Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Final Arizona Postcard: Communing With Sparrows; Paying Respects

Always melancholy is the final day of my visit to Scottsdale.  I'm back in Chicago now, catching up on writing about events from the last day of our adventure.

Tuesday morning we decided to have a leisurely breakfast away from the condo. We had seen Arcadia Farms Cafe on numerous treks to Downtown Scottsdale, and even stopped last year.  The early morning sun, the delicately landscaped front garden, and the aroma of honeysuckle and orange blossoms invited us for a special morning.

While we sat at our patio table enjoying coffee and a starter strawberry shortcake (instead of the typical sweet roll), a small sparrow landed on the back of an unoccupied chair.

It boldly cocked its head in a brazen request for a handout.  Soon, two, three sparrows were on the chair or on the table, looking at us in silent animation, flying a short distance if we moved. 

The sparrows were tame, and used to taking handouts from softies like us.  They were cute and mischievous as puppies.  I broke off a piece of shortcake and dropped it.  All three dashed to the ground to get their share. 

One had a big crumb sticking on his beak, looking like as if to say, "It wasn't me!!"

All through breakfast these sparrows kept us company.  I talked to them. But I resisted any further feedings.

After the meal, as Mark went to wash up, one of the more colorful sparrows returned, landed on the edge of Mark's dish, and started taking bits of food!  Until the server came and took it all away.

A small, unimportant event in the scheme of things.  Still, I will never forget it.
*        *        *        *

Later on Tuesday afternoon I paid my respects to Sam and Lucy, my grandparents.

Lucy died in 1985; Sam in 2001.  They rest next each other in St. Francis Cemetery, in a tranquil vault with a perpetually running fountain right in front of them.

(It's fitting that they are in a place named after the patron saint of animals, Italy, and the environment.)

It was an emotional, reflective, beautiful moment.
The two chairs sitting outside of the condo where they lived, and where we now visit, seemingly remain unoccupied, but in memory at least, they are still there...

And so, after a final dinner at our favorite Tortilla factory, and one last trip to the Gelato Spot, we were ready to make our return trip.

Many thanks to all of you who "accompanied" us on our trip, by checking in, enjoying the "Post-Cards", and even sending messages of your own.

Coming for the weekend: Final thoughts on the Arizona adventure; Sidney Lumet's most influential films (to me); "Source Code".

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