i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Shovelling a path to the bird feeder reminds me of a story about a father who loved birds

In the middle of winter when I have to shovel a path to fill the bird feeder I remember a story by a Canadian writer about her father clearing a path through the snow to fill his bird feeders.




Even in the middle of a bitter winter, he never forgot to feed his birds.  She wrote the story after he died. 

I had forgotten to fill my bird feeder.

It was cold outside. There was snow on the back deck. My bird feeder had been empty for two days. Or was it three? I will do it tomorrow. And then I forgot again.

As I shoveled a path to the feeder, I remembered the story by the Canadian writer about her elderly father trudging through the snow to fill his bird feeders. I can’t remember the word she used to describe his walk. But, he had trouble walking. Or the snow was deep. But, I remember she loved her father. And I remember the image of him walking through deep snow to fill his bird feeders.

Stories about lives remembered bring us backward while allowing us to move forward.
― Nina Sankovitch, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

I often think of her and her father. I wonder if she knows that I remember her father when I fill my bird feeder? I read her story over four years ago when I joined the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  She was one of the daily slicers. I can’t remember the writers name, but I remember her father. Maria? Was that her name? I hate that I forget names.

A story can keep the thread of memory alive, and even though the person is dead, their story lives in the words we share.

Today, the day I filled my bird feeder, I pray for the writer who misses her father. I pray her bird feeder is always full, and that she thinks of her father when she sees the birds come.  As I think of my father when I see a Robin in the spring.

feeding the birds

What reminds you a loved one who has died? Please share a special memory, or a photograph. I would love to meet someone  you love. Please click here to comment, or just scroll to the bottom of the page on my blog.

Love Pamela

This month I am taking part in the Slice of Life Story Challenge, hosted at Two Writing Teachers. Where over two hundred writers share slices of their life. Click on the orange if you would like to read their stories.

About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • La McCoy

    Beautiful I think Edel wants a bird feeder now.

    • Will you get Edel a bird-feeder? She might enjoy watching them.

  • kathunsworth

    Pam I always feel my dad when I go to church, which is a rare thing these days but he is there when I go with my mum. He had a very strong faith, as does my mum. He was a caring community person, even with nine kids of his own he often helped others in need. My mum has a suitcase of his, inside are thank you notes. My father kept a suitcase full of thank you notes from everyone who ever thanked him. It makes me smile.

    • Hello Kath,
      I have thought about your father and his suitcase full of thank-you notes for the past two days.
      What a sweet story. Your father sounds so caring. He must have been a wonderful father. So happy you can feel your dad’s presence when you go to church with your mom.
      Hugs to you dear friend,

  • Pamela- this post is a splendid bit of poignant writing. Well done and thank you!

  • Loved this Pamela. Not sure if I did read it when you had it on your blog because I see it first appeared there. Wish I had known about this slice of life site, before. I saw it a couple of days ago and that wasn’t enough time for me to just process and join. I’ve always loved your writing, but today’s writing hit a chord. Because so many of my loved ones have died I think of different things for different people. Peggy liked Heath bars. I remember that. My mom liked to hear classical music, which we little ones did not understand or appreciate. Sorry Mom. My cousin Pattie loved Christmas. I still have boxes of her beautiful ornaments. She liked Christmas because she used to spend it with us and we just had so much fun. Uncle Steve liked tomatoes with salt and pepper. They would become a meal for him. Steve liked the Beatles, along with half of the world. Gus loved his cats. Kind of makes you wonder what people will associate you with when you make the journey to heaven, doesn’t it?

    • Hello Anne,
      I sent you the link to join the Slice of Life Story Challenge. It is never too late to share a story. And they Slice every Tuesday all year as well.
      I am so sorry so many of your loved ones have died. It is like you carry a piece of them inside. And they are always with you, when you see a Heath Bar, listen to classical music, Christmas, tomatoes with salt and pepper, The Beatles, and cats.
      I hadn’t thought about what people will associate with me until you mentioned it.
      Hopefully people won’t think of me when they have to clean their cat’s litter box. I talk about cleaning mine all of the time.
      Sending you hugs Anne, and if I could, a Heath Bar.

  • writekimwrite

    Hi Pamela, It is good to read your stories in this space once again! 🙂 I am like this , too, some stories I have read here resonate with me. Our stories matter and they connect us.
    Blessing to you,

    • Hello Kim,
      It is so good to see you again, and to read your stories. Yes, our stories connect us.
      Blessing to you too Kim,

  • bbutler627

    Oh wow. Heavy questions put out there but I’ll start with what a lovely way to connect stories to real life. I find I do that often too but rarely write about it. A bird feeder in the snow is a sad but powerful image. I love it. Really very poignant. To answer, I lost a very dear loved one just over a year ago and it’s the strangest, most unlikely things that remind me of her. Like the wrap-around scarf I scored at a family grabbag a few years back that no one wanted. It was her gift and I took it. Your story reminds me of the small tribute we pay in homage to them. Glad I stopped by. 🙂

    • Hello bbutler627,
      Thank you for sharing your loved one. How special that it was her scarf you grabbed and now that she is gone you have the scarf to remind you of her. I am glad you took the scarf. And I am so sorry for your loss.