Shirley Thompson

North Shore Update

The Eagle Has Landed

We call our new home the "Eagle's Nest."  We thought it was appropriate because we are on the glide path for the Eagles, Hawks, and other birds.  The soar along the cliff using the wind to just coast along.  Last summer I found an Eagle that a local chain saw artist had carved.  It was beautiful and majestic, just what I wanted; however, the price wasn't.  During this last winter I saw another Eagle sitting outside "Buddies, Wild Rice, Honey, etc." here in Two Harbors.  I finally stopped in there last week while Richard was at his Tai Chi class.  Unfortunately, the Eagle wasn't for sale.  Bummer.  Buddy told me his two sons do chain saw carvings and I should stop in and see his son that lives just down the highway.  I already knew his son did great work, that was where I saw the Eagle I wanted but couldn't afford.

A couple of days later, on a whim, I stopped in again on my way home from picking up the mail to check out the Eagles at the artist's home.  His wife met me in the driveway and my Eagle was still there, still the same price.  Then I noticed he had smaller carvings in a tent area and in that tent area was another big Eagle but not painted.  He was magnificent, the artist had done some burning on the body of the Eagle and he looked just perfect.  I asked how much and instead of getting the $700-$900 I expected she said that it was $250.  I was amazed, Father's Day was coming up and the Eagle would be perfect for Rich.  The reason the Eagle was so reasonable was that it was not painted and did not have any varnish on it.  I would have to put 5 coats on varnish on my bird before he could be put outside.  I thought, "I can do that."  We got to talking and visiting and I gave them a copy of my book.  Really nice folks.  I would have to get the varnish at Menards in Duluth, they have a brand they recommend that should be used.  This would be a problem for me.  Can't get into Duluth very often because I can't leave Rich that long.  I asked if they thought True Value Hardware in town would order it for me.  Instead they said that they would give me a jar of the varnish and a brush so I could put it on.  I offered to pay them for it and they said that I had given them a copy of my book and that it was their pleasure to help me out.  I thought that they were very nice.  The price on the carvings goes up considerably once the piece is varnished and here they were giving me the varnish and a brush.  He loaded the Eagle into my van and I headed for home.

Rich loves the Eagle. I took him out to the garage to see my latest aquisition after much struggling to get it out of the van.  He circled around the Eagle and was amazed at the detail and the eyes.  The artist had also given me another set of eyes and had loosened the ones currently on the Eagle so that I could remove them and stick them back in after the last coat of varnish.

Rich was very skeptical of me varnishing his bird. "You intend to do the varnishing?"

"Of course," I replied, "how hard could it be?"

If the look on Rich's face was anything to go by he was considering that, for me, it would be very hard indeed.

 I asked Rich what he was going to call the Eagle.

"Why do I have to call it anything?" Rich asked.

"Well," I replied, "he should have a name.  How about Eggbert?" I offered as a suggestion.

Rich just looked at me funny and said, "Not unless he is wearing horn rimmed glasses."

"Okay," I responded, "how about Ethridge?"

Again Rich looked at me funny and replied, "not unless he has wire rimmed glasses."

This was getting difficult.  I tried again, "I know," I added, "Englebert!" I shouted.

"Somehow," Rich replied scowling, "I can't see him breaking into a rendition of "Whats New Pussy Cat."

"That was Tom Jones," I corrected him, "not Humperdinck."

"Whatever," was Rich's response.

"All right," I said getting frustrated, "what about Edgar?"

"He would need a baseball cap on backwards," was the response I got.  "Besides," continued Rich, "why does the name have to start with "E."

"He's and Eagle," I replied.

Now Rich was looking confused, "What the heck does that have to do with anything?"

"Eagle," I responded, "starts with the letter "E."

Rich was now totally frustrated with me and it was showing, "we have 2 cats, one is called Alexei, the other is called Nakita; they are cats which starts with a "C" and neither of their names begin with "C"!

I had to admit he had a point there.  "Well," I contitnued, "It's your Father's Day present so you can name him what you want."

Rich started rolling up ramp into the house.  "It won't be Eggbert, that's for sure. If you buy a pair of horned rimmed glasses and put them on that bird I will consider it grounds for divorce!" 

"I was just trying to help," I replied.

As he entered the house I could hear him muttering to himself, "doesn't matter what I decide to name the @%@%@% thing she will probably still pat it on the head whenever she walks buy it and say (in a high pitched voice) "'Hi Eggbert!"

I thought this was totally unfair.  Here I was trying to be helpful and all I get is greif.

That evening I loaded Rich into the back of the van to take him to the photo exhibit reception that my photo club was having that evening.  He had to admire his Eagle before him rolled onto the ramp to get into the van.  Once he was inside I closed one of the back doors of the van and on my way to shut the other door I passed by the Eagle. 

I, of course, had to pat the Eagle on the head and I said, "Bye Eggbert, see you later."

Boy you should have heard the language coming out of the back of our van.

As I got into the front seat and started the van I wondered where can I get a cheap pair of horned rimmed glasses.

Oh, one more thing before I leave you.  If you are wondering, and I know you are, how the varnishing is going here is the score so far:

Eagle: 3   Shirley 1

Rich now says I can safely be left outside in inclement weather.