Skip to main content

Talking turkey

   Everybody knows Martha’s Vineyard is a beautiful and peaceful place. No surprises there. What came as a surprise when I arrived is the enormous number of wild turkeys living here. I don’t mean geeky guys in double knit pants. I mean live gangs of large birds strutting around like they own the place. It’s amazing to see.
   We had 40 of them in the front yard one morning last fall. It was all I could do not to grab a loaf of bread and feed them like ducks on a pond. They aren’t pretty birds but they command your attention. I wish I had a dollar for every time I had to keep the car idling while they passed in front of me. Believe me, they don’t appear to be in a hurry. And they’re loud.
    One of the first things that came to mind when I noticed the turkey population for the first time was how all my old neighbors in Upstate New York would react to them. Bows and shotguns would have been grabbed and a fine meal had by all. Not here. On the Island people treat houseflies like invited guests so we don’t mess with the turkeys.
   That’s not to say they aren’t a known nuisance though. The local paper even reports on the turkey tribulations from time to time. You can find headlines that read something like “Police called on violent turkey”. Apparently they are so used to the humans here that they have taken over front porches and walkways, getting a little aggressive if you try to get in their way, kind of like a nasty mother-in-law.
   I love to watch the turkeys fly. It’s awesome. It gives me hope when I see something so heavy take flight. It’s incredible to see them flying up onto your rooftop and perching there like some kind of live weathervane.  It’s even more awesome when they fly up into the treetops for a good night’s sleep.
   I think I may be a little envious of the turkeys. They have the run of the Island and they seem to find plenty of food and shelter here without spending a million dollars, unlike everybody else. They’ve got a pretty cushy deal here.
   Really though, you can’t help but like them. They’ve got gumption. I see why Benjamin Franklin favored the turkey over the eagle to represent the U.S. Can you imagine an eagle chasing you off your front porch?

  For the Truth, the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird - Benjamin Franklin


Popular posts from this blog

I might need a price check

So my husband Chris works three days a week in America, and I’m trying not to take this personally.
He’s commuting Monday mornings on the 6:30 ferry over to Cape Cod, where he works at an upholstery shop in Hyannis, the Mattydale of Cape Cod, for all you Syracuse readers. I stay here and hold down the fort, cooking up a cocktail of frozen pizzas and mac n’ cheese weeknights for my poor Danny. Chris comes back late Thursday night, all giddy over toilet paper prices and quotes on cheaper rent.
No, no, no, and more no I say. I can’t possibly leave all this off-season quiet and high-priced laundry detergent. There’s no convincing me to leave no matter how many times Chris points out that there’s a Trader Joe’s “over there.”
I want to stay here until I miraculously win on one of those $5 scratchers and can buy my own house here. The difference being that I feel confident that I will someday scratch my way to freedom while Chris thinks we’d be smarter to look into a nice rental “over there.…

Getting well takes baby steps

So I’ve had what you could call a case of the pneumonia. It was not pleasant. And to top it off it happened in San Antonio, Texas. Like I wasn’t sweating before the fever.
I was there to see my niece Michelle, who by the way kept asking me, “Are you going to write about this?” which is funny because she’s a writer too. I naturally said, “Oh no, of course not.” And here we are.
Thinking back, the best part of that trip teeters between meeting my two great-nephews, Oliver and Isaac, and having a couple of beers with their Yaya, my sister, who I haven’t had beers with in decades. Like I said, it’s a toss-up. There’s also the fact that I got to spend time with my niece’s husband Alex. He’s a hardcore military guy. He teaches other military guys how to be military policemen. I’m not going to gamble on writing anything about him. He’s from Wisconsin though, which I like. And he likes to cook, which I also like.
I thought to myself before I ever left my nice cocoon of Martha’s Vineyard to tra…

Who's got the soap?

I’m wondering at what age I’m allowed to hire a personal care attendant, covered by insurance of course. I haven’t reached my toenails in two and half years and the other day in the shower I seriously considered whether or not it was worth it to soap up below the waist. It hurts when I go anywhere past my kneecaps.
I’m okay with gray hair; that’s been coming in since I was in my 30s and I could still reach my ankles. It’s the burgeoning mountain under my man-sized T-shirts, just below my sagging breasts, that really gets to me. I want to know when exactly I stopped looking like I was 20, because it feels like yesterday. I look in the mirror strictly from the shoulders up these days.
It’s not completely depressing. I know there are about a billion other women in the same boat I’m in. I love the women who wear whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t matter if they’ve got those top-heavy grandma arms or busted veins mapping their legs. I say go for it ladies. I’m gonna get there someday.…