Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Memoir Essay: Counting Crows

This one is from some weeks back, written for my memoir writing group as are many others I have been posting.   Just an odd tidbit out of the past.

Counting Crows
Today, May 11, 2015, would have been my Dad’s one hundred third birthday. Of course, he has been gone a long time since he passed away in a freakish traffic accident in March 1989, a few weeks short of seventy-seven. Do I miss him? Yes and no. WE had some rocky times but also many good ones.
This morning, I was sitting on the patio around ten o’clock enjoying a bit of sunshine and quiet. Then a big black bird flew by, squawking loudly. It was followed by two more and then yet another. They flew on south for a short while, but then circled back and began to soar and spiral over my back yard for several minutes, perhaps a hundred feet in the air or bit more. They ‘talked’ as they do–having quite a range of sounds, if one listens. Finally, they all flew away.
I then remembered how I learned to count crows. Of course these, like the ones I used to watch in Arizona, are actually ravens. The two species are related, but ravens are considerably larger. Still we called them all crows. I think most folks do.
Dad was Irish, perhaps not one hundred percent by blood, but completely in his personality. He had all the stereotypical traits: volatile, voluble, charming when he chose to be, fiercely loyal, moody, superstitious and given to drama. About the only one he missed was in not being a drunkard. For the first twelve or so years of my life, he was my hero.
Since I was the eldest child, I did a great deal of driving, riding and working with him and we often saw crows. I was very young when I learned from him the little fortune-telling rhyme, which I expect came down from old Celtic folklore. 
      “One is unlucky, two is lucky, three is health, four is wealth, five is sickness 
      and six is quickness.” 
I guess you were not supposed to see more than that at once!
Of course, you did not want to admit to seeing five or only one. I can remember Dad looking away for a few seconds and then back again to alter the count. Decades later, I still count crows and always try to get a fortunate number.  But to see two, three and then four? Well, there was one at first, but still, what a collection of favorable omens!
At a happier time, me on Lady and Dad
with Charlie, about 2 1/2,  on Chindy
Perhaps more importantly, I was given a chance to reconnect with my Dad in this odd way. We did not always get along and he could be difficult and some-times downright mean, but I never doubted that he loved me, even on the very worst days. So, on this anniversary of his birth, did he send those birds to remind me and offer a positive oracle for me, or was it just happenstance?  

Of course there is no way to know. Still, I can believe what I wish and I can go on counting crows until the end of my days. I do not doubt that I will. And just maybe, luck, health and wealth are on the way to me soon.

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