Zero Miles: Running Springs
I am fairly certain it was the Indians who first conceived of the zero. Or perhaps the Chinese. Or maybe the Greeks. The point is not that my knowledge of ancient history is completely lacking. The point is that I recognize and appreciate a good zero. And today is going to be a great zero.
I have seen my parents rebuilt-after-the-tragic-fire cabin, but I had never actually slept in the place. Last night was pretty good. I may have to sleep in this bed again, just to be sure. The thought of spending an entire lazy day with my parents and sister is very appealing. That plus trying to avoid at least one more night out in the forecasted freezing rain.
My parents continue to stuff and stuff me with protein and fatty foods. Eggs, sausage, bacon, cheese, steak, ice cream and more. I remember that the California courts have overturned the anti foie gras laws, and I am beginning to wonder if these are related.
The feeders on the deck attract an incredible quantity and variety of birds. With no exaggeration, in less than 30 minutes the following make appearances: scrub jay, Sheller’s jay, grosbeak, mountain bluebird, junco, finch, chickadee, nuthatch, flicker, acorn woodpecker, ringneck pigeon, and dove. Frankly, if a pterodactyl had landed on the railing, I would not have been the least bit surprised.
All the birds are free to partake in the seed and suet, but for some strange reason one bird clearly experiences favoritism. My mother stands, shelled peanut in hand, with the sliding door part way open. She is waiting for the scrub jay. When he arrives, she waits patiently until he is in position. She tosses the peanut such that he has total advantage. The Shellers jays and acorn woodpeckers lunge in vain. They squawk with pained envy, as if Joseph has just received yet another multicolored coat to wear. Why my mother displays this bizarre favoritism is never explained. Susan and I are beginning to understand why older brother Rob likes peanut brittle so much.
Susan picks up a voicemail from Brian. Bri is somehow in Murrieta, and Brian is pushing up to Big Bear alone, doing 25 miles in his first day. Bri will have a car and be picking up Brian at Highway 18. He is calling to ask if they can get a key to the cabin, presumably to relax and come up with yet another strategy. Whatever it is, it is none of my business. Tomorrow Susan will drive me back to Highway 18, to push on north.