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To Indigo Bunting on the occasion of her birthday

in 2006 I discovered a group of people who wrote snippets about other people they knew using the number of words they’d been on Earth. I thought it sounded like fun and began my own 365 blog. The very first person to comment on my work went by the nickname “Indigo Bunting”. For those of you who are not familiar with common bird names, an indigo bunting is a beautiful blue bird (often mistaken for a bluebird).

Indigo Bunting said there were a couple of reasons she was interested in my posts. One was that she’d lived in my hometown in the 1980s. Another was that she knew two other women who spelled their name the same way I did. A third was that she once lived in a town a couple towns over from where I know live. I was in awe of her way with words and immediately began reading her 365 from the beginning. The way she shaped her sentences and phrases taught me a thing or two about short-writing.

Eventually many of the core group of the original 365 group started new blogs and we followed each other to those. Indigo Bunting is slightly less prolific on her own blog than she is in commenting on other people’s blog posts. I don’t know how she does it — nearly every time I read someone’s blog post, Indigo has already been there and written the perfect comment.

Her blog is so well written — usually humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always highly readable.

Not only is Indigo a remarkable writer, she is also a birder, an editor, a skater (ice and roller), a fly fisher person, and expert on fly fishing, a lover of roller derby and she can still turn cartwheels like a kid.

Happy Birthday Indigo Bunting! Best wishes for the coming year. Live long and write lots of blog posts.

 

Rupert and the God Cod

Indigo Bunting, Cedar Waxwing & Lali
Indigo Bunting, Cedar Waxwing & Lali

Rupert was happy that his American family remembered to take him on their trip to visit colleges in the Northeast. Sometimes they forgot to take him along on their journeys and that always made him sad. He especially wished he’d been along for the Ireland trip.

Rupert was also happy that he had a warm and cozy place to ride when his American family toured colleges in the cold rain. While they were soaked, Rupert stayed dry — although he does regret not seeing Diane Lane. He thinks she’s hot.

On Wednesday, April 1, Rupert and his American family visited Middlebury College in Vermont. The day was cold, but not rainy, which made them all happy. At this point on the tour, at least for Dean and Dona, the schools began to blur together. They all had lovely campuses, lots of trees and perky and overachieving tour guides. Andrew liked Middlebury, but it is not at the top of his list.

After the information session and tour, Rupert and his American family had lunch at a cafe in the town of Middlebury. Andrew and Dona liked the food, Dean was not happy with his soup. Dona liked the friendly people who were behind the counter. That kind of thing doesn’t usually impress Dean.

After lunch Rupert and his American family took a slight detour to the town of Parts West, Vermont to visit with Dona’s blogging friends, Indigo Bunting and Lali. Rupert was excited about this visit. He’d met a few other of Dona’s Internet friends as well as Dona’s favorite singer-songwriter, but he’d never met another blogger.

Rupert could tell that Dona was excited, but nervous, about meeting Indigo Bunting and Lali. He thinks Dona was nervous because she felt she was overstepping an unmarked boundary — that some people like to be more anonymous than she does online and that Indigo Bunting and Lali might only be agreeing to the meeting because they were too nice to say no. He suspected Dona was also nervous because Dean was never comfortable meeting Dona’s Internet friends.

Rupert and the God Cod
Rupert and the God Cod

As soon as Dona phoned Indigo Bunting and heard her voice, Rupert knew that Dona was no longer nervous. It was exciting to turn that last corner and see Route 153 for real. She saw the post office and other landmarks she’d read about in IB’s blog posts.

Rupert and his American family arrived at Indigo Bunting’s house at exactly the same time as Lali did. When Indigo Bunting opened the door she hugged everyone, saying “I hope you’re huggers!” It was exactly how Dona hoped it would be.

Dona, Dean and Andrew had (delicious) coffee, cookies and pie with Indigo Bunting and Lali while enjoying a lively conversation about everything from college visits to birds to coffee to towns in Vermont. Rupert got a thrilling ride on the God Cod, some photos were taken and everyone drove over to visit Lali’s home where they met Bisou, Lexi, Wolfie, Lali’s husband and the chickens. They admired the wattle fence as well.

Indigo Bunting gave Rupert and his American family a loaf of Rupert Rising Bread which they tasted about an hour later as they drove to their next college town. It was delicious and they planned the meal it would compliment when they got home the next evening.

On the way back to Bethesda the next evening, Andrew answered Dona’s question, “So what did we learn on this trip?” with “We learned that blogging friends are really nice!” Rupert, Dean and Dona all agreed.

In which Helen pays a visit & Indigo Bunting is referenced

So, last night the only dream I recall involved Helen and Indigo Bunting.  I was in an unfamiliar place — it was dimly-lit, but warm and comfortable. There were other people in the room, but they were all shadows. Helen sat on a sofa next to me and we were discussing our carbon footprints. I was telling Helen that I thought her carbon footprint was much smaller than mine — that Indigo Bunting said so. Something about kids being environmentally unsound.

As I sit in my living room this morning and look at the mess my teen aged daughter has made of the room — papers strewn over every horizontal surface, tubes of paint littering the coffee table, broken Christmas ornaments she promised to donate to the art room, dirty socks and hair ribbons scattered around — from studying for exams half the night, I think IB had a point.

Oh, Helen — your hair was georgous in the dream.