Saturday, April 04, 2009



Rosemary. There was a springtime explosion today.

A few weeks ago I shared a few minutes with a Mourning Dove under a chilly, misty rain. I snapped a series of photos of the poor thing walking on the pond and laughed out loud as I realized MODO reminds me of me, a little.

I can only guess the size of a MODO brain. Peppercorn? That rounded, smooth, bobbing skull just couldn’t figure it out. Something so easy. Something it had probably done five hundred times and for all five hundred tries, it faced the challenge to hydrate itself.

Get a drink.

That’s all it was.

As we watch this MODO, let's think of a stupid tune - a background song that sounds really dumb.


Get a drink, yep yep, get a drink, la dee da, la dee da, la dee da.
Right pink foot, march!

There’s a story I’ll share right now about one of my most embarrassing moments. Perhaps MODO and I are similarly challenged. I’m deficient in a weird way – without writing it down or making a diagram, I can’t always easily solve a problem like, Which side of the vehicle shall I position next to what fuel pump in order to successfully pump gas into the vehicle?

Swapping dollars and cents is hard for me, too. Whatever is said while dealing money, this is what I hear when I listen to someone who knows what's going on: Ok, if I give you three fives and five ones, you already owe me five, so here’s fifteen ones and three quarters but let me change those two fives for a ten. OK! Here’s $45. Now you only owe me four dollars and fifty cents. What???? :o\

Back to getting gas at the pumps and MODO waddling to the water.


To the left, to the left. Uh oh. No go.


To the right. Get a drink get a drink, yep yep. Uh oh. Wrong way. Golly gee.
Back in the late 70s, we bought a brand new, baby blue, Chevy LUV pickup truck. Cute. It was a lightweight as I was, and very bouncy on bumps, to go with my platinum blonde, bouncy curls. Does anyone remember pink foam rollers? Gee, I think I’ll buy some of them for old times’ sake and roll a few one night.

I needed to get some gas for the first time in our brand new truck so I bounced into a “filling station” in the east side of busy downtown Baltimore and pulled up to a pump. Wrong pump. Or wrong side of the truck. Whatever.

Back up. Pull up to another. I circled the filling station for several minutes, knuckles turning white on the steering wheel…

Wrong pump.

Wrong side.


Gotta go up. Yep. Up for a drink. Weeeee.


La dee da. Down here again. Uh oh.

Damn, I’m still driving in circles. Where’s the freaking gas tank in this truck again?

My blue-green eyes became larger than my face and my cheeks grew sizzling hot. I knew I was being watched from inside over there...

Wanted to roll down the window and shout, “If you won’t come out here and help me, mind your owned damned business, you morons!”

Shee-it. I was just an early twenty-something having a hard time at the filling station, being flustered and all. Was there no mercy?

So I left without pumping gas, tempted to lay a patch of rubber on the way out, too. Hmmmpf.


Uh oh. Sharks splashing down there.


Just like poor MODO. Embarrassed, flew away, thirsty.


Bill said...

Enjoyed the shots!

Kim said...

LOL Mary, you never cease to make me laugh!!! Don't feel bad, I have a hard time pumping my own gas and usually a man next to me feels sorry and does it for me. Can I join the MODO club too! ;o). HA!

RuthieJ said...

Mourning doves are definitely not the "brightest lights" in the bird world and their pitiful nests prove that too. But they are pretty birds and maybe that's all that matters for them!

KGMom said...

Hmmmm--analogy of MODO=Mary. Picturing it. . .
No, I think you are way smarter than a MODO.
Unless, unless somewhere there's a MODO writing his or her blog about this crazy blond lady who keeps clicking away taking pics!

Wendy said...

Hahahahaha - oh Mary, you make me laugh too. And I must admit, I can relate to the gas pump thing. It's just to weird, especially if you're in a hurry or haven't eaten and you're having a light-headed hypoglycemic attack.
Never mind - even without that, who designs these stupid pumps to work on only one side, anyway! So there!

Like your modo pics and koi fish. Cute!

Mary C said...

Mary, that sure is a pretty rosemary blossom. I don't think ours are blooming yet - but that's because they are in a shady area. They don't get much sun during the day. You made your story sound like you are "gas pump" challenged. :) It's not always easy to remember which side the gas tank is on. Besides, with your photographic and writing talents, I wouldn't care if you get a little flustered over such minor details. I hope you are having a great springy weekend.

karenleigh said...

Ha! Enjoyed both stories! Great post.

Susan Gets Native said...


MODO's are NOT the sharpest tool in the shed.
And poor Mary, with her Spacial-Reasoning-Deficit.
I have to go back and read it again, it was so good.

Dawn Fine said...

You are funny! I dont like pumping gas and avoid it at all costs. Your MoDo photos are great!

Murr Brewster said...

