It is this big guy’s anniversary of coming home to his forever home. Well, actually it was in October 18 years ago when our youngest child came to his forever home. In 1999 we rescued/adopted a five-year old yellow cheek Amazon parrot and life has never been the same.
His first owner was an Army soldier. She either didn’t do the research, thought it was cute to have an exotic animal or she was casual about the whole thing for she had him in a cage made for a cockatiel. Jasper could not stretch out his wings for the first five years of his life.
Upon coming home to our small apartment he would not come out of his open cage for the first six months with us. Nothing I could do to entice him worked. I also know to this day anytime I use a broom or mop around him he gets very skittish and very upset. I can only speculate what that means.
Jasper is an amazing animal who is smarter than some people I personally know. He shows us love and compassion and a lot of laughs. To those who have told me birds can’t be pets I say two things. First of all if you can say that then you have never had the privilege of having one in your home. Second you are right for Jasper is not our pet he is our family. He is now 23 years old and in bird years he is still considered young. He hates and loves me sometimes at the same time. But he knows he is loved and cared for and knows, and this is the important part, that he will never be harmed while he is with us. This is his forever home, period. We wouldn’t want it any other way. I still to this day would slap the woman who thought this was okay.
I have had many different kind of pets over the years and have always enjoyed the bond formed with them. But rescuing birds since 1998 has been one of the best experiences I have enjoyed. Especially one who talks back, knows what he is saying, knows when to use it and is constantly learning and improving himself.
And by observing him all these years he has become my main character to my children’s series. A majority of the mannerisms that one reads I have seen him do.
So Happy Anniversary Jasper, may we enjoy many more years with you.
This past Saturday I had a celebration. It was the release of my first book, “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure” and it was time to enjoy that. I decided to eat out at a local restaurant in town and raise a glass of wine in the air. I could have done this alone and still enjoy the day.
But instead I sent the word out to some friends and writers I knew. What occurred was a gathering of 12 people snuggled close together enjoying and supporting my accomplishment. My friend Robin started it well by sprinkling the table with green stars in Jasper’s honor. That was awesome. She included a gift basket that had a bag of millet sprays for Jasper so he could be included.
Four hours of chatter, laughter and just enjoyment by people who get what I have done. It went by fast as food was eaten, wine was drunk and the day went on by. My book signings won’t be coming for a few weeks so this was the next best thing.
I am proud of myself. This was my goal three years ago when I started this project. I was not going to settle for writing a book to read to my grandchildren down the road. I did not let road bumps deter me. I learned from my mistakes, listened to good advice, and with a lot of time and effort it is now here.
Jasper is oblivious to all of this. He just knows mom gives him shelled almonds and goes on and on how he will be big. So long I pat him on his back, belly,wings, and head he is good.
Life is good right now for my bird and me.
This week my publisher sent me a review copy of my book. My job is to review and approve it. Once I do that it is off to the printers! I am so close to having this dream become a reality. It has involved a lot of work and time to get to this point. There has been ups and downs with this particular MS but it has been worth it. I am hoping, and feel free to cross your fingers for me, I find nothing out of whack that will delay the process. But I did have to go in the oh my gosh don’t screw this up mode. It is only natural, I feel, to have a little bit of anxiety.
I had a few goals when I started this project a few years ago.
-To get a book traditional published
-Hold in my hands a copy of a book I wrote
-For me to see it on a shelf in a bookstore
Each step of the way will be surreal as it occurs. I am still in lala land when I sit down and truly think about how far this book and I have come from the very first draft. It is not just my book it is my baby. One that has seen a lot of changes and has weathered them all. There has been a lot of obstacles that have tried to deter me. That’s what happens when we want something badly. It is not sweet if it was easy. So I am reading the book while trying to contain my giddiness knowing that in a few short weeks two of my goals will be accomplished.
The work doesn’t stop there. It be nice if it did so I could start on my next project. What comes next is letting the world know about Jasper and his adventures with his friend Charlie. Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as I had writing it.