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On a cold Winter Day

The recent cold snap we have experienced this week reminded me of a winter when I was a boy in Oneonta. We lived on Church Street, and right behind our yard there was a walled creek that ran through the city. When the weather was cold for a long stretch the cheek would freeze over.

Posted on January 30, 2021


When it did it provided a “short cut” for us to take on our way home from school. On the particular day I remember my best friend and I decided to take the “short cut “home, which entailed climbing down into the creek and having to climb out again when we came to our house. (Not something we were supposed to do in our school clothes.) As we walked along on the ice we noticed a flock of starlings that seemed to be frozen on the ice. They couldn’t fly away. It really was an unusual sight! My friend and I didn’t see what we could do to help them so we continued on and climbed out of the creek. We had plans to go outside and play so I hurried into my house to change into my winter play clothes.

When I got to my room, that I shared with my brother David, I was startled by a bird flying around! I saw am empty box on the floor by the radiator that I assumed the bird had been in before it thawed out. I was not very happy with David, whom I also assumed had run across the freezing starlings in the creek and had decided to rescue one. I tried to catch the bird as it flew around the room but it was elusive. Finally I had it cornered by the wall near the radiator and I reached for it, but it evaded me and went behind the radiator. I reached down behind the radiator to catch it but that only caused the bird to slide down even further and get wedged between the wall and the radiator beyond my reach. At this point my anger with my brother was growing because I knew my friend was waiting for me to meet him, and my brother was nowhere to be found to help catch the bird. I finally got a yard stick and was able to move the starling up the wall until I was able to get a hold on it.

I brought the bird outside and let it go. It seemed to be no worse off after its trials! Later that day, when I met up with David, I discovered that my assumptions of the mystery were confirmed. He indeed had brought the bird home to thaw out. I was only glad at that point that he didn’t bring home the whole flock! The event was a nuisance to me, but I must say, it has given me a life long lasting memory to share on a cold winter day! Stay warm and healthy.
God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill

Words from our Pastor

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