My name is Jonene Ficklin, and I'm a full-time wife, mom, writer, and professional artist. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I use colored pencils, oil paints, and watercolors. I love what I do!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Is a Perfect Day Even Possible?

It’s probably too much to ask for a perfect day. A full 24 hours, at least. But it is possible to have a perfect evening.

I know, because I just had one. After dinner, my husband and I took the kids to the beach. They ran down and dove in the water, splashing and playing, swimming out to the buoy.

My hubby and I sat in the shade of these huge cottonwoods, reading and snacking on Wheat Thins.
Thirty seconds later, we’re surrounded by seagulls.
Smart people that we are, we break off a small piece and toss it. There’s a rush of feathers, some flutophone squawks, and one big bird gobbles it. The whole thing is over in two seconds flat, but word spreads and the kids hurry over to watch.

So we do it again. And again. Big Bird gets it every time. In fact, he hunches his back, his feathers all ruffled and starts this wild loon call.
The other birds back up a step, moving from foot to foot, practically drooling. They obviously respect and/or fear him. Still, all eyes are on the crackers in our hands.

So I get a bright idea. I start chucking bits in the opposite direction of Big Bird. He sure doesn’t like it. It’s a little like watching Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies hitching up her hems and making a 40 yard dash. Only everyone else is winning.

The kids grab crackers and join in, loving the way he scuttles around, trying to push his way through the crowd.

His feathers get higher. The loon calls gets louder. The shuffling gets faster. That’s when we notice the avian stampede sounds. And we’re giggling like crazy.

I need to back-peddle about three hours, to where there was a much different atmosphere. After seven weeks of 24/7 summer vacation – everybody living close -- all annoying habits have multiplied a hundred times. Everyone was breathing everyone else’s air.

At least every five minutes – or less – I’d get another “Mom! (Fill in a name) is driving me CRAZY!!!”

I seriously thought some fur was going to fly, and was a little afraid I’d be the instigator.

And yet, here we are, up to our ankles in lovely warm sand, laughing like we’ve had a bit too much of the dentist’s happy gas.

Yes, a full day’s too much to ask, but this . . . well, this is really nice.

We run out of crackers. The birds wander around like lost puppies, searching out minuscule crumbs. Big Bird charges the ones wandering too close to him. This time they squawk back, and I suddenly see my kids in feathered form.

Then, one by one the seagulls leave.

The kids grab the ball and begin playing. I sigh and settle back in my chair with my book. I burrow my toes deeper in the sand. A breeze kicks up and it’s oh, so lovely.

A little while later, the kids begin calling. I look up to see the most perfect sunset. Luckily I brought my camera.
In the next half hour, the sky changes colors multiple times.

My kids and I take close to 250 shots. (I know. It’s a terrible illness. You ought to try it sometime.) We’re absolutely giddy at the chance to document this.

We wander into the bathtub-warm water and my daughter calls to us. We turn and she begins snapping. This is the result.
We’re all alive. Really alive. Doesn’t get much better than this.

It grows dark, so we climb in the car, tired, sated, happy. I hear the loon call and glance out my window. Don’t worry, Big Bird. We’ll be back.


  1. What a fun day! We just sat in the house and melted.

  2. Leisha,

    I'm sorry! But with all the wonderful changes you've made to your house, it's gotta be great to just sit and admire!


  3. That sounded like a day in paradise. Thank you for sharing, and I don't blame you one bit for taking lots of pictures. They are gorgeous shots!

  4. Lydia,
    Thanks, it was an awesome day. And that Big Bird kept coming around again and again, long after we stopped throwing crackers. It was great!

    I love your blog!


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