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Sorry, boaters: Bird's the word

I was going to write today about the disappearing joys of boating but something happened that caused me to switch from boat to bird.

At breakfast, my wife, Peggy, commented on a Mike Royko column. It had to do with his trying to drive home in a Chicago blizzard when a driver blocked him off at a crossroad. He got out and said some things that couldn't be printed in his column.

But Royko did get to observe that since a brain weighs about 3 pounds, the driverhad not used any of the million brain cells we humans possess. He noted what Edison, Einstein, Beethoven, da Vinci, Shakespeare and others had done with their 3-pound allotment.

Peggy laughingly remarked: "Royko sure made a lot out of nothing. And you still haven't written about our Resident Robin." It could have been taken as a throwaway line. But though she has long been my severest critic on writing matters, she never has told me what to write.

Never. Notwithstanding, as navigator of our family boat, she has always told me where to go. Not many women get to tell their I'm-the-captain husbands that.

As it turned out, Peggy put me on a better column course by bringing up the Robin.

She is aware that I am rather tired of writing about controversial boating matters.

Frankly, at age 77, it surely is time to wise up and seek the strength and wisdom to accept that there are many things over which I have little or no influence, much less control.

So why not lighten up a bit, write more often of pleasant things that appeal to the vicarious audience that went with us on our travels?

After all, the recent story about the too curious cat, Michael, rang the response bell. And it led to a forthcoming article on seagoing cats for Sailing magazine.

But what's the story on the Resident Robin? No big deal, really. Just personal wonderment.

About three weeks ago, a lone robin appeared in our tree-lined back yard and staked out a rather generous personal territory in our big orange tree.

A real loner, this one. He bobs around some but often strikes a "well done" Winston Churchill pose without the victory sign. He seems to have the ability to unduly inflate his orange-red chest on short notice.

Feisty, too. He ran an inquiring mockingbird out of the yard.

There is no shortage of robins in our area when the red berries are loaded on the holly trees. The robins also are loaded because of some fermentation factor and are often seen staggering around in search of fresh water.

Our Resident Robin may be reformed and on some missionary expedition spreading the word of folly in the holly.

Perhaps Resident Robin is just hanging around waiting for baseball's spring training to finally start. His favorite teams undoubtedly are the Toronto Blue Jays, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Baltimore Orioles.

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