This morning on my walk I was stopped dead in my tracks. Not by a snake (yeah, seen a few), but by a whistle.
Not that kind of whistle! It was my Mom’s whistle – one long, high note, followed by a lower tone. It sounded a bit like the opening whistle from the old “Lassie” TV show.
Let me back up.
Our neighborhood is filled with great cottages, unusual sights, and interesting characters. I had just passed the Slightly Skewed Ceramic Studios …
… with their whimsical sculptures scattered about and hanging from trees …
… just down the street from the “No Peein’ Off the Porch” house … when I heard “The Whistle.”
My Mom was a whistler. She and Dad grew up in a time of whistling … and they were truly talented. They whistled for fun, to flirt, to exclaim, and to make music. Mom and Dad could whistle in harmony. Just mention the song “Yellow Bird” and they would launch into the prettiest rendition you’ve ever heard.
Mom developed a “special whistle” as a way to call us kids in from neighborhood play. And there was one steadfast rule: the minute you heard her whistle, you were required to holler back “Coming” and head straight home. There was to be no lollygagging. You had to answer her right back … or you were gonna get it!
Until this morning, I’d never heard anyone else use Mom’s whistle.
I looked down the street, and a woman stood on the sidewalk in her robe and fluffy slippers, whistling exactly the way Mom used to call us.
So I asked her, “Who are you whistling for?”
“Ratchet!” she huffed. “My rascally black cat who didn’t come home last night, and I’m worried. He drives me nuts, but I still care about him. I am his Mom after all!”
I told her that I’d probably just seen Ratchet around the corner, sitting in her neighbor’s back yard, with his paws over his ears doing the “la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you” chant.
Boy, was he gonna get it!
I didn’t get it then … but I get it now.
So here’s to all the past, present, and future Moms out there. Happy Mother’s Day … and thanks for caring.
Peace and Love,