Tuesday, May 21, 2013


My Mom would have loved this photo. We got lucky this morning on our Greenbelt walk and captured these goslings taking a swimming lesson with their ever-watchful Mom.

My Mom loved geese more than words can describe.  I'll never know what it was about geese that evoked such a deep affection for them in my Mom.  She was for years known as "The Goose Lady" to countless people in Lafayette, Indiana.  For more years than I can remember, she would load up the trunk of her car with 50 pounds sacks of cracked corn and go feed the geese.  The poor car was often so overloaded with bags of corn the back end looked like a Mexican low rider.

Mom always called the birds, "My Geese."  Even when they flew overhead, she would point and say, "There go My Geese." She was as protective her "Her Geese" as any real, actual goose is of their babies such as the ones shown here during our morning walk on the Snake River Greenbelt.  If Mom was alive, she would probably blow up this photo into a 20 by 30 poster to put on her wall.  The Goose and The Cat were my Mom's totems.  No words can possibly describe her love of geese and cats.

One year I went back to Indiana and Mom had stopped feeding the geese.  I was shocked.  A couple of days passed before we finally both had the gumption to talk about why she stopped feeding them.  Somehow, someway, someday she had realized she spent $35,000 on corn to feed geese.  Apparently, she realized (correctly) that she simply couldn't afford to feed geese any more.  Whenever I see that famous bumper sticker "We're Spending Our Children's Inheritance," I smile and nod and am thankful Mom stopped feeding the geese while there was still enough money in her account to pay for her funeral.

I am grateful to my Mom for loving "Her Geese."  They were a huge part of her life.  She was One With The Geese for many years.  I will never forget those visual vignettes of her surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of goose moochers.  Mom always "dressed up" to feed the geese.  She took her best European handbag and wore clothes more suited for a country club than goose-greased grass.

We are blessed to have a thriving population of resident geese here in Idaho Falls.  They do not migrate.  They stay here all year round and enjoy a predator-free island on which to hatch their babies.  The little yellow puffballs are so fun to watch each year.  Back in Indiana we were fond of saying we liked to watch the corn grow.  Here we say we like to watch the geese grow.  My Mom would be glowing with pride and is surely smiling down on these scenes from her final resting place above the clouds.

To see the geese here in Idaho Falls is to forever remember The Best of Times with My Mom! God Bless You, Mom!  I Love You, Mom!

Many Cheers, jp

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