• 55°

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories about Linda Beck’s garden at her house, which was built in 2002.There’s certainly one good thing about disability. It gives one time to stop and smell the roses. I have a lot of time to enjoy the blessings of nature and I realize how wonderful it is to be able to hear.
I have a friend who has had problems with her hearing since she was a child. She reads lips, wears hearing aids, uses the TDY phone service and has functioned fully through the years as a wife, mother, nurse and friend to many. I count Lou among my best friends.
I was teaching Sunday school when I met Lou and I had to remember to give her the opportunity to read my lips. We have shared many conversations about her low points, the loss of what so many folks take for granted every day and the inconvenience that poor hearing can cause.But Lou is like me in a lot of ways. She counts her blessings, not her losses. She and another elderly friend have taught me a lot about how hearing aids can be a good thing but how loud music, wind and other noises can become unbearable and often they have to turn their hearing aids off. Then they aren’t sure what they missed.
Many in my mother’s family have been “hard of hearing.” Both my brothers and sister have some hearing loss. My problems are minor and usually occur with the television and in the movie theater. My kids say I have selective hearing where conversations is involved. (Hmmm, well maybe.)But thank God I can still hear natural sounds like animals, birds, thunder, wind, etc. I love to lie out in my yard in the shade and listen to the rustle of the leaves, the sounds of the birds, and that’s where this story began to form in my mind.
I was talking on the phone and my friend, Judy, knew I was outdoors because she could hear the birds chattering away. I told her how well I was becoming acquainted with their conversations.
I have a bird that seems to be questioning me when it asks, “For Real?” “For Real?” I catch myself answering, “Yes, it all is ‘for real’.” I have the blessings of hearing, seeing, touching …
Another bird calls out for “JJ, JJ.” My 3-year-old granddaughter calls her sister’s finance JJ. When I hear the “JJ” bird, I think of Jeremy who has helped me in my yard on several occasions.
I have a friend we call “Dido.” Back when I lived at the apartment, I had a bird that would call, “Dido.”
Most all country folks have heard “Bob … Bob White.” A lot of us had a newspaper carrier named Bob White and, hearing the bird call, I think of Bob.Then there are the standard “tweet tweet, chirp chirp and Who? Who?” calls. Judy told me she has a bird in her yard that says, “Ju-dee, Ju-dee, Judee.” Then I’m reminded of Goober on “The Andy Griffith Show,” when he kept saying “Judy, Judy, Judy” in that silly scene with Barney.
Judy and I said our good-byes and I hunkered down in my chaise lounger as things were quiet for a few minutes. Then suddenly a bird called, “Ju-dee, Ju-dee, Judee.” I laughed so hard as I dialed Judy’s number right back. Laughing, Judy asked, “What do you want now?” I said, “Your “ju-dee bird just moved over here.”
Stop and smell those roses, but listen to the birds. Oh, and feed them often and they will stay close as if they are your own personal visitors or part of your family.
Linda Beck has her house and garden in Woodleaf. Contact her at lindainthecards@ carolina.rr.com.

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