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The Blue And The Bird

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Okay, last time, I had just gotten us checked in at the Square Inn in Wimberley, Texas. It had been a long, hot, tiring day, so we’d settled down for a quick nap. At first, I didn’t think either of us would be able to get to sleep. But, of course, you know the rest of that story. We cuddled up and closed our eyes “for just a few minutes,” and then, a couple of hours later, I was slowly waking up and realizing with a vague start that it was dark outside.

We also realized that there was something strange going on. The room windows, each opening up on the courtyard area I mentioned, were bright blue. I don’t mean a little blue. I mean very blue.

I got up and crept to the nearest window. Yep. No question about it. The whole area was cobalt blue as an antique medicine blue as, well, I don’t know what. I carefully opened the door, trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb Martha, and found myself out in the courtyard. Sure enough, soft blue lights illuminated the place. The only other illumination came from a few white lights here and there, either suspended from the ceiling or as lanterns on the ground.

Oh, and there was one other source of light. Remember the bird? The big bird in the cage at the end of the room? He had has own lamp. It produced both a reddish light and, I think, heat. It kept him warm, I mean. And it gave one end of the courtyard a red glow.

About the photos: First, here’s some images from the Square Inn. You can see something of the place at night, when the blue lights are on, and the bird regards the world from his rosy abode.

The whole effect was actually rather beautiful. I wondered later who came up with the idea. The owners? Someone they knew? A professional designer? I meant to ask, but never got around to it.

I made my way to the bird cage and greeted its inhabitant. The bird looked back at me with mild interest, as he might any other passing mammalian curiosity. (Have you noticed? There is a look birds have, sometimes. I think of it as “How on earth did you silly creatures survive the Cretaceous? Any halfway decent Dromaeosaurid would have finished you off in a thrice.”)

I made my way back to the room. Martha was up and about. We discussed the blue lights. Then we wondered what to do with ourselves. We needed dinner but we didn’t want to do another restaurant run. So, we figured it was time for our patented wine and cheese dinner on the first night we’re in town. We headed for the car, slipped off to the local HEB, and were back a little later. Then we sat on the bed and had bread and cheese, and a bit of Pinot Grigio in little plastic glasses. (Word to the wise. Always travel with a cork screw in your car. Nothing’s more annoying then to come back to your hotel room and find...oh, phooey! can’t get the wine open.)

Second, and, as per norm, having nothing to do with the story, here’s Martha at a local plant nursery in Georgetown with BIG metal chickens. Long story.

We also watched a Night Court rerun. Not the new one. Not the one with Melissa Rauch as Judge Abby Stone. But the old one. The one with Harry Anderson as Judge Harry Stone. I can’t recall which specific episode it was. They were all so good. And it is a little disconcerting to realize how many of the original cast are gone -- Anderson himself, Markie Post, Charles Robinson.* That’s the thing about celebrity. You don’t really know these people. You’ve probably never met them. But, they’re in your home on TV at least once a week. And you kind of feel like they’re part of the family.


We went to bed and slept well. The next morning, I woke up a little before Martha. I slipped pants and a shirt over my pjs and, once morning trying very hard not to disturb her, slipped out of the room. Outside, the courtyard was no longer blue but had returned to normal lighting and soft breezes. I said good morning to the bird. He wisely ignored me. I’d have done the same if I’d been in his position. And then I headed off toward the lobby.

You see, I had a mission. I had a goal. I had a plan.

I knew that somewhere in there, near the desk, there was coffee to be had.

And I was to find it.

More to come.

*Footnote: When I wrote this May of 2023, Richard Moll (“Bull”) was still among us. He passed on, alas, in October of 2023. He will be missed.

Copyright©2023 Michael Jay Tucker


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