption to my well laid plans to sleep!
Nobody was hurt. There was significant damage, but none of it was fatal. It could all be replaced or rebuilt.

Even the smallest of the victims – this poor little bird who HAD to have been blown away (hahahaha!!) by all that had happened, managed to come out alive and kicking. Or flying, such as the case may be!

Silver lining. Shiny side. Optimistic.
Its all in how you look at things.

Lucky Bird
Fence where he was embedded

2 Responses

  1. thanks for the bird news! pretty bird! nice job, honey! i know it thrills you to no end to be able to help out a helpless lil animal!

    love you….

  2. oh yes, you are a shiny one!!!

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