Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Birding Mentor, Trudy

Trudy and Kathie July 10, 2008

One of the most important things I did while in Connecticut was to visit my birding mentor, Trudy. She lives down along the Connecticut coastline and I was 16 years old when I first met her and she gave me my first field guide, Golden’s Birds of North America.

I already loved birds before this time, but meeting Trudy helped hone my interest. I went with her to Camp Berea in New Hampshire where Trudy led nature walks and told the children how God loved them as well as the birds. Trudy is a licensed bird bander and I watched, mesmerized as she set up her mist nets. I tensed with excitement when she put a trembling red-eyed vireo in my hands after banding it. She let me hold it briefly before it was released, but she had to encourage me to relax my grip just a bit! While at the Bible camp in New Hampshire I climbed Mount Washington with her at least once or twice. She attended my wedding in 1977 when I was 20 years old, and I thought she was old then! Now I am close to the age she was, when I first met her.

Trudy has been my friend through all the 31 years of my marriage. No matter where I have lived, we have always written to each other. I think it was 2004 when we finally started to email each other. At 98 years old, her eyesight is just perfect. When she and her sweet husband, Earl took me out for lunch, I had to get my glasses out to read the menu, but she could read hers just fine. I think that is because her vision has compensated for another lose she has. You see, when Trudy was very young, she lost her hearing. She has been deaf ever since and so never gets to hear the songs of the birds she so loves.


Trudy and Earl

I don’t know what my life will be like when my Trudy passes on, but I know my current life is richer and fuller because of her and I will love and remember her always for her kind heart, her love of the birds and her steadfast faith in God. Inscribed in the front of my bird guide is her favorite Bible verse which she recites to just about everyone she meets:

“How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (Psalm 104:24)

View of the cove through the restaurant window.

20 comments:

Beth said...

what a sweet tribute. How extra special to be able to reconnect with someone whose had a powerful influence on you. At the time, she probably had no idea of how important her gift to you would be for your entire life.

The Texican said...

I agree with Beth. Looks like birding keeps you young. Pappy

bobbie said...

A lovely tribute to your friend. such a relationship is a priceless gift. You are very fortunate to have her.

Shellmo said...

I believe god knows the right special people to put in our lives. How wonderful for you two to have found each other and developed this long standing friendship!

Lynne said...

You're lucky to have such a loving and lovely woman in your life.

Deborah Godin said...

what a sweet story about your friendship over the years and miles!

kjpweb said...

What a sweet story! And almost a century old! Wow! Everyone needs people like Trudy in her/his life!
Cheers, Klaus

Mary C said...

Oh, Kathie, don't you wish we all had a "Trudy" in our lives? At least I do! What a blessing this lovely woman is. I'm sure she realizes that when she gets to heaven someday she will be able to hear the birds singing again. This post is a lovely tribute to a wonderful friend.

Birdfreak said...

Awesome!!

My birding mentor is a local birder and former American Birding Association president, Dan Williams. He is awesome in both birding skill and conservation.

~Birdfreak

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love how you are able to pay tribute to someone who helped shape and form who you are today..nice that you were able to keep in touch.. and rewarding for her as well to watch you grow into the person you are today, through all the stages and ages.

Kathryn and Ari said...

What a wonderful friend--and a truly remarkable person!

nina said...

Kathie, I had hoped to have a neat "bird-y" post for you for I and the bird, but it's fallen through.
A nice canoe trip with shore birds and king fishers and egrets--great shots, if only my lens was working a bit better.
Sorry--it's off to the shop!
Erg!

Good luck. I'm looking forward to what everyone else will share.

KatNell said...

Kathie, what a loving tribute to Trudy! I know God places people in our lives to encourage and inspire us. Trudy is a gift. I know how much you cherish her. I am glad you were able to visit with her and Earl.
Love,
Kathryn

Larry said...

98! Wow! That must be so nice to have a friend and mentor like Trudy who is living such a long and productive life.-I kind of started up on my own but there have been people who have helped me out along the way.-I hope that I get the opportunity to talk to them about it 31 years from now.

Texas Travelers said...

I firmly believe that nature walks, birding, photography is one thing that keeps us young at heart, if not in body also.

Nice post.
Thanks for sharing this enriching story.

Troy and Martha

Denise said...

She sounds a wonderful lady. Our lives are enriched by people like Trudy and I truly enjoyed hearing about her. Thank you, your posts are always so uplifting.

Kathiesbirds said...

Beth, she probably didn't but I sure am glad she came into my life!

pappy, it sure does.

Hello bobbi! yes I am very fortunate to have such a friend and for me, friendship spans all age groups. I feel I connect with a soul and a spirit, not a body bound by age.

Hello, shellmo, Lynne, Deborah, klaus, Katnell, Kathryn and Ari, Larry, Mary, Texas Travelers, Larry,and Denise, thank you all for yor kind thoughts. I have been distracted from my regular rounds by trying to put together I and the Bird Edtion #82 which will post tomorrow. Then, it's back to regualr blogging for me. I have missed you all and I thank you for your visits and your kind comments. Trudy is a remarkable person. I only wish you all could know her. I am so glad I was able to see her this summer. Who knows if I will ever see her again.

Nina, no worries about your post. I hope your camera will be fixed soon. It's like an extension of yourself, isn't it! Sure hurts when it's broken or missing!

Kathiesbirds said...

Bird freak, how wonderful that you have someone like that in your life also.

Ocean, She has always been there or me in more ways than I can count! Thank you.

Rambling Woods said...

What a lovely tribute and how cute are Trudy and her husband. I am new to birding, but my sister and I have come to it in our middle age and a attribute that to our Great Aunt Audrey who used to take us out on early morning bird walks at the family cabin. I was happy to have those memories to look back on now.
--Michelle--

Kathiesbirds said...

rambling woods, it was the first time I had met Trudy's husband and how I wish I had met him sooner. What an nice, intelligent man he is and you are so right. That is why I included that photo. It says more than I could ever write, no matter how eloquent my words. Hooray for your Aunt Audrey! I am so glad you have those happy memories too.