Carolyn StevensContributing Columnist

Because I’m so old, I’m allowed to be a little slow in comprehending, analyzing, and putting the picture together. This is the third consecutive column regarding birds and flowers and it’s finally occurred to me that I am not getting out of this house enough; I’ve been writing about what I see. Include old movies on that list. I don’t drive a car anymore and I’ve become a bit uneasy about driving my scooter away from the house unless RB is with me. (Please note that I didn’t write “I can’t drive.” I can drive; I just can’t see where I’m going.) I desperately need to go somewhere. Anywhere!

Early last week, while sitting on our porch with a friend, I got to cross a big item off my “bucket list.” Something flew by me and — ever so lightly — it brushed my right cheek. I asked my friend what had just flown by. “A butterfly” was the reply. How strange. It was small and black, I didn’t think it was a bat but I didn’t suspect it was a butterfly either. Days later came the answer. Hooray! Finally! After all these years of trying (we quit trying last year) that day it happened! A hummingbird! I was so excited I could hardly stand myself. An honest-to-God-hummingbird. It had stopped on a bee balm blossom then lifted up and floated right by me. If he was here twice — and I believe he was — then I can hope he’ll come back. But if he doesn’t, I won’t be greedy. It did happen, I saw it, and I’ll always remember it. As a little insurance, we resurrected an old sugar-water feeder and hung it on the porch. Maybe one will stop by for a drink. (We’ll change the sugar water frequently so it doesn’t ferment. There’s nothing more dangerous than a tipsy hummingbird.)

Our porch sparrows hardly took a break between families. They’re feeding their second nest of babies. The first offspring of the year are feeding themselves from the tray RB made and attached to a kitchen window. The House Finches must be busy feeding their families because they haven’t been singing recently. They regularly visit our porch “bird bar” for the cocktail hour. None of the birds have been interested in bathing in the new bird bath – at least not in front of us.

I recently mentioned the pleasure of discovering new plants that have been donated by squirrels or birds. Our latest gift is a group of sunflowers along our picket fence, the west side of the house, probably a squirrel’s hidden winter store. The neighbor’s narrow driveway abuts our property; we had the fence put at an angle allowing them to use their drive and open car doors. Those big bright blooms have been a cheery greeting to the neighborhood.

Just delivered here is a wonderful and very welcome piece of equipment: RB got me an electric chair. (He prefers I call it “battery-operated.”) He sent many letters and made multiple calls to convince the insurance company that I’m sufficiently handicapped to meet their specifications He sent copies of X-rays and MRIs of my knees, hips,back, both hands, left wrist and right shoulder. All I have to do is learn to drive it.This house wasn’t planned for wheeled chairs; however the door frames are wider than in some newer homes. With care and concentration, I can drive through four rooms but can’t quite make the sharp turn into my bedroom. The chair gets me close enough that I can manage to get within a few steps of the bed. That works. My chair operates by a gadget the size of my little finger. (The straight one, not the one I broke.) It’s called a “joy stick”, is very sensitive and requires practice to avoid crashing into walls and furniture. It’s set on the lowest speed but that’s still a bit fast for my inexperienced touch. Puppy Earl is a fast learner and a faster mover; he remains unscarred.

Carolyn Stevens may be contacted via mail at 719 Park Ave., Piqua, or by email at

Carolyn Stevens may be contacted via mail at 719 Park Ave., Piqua, or by email at