Marvelous photos. I am here to say that I have had to pump my own gas exactly five times in my life; never could figure out the pumps, let alone what side I should park on. I was in Maine last year and had the same old problem, and I came up to this nice man and said (ingratiating tone here) "Hi, can you help me? I'm from Oregon, and I don't know how to pump gas," and he said, sure, here you go--but I'm sure being from Oregon has nothing to do with it, though I'd said, "Hi, I'm a moron, and I don't know how..."
We aren't ALLOWED to pump gas in Oregon. It's God's country, I'm telling you. God's country. Although possibly God could find his way around a gas pump.

J.G. said...

Doves are my favorite. Not smart, maybe, but such a nice combination of dignity and charm. Too bad she couldn't find a little beach to stand on.

Jayne said...

LOLOL Mary! My car has a little arrow next to the fuel gauge to remind you which side the tank is! Otherwise, I'd probably do the same thing.

Rose said...

Mary, thanks for the laughs to start my early Sunday morning:) There ought to be a law that all cars have gas tanks on the same side! I can relate to the dove; I have a spatial deficiency--constructing or moving anything three-dimensional is beyond my grasp.

Pink foam rollers bring back memories; I used to have very long hair and used juice cans in the 60's--remember those??

NCmountainwoman said...

I really enjoyed this funny rambling post. I imagined an English teacher giving an assignment...write an article including a mourning dove, rain, fish, pink foam rollers, a pickup truck, making change and pumping gas. Only our Mary could do that and make it funny and interesting!

I do remember the pink foam rollers although only from my friends. At the time I was focused on making my long hair straight instead of frizzy. OJ cans and irons (real irons, not curling irons) for me.

Cheryl said...

Dear Mary....Do you think it is a woman thing?? I am exactly the you are not alone.....

Pink foam rollers I remember them.....I was the queen of pink foam rollers......can you still buy them???

MOMO photographs are great.....

Balisha said...

Mary, Mary, are a hoot. I have watched doves many times and thought the same things that you just wrote about, but never thought to put it on paper. You have such a clever way of putting things.
I think that a lot of us gals can relate to the gas pump story. Thanks again for making me laugh.

Mary said...

It looks like pumping your own gas isn't as common as I thought! I can't even remember the last time an attendant pumped my gas...I really don't remember...could have been early eighties? I think I'd like to see gas station attendants again. More jobs.

As for the pink rollers, I loved those things...

NatureWoman said...

Poor MODO. They love my shallow "ponds" in my garden.

NatureWoman said...

Oh, almost forgot about the pink rollers! My Mom had those wire jobs and they were too wicked to sleep on, so she bought me some pink rollers. It *would* be fun to try those again. On the weekend when I have nowhere to go!

mon@rch said...

This is great Mary! Enjoyed and I did have a few giggles from this!

Heidi said...

Great reflection Mary :) At least it's just one aspect of you :D I guess maybe the MODOs are creative souls too.

Dog_geek said...

Aww, poor thirsty MODO, not willing to brave the sharks! I'm surprised reading the comments - I don't think I've ever had an attendant pump gas for me ever in my life! I didn't know they even still did that anywhere - all the stations around here are 100% self serve!

Appalachian Lady said...

Nice photos. I can't seem to get my rosemary to survice the winter outside. I had a plant survive for a couple of years when I brought it inside--it also smelled nice. But, it died this winter so I am getting started with another on.

Tina said...

As many have said before, you always somehow, someway make us laugh! ...maybe b/c I so identify with so many of your stories!! I think we all have times we feel like a clutz but we make it thru and then laugh about it later..tis life.
Your ability to team it with the antics of that poor bird was wonderful and very must have been an A+++ student in creative writing class.
Maybe you still want that case of wine..we would all love to read your book! :)

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Were you chewing Doublemint? Was the radio blasting out a top ten?
Were your curls bouncing in rythmn to the beat? I can just see you!
Mourning Doves do have pretty PINK feet and such a song...
Maybe they are not as smart as Crows but I do enjoy them. They must be something right since I have a nice population again.
You are so fun. Thank you for the laugh on this cold, gray Monday morning!

jason said...

LOL! That's hysterical, Mary. Thanks for a good laugh and the great photos.

As others have already pointed out, mourning doves aren't really a smart bunch, but they are beautiful and--let's be honest--there's just something about that plaintive, lonesome call that really touches the heart.

Mel said...

(was going to share an embarrasing moment here, but then decided it's way to embarrasing, lol)

p.s. MODO stands for Mel too :S

Unknown said...

Mary, your photography is so vivid, and perfect blend of photos and story telling. Morning doves cooing are one of those unique sounds you can't mistake with any other.

Heather said...

Mary, you are so funny. In my mind I hear the MODO in your pictures going "dum dee dum dee dum..... doh dee doh dee doh" Did he EVER get his drink, or he did he leave without a drink like MODO Mary in the gas pumping story? Trust me, none of us think you're like the MODO. Well, maybe cute like the MODO, but NOT dumb like the MODO. Thanks for sharing your little story.

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