Monday, January 24, 2011

More doves and small mercies

As it turns out, the dove population ground-feeding out front here in the snow actually includes two varieties. When I glanced out the kitchen window yesterday afternoon, the pair of bigger collared doves had been joined by three smaller Iowa-native mourning doves, all downing seed companionably on the sidewalk. The mourning doves are smaller, slightly darker and have more black in their wings --- but lack the distinctive collar of their Eurasian companions. The image here is from Wikimedia Commons.

Both collared and mourning doves make a similar sound (because of the way their feathers are configured) --- something like a very small jetliner taking off --- when they take off, however --- and that's kind of neat to hear.


Another piece of information shared during yesterday's Nonprofit Roundtable was that the Missoula Children's Theater will make a second visit to Chariton this year --- during July --- thanks to a grant from the Vredenburg Foundation to the Chariton Valley Players. The visit will allow up to 60 local kids to be involved in a production during the theater's week-long stay. The theater also will be here for a week during late February-early March for a residency in the Chariton schools and, during July, also will spend a week in Corydon.

The Vredenburg Foundation honors the late Dwight and Ruth Vredenburg (Vredenburg is the "Vee" in Hy-Vee food stores), a couple widely liked and admired in Chariton and southern Iowa in general. Integral parts of the community, they remain kind of representative of a time when many corporations --- now remote --- had human faces and it was possible to share lunch with the CEO of one of the region's (and state's) largest employers at an uptown cafe or, for that matter in later years, at the Senior Center.

The Vredenburg Center (Hy-Vee's corporate headquarters building until headquarters were moved to West Des Moines after Dwight's retirement) and the Vredenburg Aquatic Center also commemorate the Vredenburgs. The family foundation's current emphasis includes the performing arts and it is responsible for bringing some fairly remarkable events to the community every year.


Life tends to be a series of small mercies --- and there were three of those at church yesterday when snow-packed highways followed overnight precipitation.

In the first place, the guy who baked the cake to accompany coffee afterwards changed his mind and drove up from Corydon in spite of the roads. Bill had been fussing a little during Bible study earlier in the week about his "calling." Some of us told him it might include baking a cake (he's a great cook). So he baked one.

And then the organist, running late because of the roads, rolled in just in time to accompany the sequence hymn. That doesn't seem like a big deal, but if she hadn't appeared I'd have had to do it, so everyone was spared that (I play well with one finger, at the most two).

And finally, the parishioner who had notched her sixth deer (doubling my personal record of three) while driving home to the Lucas hills late Saturday made it to church, too --- driving the monster truck. Dodging deer is a regular pastime around here and those who drive regularly at dusk or after dark find it useful to have multiple vehicles so there will be something drivable available while deer-splattered wrecks are hauled off to the body shop.


Anonymous said...

I believe I hold the record for deer hits, 26 in the last 31 years in my big rig. Not to mention going through a herd of cattle by the Russell salebarn and killing at least six of them and then another two cows in Missouri.

Frank D. Myers said...

You've done very well. Best I'd heard of previously was 16. I claim only three deer and one hog --- and the hog was kind of cool. It was like driving over a soft barrel.