Sunday, May 2, 2010

What A Finch Knows

We live in the Tiki Room. I swear. It's just birds, birds, everywhere. They're all so happy and chirpy and noisy and busy. We have speakers mounted on the wall outside, and every year finches build a nest in the crook between the speaker and the wall. And every year after they lay eggs, we quit barbecuing until after the eggs have hatched and the chicks have flown away. Finches are so skittery, and since us going on the deck makes them freak out we just say all right, all right, you can have the deck. After they're gone, I always take the nest down (and hose off all their lovely droppings). Then the next spring, there they come again, chirping and chattering and discussing with the in-laws the location and view. (Or whatever it is finches discuss when chirping amongst themselves.) Then they start with the nest building, bringing up twigs and grass and paper, and soon they're settled in for another round of egg laying. Until last year. Last year, I just left the nest up. I figured, I'd save those chirpy little finches some nest-building trouble. After all, word's been spread throughout the finchdom, that our speakers are the place to nest. The chirpers arrived right on schedule, perched on the rail discussing the venue -- I mean location -- for days. They discussed it with the in-laws and the out-laws and random finches from Finchdom. Everybody chirped in with an opinion. And then...they decided to build a nest in the vines instead. Hello? Was there something wrong with the existing nest? Was it not good enough? Silly finches. Then today, beneath the fluttering feathers of the Tiki Room, my sons were the ones chattering away. Friday night they'd driven 100 miles to spend $40 on a thrashed (Epiphone) Les Paul Jr. electric guitar. (Both boys have guitars. Several, in fact. New ones. They were gifts. From us. I know. We paid.) But they came home with this thrashed guitar like it was the ultimate treasure. They were all a-twitter with what they were going to do to restore it. They talked through the night. Drew pictures. Discussed. And today they took it apart, sanded it down, sprayed it white. They're going to install and adjust pick-ups and electronics, fix the bridge, rewire the knobs, sign the headstock...they're going to make it theirs. I have never seen my boys work like this together. And I have never seen them happier. So what I've concluded from this is that those chirpy little finches do know what they're doing. No matter what others give you, there's really nothing like building your own.

10 comments:

xzx583 said...

Birds got the right idea.

xxCammyLoverxx said...

That is so cool! I also play the guitar, I have a Vox Tempest XII. I got into it, my friend Eric (and his best friend Colton who is now my friend) got me into it, what? Like two-or-so years ago. :) I bought it myself, and.. yeah. And everytime I go anywhere and I see a guitar, no matter what it is, I just have to go up and look at it. I'm like that. That's all. :D

sammy4ever said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sammy4ever said...

sorry, accidentally deleted my comment.... okay what i said was....

awwww! hoowwww swweeet! hehehe (:
that was a great post, ha ha!
".. word's been spread throughout finchdom, that our speakers are THE place to nest."

"Several, in fact. New ones. They were gifts. From us. I know. We paid."

HAHAHA! I love your posts! they always cheer me up, because Sundays aren't really my favorite days. I get all depressed about the fact that in a couple of hours I have to go back to school. And that thought distracts me from enjoying my Sundays. grrr.

FadedxRainbow said...

That was soo funny! I don't know HOW you do it. Like in Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, I still remember "Well, he wasn't as skinny as him, but he wasn't as fat as you." How is it that every Sunday, I can never stay up long enough to see your post. I always see it the NEXT day. And then I have to comment on a Monday. Which is today at, like, 10:00. No school for this girl today! Then on wednsday, I'm going to...some place in Manhattan to see an exhibit on King Tutankhamun. Aaaat some place called Discover. Then, in like two weeks, its Catholic Schools Day at the Bronx Zoo. ALL the Catholic schools, ALL the students. IT WILL BE CHAOS. Now I'm wondering, "Why did I put this on her comments? This is why I have a blog". I wish I knew how to play an instrument. I tried guitar, but I just wasn't intrested in it. I liked piano, but NOW I can't find anyplace that gives lessons. AND all I know how to play is Ode to Joy and Mary had a Little Lamb...

Jinnyd said...

We have birds too! Well, they're not really OUR birds, and I think that they're swallows, not finches, but ayway... do you think that if you took the nest down again that they'd rebuild the nest there again?

Anonymous said...

sweet post wendelin! i love your books!

Pooja Dimba said...

Thats really cool. Me and my brother are fighting all the time. And he'll tease me about how I read the same books over and over again for pleasure.
:(
He's just to obsessed with basketball... but its okay.
:)
Nice post!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Thanks for your nice comments everybody! The red coat accent went on the guitar last night. It's looking very...finch-like?

Anonymous said...

Wendelin, I just told Hannah you blogged about her bike! She was too big for her bike, so we left it when we moved from AZ. We've been looking to replace it--and a friend who once had a bike shop said he has an old bike (vintage said Hannah) that would fit her, but it would require about 20-40 hours of work to take it all apart, sand off rust, lube, fix and replace parts, etc--he offered to provide the expertise if she was willing to provide the labor, and she is THRILLED!! Here's to making it your OWN self!! Penny