Wit 'n Wisdom of Janice LaQuiere

Friday, October 31, 2008

Eleven years ago today...

Today is the eleventh anniversary of my grandmother's death. It was the first time I lost someone close to me. And having grown up as neighbors, I was very close to her.

Unlike today, which was sunny and warm, that day was cool and rainy. A fitting day to die, I thought at the time. For her, it was the end of a year-long struggle with ALS.

What a coincidence that it happened on the day that the rest of the world took joy in celebrating death and all things evil. It turned my stomach. Going to the hospital that day, I shut my eyes against the hanging skeletons, open caskets and the images of Death carrying his sickle. Obviously, these people couldn't have ever felt the heart-wrenching loss of death, or they would never celebrate it.

This year, like that year, we had a beautiful fall. For the most part the weather was lovely and the colors were gorgeous. The day we buried my grandmother we drove into the cemetery, with the sun shining through the yellow maple leaves, looking like we were entering the gates of heaven, as indeed my grandmother was.

"Heaven's" Entrance

My grandparents' last earthly resting place.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Scenes from a Michigan Fall

It's not unusal to see a tree bending over the water, but this birch gives a slightly different look.

It's just missing a collection of pumpkins to accent the weathered wood.

When the leaves turn colors everyone becomes a photographer.

This pinecones seems to be waiting for a coat of snow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

There's new baby on the block...

I venture to say that not only is imitation a sincere form of flatter, but so is replacement. Having missed my dear budgie Bodie for all of twenty-four hours, I began the twenty-eight hour, by searching for another to fill the vacuum he left behind.

Five hours and five pet stores later....


Introducing Kindje (kin-chuh).

He's a young, 7 week old male, who already seems comfortable in his new home. Near as I can tell, he is a diluted, spangled, greywing, budgie, (or at least a greywing--I'm not really an expert on colors.) His name, Kindje, is from a Flemish lullaby my grandfather used to sing to us: "doll, doll, kindje doll." The translation being, "rock, rock, baby, rock."

Friday, October 17, 2008


I have some sad news. At some point Wednesday night my parakeet Bodie died. It wasn't entirely unexpected, I noticed a week earlier that he wasn't feeling well. They say, that by the time you see your bird is sick, he's very sick.

I gave him antibiotics, I took him to the vet, and in the end it appears as if he had a tumor and after six years he died.

Bodie was the first budgie I had after a hiatus of about 15 years. I grew up with budgies, but after feeding and watering them for 20 years and getting very little in return but a bitten finger, I got tired of the effort. Then about six years ago, I went to a pet shop with my sister, looked at all their little parakeets and something inside me was moved. I told Joy that I might consider getting a parakeet sometime again, in the future, maybe about six months or so...and if I got one I preferred a yellow one. If they didn't have yellow, then maybe blue, but not a green one. Two weeks later Joy gave me Bodie for Christmas, and I was thrilled.

Later, I asked her why she gave me one when I told her I wouldn't be ready for one for months, if in fact I wanted one at all. She told me that when she saw me come home and clear off a space behind my desk for that future cage, and when saw me looking at parakeets online, well, she figured I really wanted one now. ;)

So I got Bodie, and after biting me the first two days we became good friends. In his mind I was the top bird. He'd spend a lot of time playing on my desk. He would bounce on my fingers as I typed, and dropped my coins to the floor, but when I got up to leave he would quickly find security in his cage.

He never learned to talk, just imitate the beep on my Nextell. He lived a good life, and everyone enjoyed him.


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