Hummingbirds, Coughs and Memories


I have been fighting a nasty cough for the last few weeks. I finally went to the doctor yesterday, after my symptoms started to get worse. Twenty-four hours after the first dose of antibiotics I am feeling much better.

I spent a few nights awake from the cough. I don’t know about you, but when I am up in the night my mind wanders in strange directions. I often dwell on things I can’t really change and certainly not in the middle of the night. I have to pull my mind back to happy thoughts if I ever hope to get back to sleep. I know the “happy thought” phrase is something everyone makes fun of, but in the middle of the night happy thoughts are a necessity.

One of mine is remembering the stories my mom used to tell me when I couldn’t sleep. I had a lot of earaches when I was little and I remember Mom lying with me in my bed, trying to get me to go back to sleep. She would tell me stories about a puppy, a hummingbird and a mouse. The more awake I was, the more details she added to make them longer.


The only one I remember fully is the first in the series, when the animals all meet. The puppy finds a hummingbird caught in a string tangled around a fencepost. He tries to help, but he can’t climb the post, so he runs to find someone who can. He runs into a mouse who offers to climb up and gnaw through the string to free the bird. Then they all go back to the puppy’s house for tea. The hummingbird shares his nectar and they have it on toast. I never really knew what nectar was when I was little. I imagined it was some sort of heavenly mixture of butter, sugar and honey – all melting together on top of the hot toast.

I know there were other stories, but the dramatic (to a child) rescue and the cozy tea party stuck with me. Maybe it was the party at the end, complete with food. Maybe it was every kid’s fascination with sweets. Or maybe it was just the best story of the collection. No matter what it was, it always did the trick and helped me get back to sleep. I can’t say it works such magic nowadays, but it is a great way to get my mind off dark, middle-of-the-night obsessions.


Hummingbirds (though not puppies or mice) were certainly on everyone’s minds when we visited my parents on Sunday. They had swarms of them flitting around the feeders on their porch. Rich got a few great shots. I’ll leave you with the pictures, and your own happy memories until Friday.

6 thoughts on “Hummingbirds, Coughs and Memories

  1. Rich did get some wonderful shots, and I so appreciate seeing them here.
    I don’t sleep well while my spouse is away, so I’ve settled in for a long stretch of late night wakings. I wish I could get some writing done. Perhaps I’ll leave my recipe notes on the nightstand just in case.
    I’m glad you’re feeling better, Sarah!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s