On Wednesday of last week, I got a call from my parents to tell me that my Grandma Hatt had passed away. She had come down with pneumonia, which led to congestive heart failure, and although she had a fighting spirit, this time it was just too hard on her. On her last birthday (her 88th year), however, she told my aunt that she had, "reached her goal." She must have been prepared. She had lived a long, eventful life and her funeral was as much a celebration of that life as a time to mourn her passing.
Like my grandpa, who passed away last year, my grandma was always asking about the birds I had seen. In fact, just this May (during our last visit together), she asked me how my week of birding had gone and how many lifers I had seen. When she was still living next to us on the farm, I would come back from a long walk looking for birds or butterflies and she would invite me in for peach juice and a few home-made cookies (she was an incredible baker). There were times when she thought I was crazy for how much time I spent birding and wouldn't hesitate to tell me that, but I'll remember her for all the good times we had together on the farm.
This weekend was a good time for me to take a break from life in the city, breathe a deep breath of country air, and spend time with close friends and family (and of course, a morning of birding). But now I'm ready to get back to Toronto, rejuvinated and ready for the oncoming fall migration, the OFO convention, and working with the TOC. Finally, one of the first things I'm going to try to do when I get back is see the Red Crossbills that are being reported across the northern areas of Toronto.