Half and half.

You’re freezing in the raw wind. Snow is gritty, moving sideways. It’s half winter, half spring.

You feel yourself getting a cold. Doctors tell us that cold doesn’t cause colds. That’s bullshit. Cold can cause colds.

Then you see three interesting things. So you stick around in the wild. When you get home you’ll see a fourth.

First interesting thing: a flock of Eastern Bluebirds. They’re warm weather birds, although not major news when seen this early.

You’ve seen so-called rare bird reports on the web. Semi-tropical Painted Buntings in Boston. Albino Pileated Woodpeckers. Things like that. They never happen near you.

But now you’re seeing bluebirds in the blowing snow. Interesting.

Next thing: a long-legged, pretty girl on roller blades glides in the distance. There’s a farm road nearby, somewhat paved. She’s on it in tight ski clothes, an unexpected sight.

Roller-blading girls are expected along beaches in summer. But here she is, out of place and time. Interesting.

Then the third thing: an American Goldfinch in strangely mottled colors lands on a branch a few feet away. It’s half sparrow-like and drab. But it has some bright yellow patches.

It’s half and half. Half winter plumage, half summer. An American Goldfinch in early spring molt, while winter drags on. Interesting.

When you get home, you pull your hooded sweatshirt over your freezing head and shake out your wild-man hair. And you notice that you’re like the American Goldfinch.

A half and half guy.

Your hair is black in places, the way it’s always been. But it’s becoming silver in other places.

Half your hair is as unexpected as that bluebird flock. Half your hair belongs in another place and time, like that roller-blading girl.

You’re in transition, too, just like the molting American Goldfinch. That’s the fourth interesting thing.

It calls for a big whiskey. Something to get the cold out of your bones. And the thought of silver out of your head.

6 Responses to “Half and half.”

  1. We’ve got that same goldfinch in our yard this morning even as the snowflakes come down around it, and I’m happy to see it, just like I love the salt and pepper in my husband’s hair. It’s a sign of endurance, experience and lived joy. I’ll drink to that!

  2. bob meyers says:


  3. Abe Zion says:

    May be a middle-age masculine molt. . .maybe.

  4. Amy says:

    Awesome post.

  5. Lita Sollisch says:

    Your rants make me smile, sometimes maybe a hearty laugh, especially the interesting lines. Keep the honest remarks coming. Enjoy!

  6. Marc D. says:

    You’re still half youthful, half early middle aged. So it goes – everybody wants a long life but nobody wants to get old.