I have this little water feature out by the patio. It is an old-fashioned hand pump running water into a "barrel" that sits on top of yet another barrel. Water drains in a stream from the "pump" into the smaller top barrel which overflows into the larger bottom barrel. Water is then pumped up to the top. Loop and repeat. Over time water evaporates and I have to add water. Sometimes the little electric pump gets choked with debris so I have to reach in and clear it.
Fast forward to Thursday evening. I get home around 8:30 or 9:00 pm after spending the week at corporate HQ. I go out to check the fountain. It is nearly dark. The water is low. Very low. I look again and notice something floating in the water.
It is a dead bird.
I almost gagged on the ham sammich I was chewing. I bagged the bird and trashed it. I am going to have to clean out the fountain this weekend.
Throwing on my imaginary Sherlock Holmes hat -- it is way too hot to slip on a Columbo overcoat -- I think I have arrived at the 3% solution. Over the hot summer the fountain gets mossy and green algae slimy. Last weekend I disassembled and cleaned it. I read on the Internet ( everything is true on the Internet) that adding hydrogen peroxide to the water will keep the system clean. Perhaps a whole bottle was too much? An alternative was the bird got in there to splash, got trapped under the smaller bucket and drowned. Theory number three is the bird just died and fell into the big bucket.
Yesterday found the wife and I on the road to attend a funeral. There were a lot of people there. It is always hard to lose a friend, a lesson I learned way back in high school. It was reassuring to see the love and respect from his community, co-workers, friends, and family. I'm not sure where on the hierarchy I fit. I have known him for almost forty years, talk every few months, meet occasionally. I can't say I was an intimate daily golfing buddy friend. Still, he was important to me and I like to think I was to him. He was a fraternity brother, a pledge brother, roommate. We stood in each other's weddings. He's gone. The funeral was for me and others who loved him.
On the long drive down empty I-69 through the hills of southern Indiana I had flashbacks of the opening scenes of the over-rated Big Chill playing in my mind.
Ah, so it goes.
With that, I know he is in heaven grinning over a beer and telling me "damn straight, Joe".