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Connecting the dots between birds and shoes

Faithful readers of this column may recall a certain footwear malfunction I experienced a couple of years back. At the risk of provoking boredom from male readers who know nothing of flip flops that lose their flips or sling backs that come unslung, I will share my latest misadventure. It involves a nice (I guess “nice” is debatable) pair of heels I was determined to wear to church on Sunday. I say determined because they’re white. I was raised with that can’t-wear-white-after-Labor-Day rule ringing loud in my ears, and I wanted to get one last wearing out of them before boot season. (Are you yawning yet, men?)

Anyway, as my husband and I were walking down the church hallway, half of the sole of my right shoe suddenly came loose. Completely unglued. Flopping back and forth like a fish in the bottom of a bass boat.

I looked down at the situation and was tempted to come unglued myself. We were planning to stay for a fellowship lunch after services, which meant I’d be flopping until 3.

My husband, however, did what men are designed to do when their wives’ shoes fall apart. He went for the duct tape. So while I, half-shod and fully embarrassed, sat in an empty preschool classroom, my husband carried my shoe to the car and took on the title of cobbler. He did a fine job of it, too.

Which brings me to the bird feeders.

I knew we had entered a new stage of life when my husband started buying them – those bright red kind designed to attract hummingbirds.

“Nice,” I’d say when he’d pull out the plastic versions with the yellow petals surrounding the spouts. “Umm,” I nodded when he brought home the glass one with feeding tubes.

I admit I was a bit surprised, however, at the depth of his new-found interest. To see him preparing nectar with measuring spoons and boiling water to fill those contraptions, well, it took some getting used to. But, hey, I like birdwatching as much as the next wife who has a to-do list longer than her arm. We occasionally found time over breakfast to look across the patio and see a hummingbird or two fly in for a snack – when they weren’t busy at the lantana drive-through out front.

September arrived, though, and everybody knows there’s that migration thing to consider, right?

“If you love them, you’ll let them go,” I told my husband with as much benevolence as I could muster.

Reluctantly, he brought the feeders inside to the kitchen sink, one by one. I did my part by Cloroxing those babies good, each petal, base, and itty bitty spout hole. Serious elbow grease was required.

Now, if you’re having trouble connecting the dots between my sandal and his birdfeeder, let me draw a bold line between the duct tape and the Clorox bottle. Here’s where it leads: having a high regard for your spouse can translate into things like repairing shoes and cleaning bird feeders.

(Surprised newlyweds? Prefer picturing foot massages rather than faulty flip flops?)

That’s because we may speak of marriage in terms of a noun, but all the while it’s a verb – and an action one at that.

Which leaves us with another dot to connect to this story: admitting mistakes.

The next morning, not long before my shoe malfunction, I looked up some information about when to take down feeders (why, I cannot say). Turns out I was as wrong about that September part. It seems the welfare of the hummingbird population isn’t dependent on the removal of their feeding sources after all. It’s an internal biological calendar, rather than a lack of food, that tells a hummingbird when to head south. My favorite guy could have continued boiling water and measuring sugar for at least another month or two.

Sorry about that, Honey. I promise to do better next year.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.