Ducks ate matzoh, challah and bagels in my back yard spa. Ducks arrived during Pesach, so matzoh was the menu, but as the holiday ended, so did the duck food. They would waddle close to my back door after swimming in my 'duck pond'. I closed the door when they visited because just like my visiting 'lounge lizards' (which you can read about elsewhere), I didn't want ducks in my house. They became intruders in another space. There were mostly two ducks, but sometimes a third would fly on over with them and settle into the spa. The male duck truly cared for the female duck. He would watch for her safety when she swam. He would watch over her while she ate, and only then take for himself.
I felt that the ducks trusted me because after many visits, as they would come closer to me, and closer to my door. That felt good to me. I would sit on the ground on their level.
When the ducks first arrived I excitedly called my sister to tell her of my gift. I must have been quacking on the phone. My sister tells me that her husband recorded my phone message for posterity because it was so funny. She played it back for me, and she was right. I do get very excited and happy.
During the spring season of 2005, when my husband, z'l, was paralyzed at home, I truly believe that G*D sent these creatures to me so that I could laugh. Laughing is so important. When I was a Caregiver Angel Warrior, and writing on a State sponsored blog for caregivers whose loved ones had brain injuries (99% Alzheimers, but my LO [Loved One] had metastatic brain cancer), I and a few other humorists were laughing so hard at what we had transforned from daily tsuris into laughter to get us through, that a couple others on the blog complained so badly, we were asked to leave by them. Other caregivers missed us so badly we were begged to return, only after forming our own site which was filled with joy.
I was ordained the QUEEN DUCTRESS of the JOY DUCK CLUB. Yes, there were other members. We web bound Caregiver Angel Warriors created this club because we liked to laugh, and that helped to keep us sane during truly difficult times. (G*d also had sent the Painted Lady butterflies to me, but that's another story, written as a poem found in Sephirat HaOmer poems.)
With a patient, when incontinency is present, diapers are needed and DUCT TAPE is helpful to hold down the little sticky diaper tab on the patient, because the tabs never stayed and the diaper, like a duck, would fly open. So from DUCT we got to ducks and quaking, and shared lots of duck jokes (who knew there were so many that we'd make up). Our humor didn't fly in that zone because were were told that "CAREGIVING IS SERIOUS." One other caregiver related to me and sent me a present of purple duct tape because she knew I loved purple. Duct tape is usually yellow.
We few caregivers were saved by our laughter. The regulars serious ones must have missed us because I for one always gave more helpful caregiving tips than anyone, because I had more experience with more issues, after so many years.
At the same time we were quaking, so were the ducks living on Federal government property in DC, and everything came to a halt to care for the ducks that decided to reside on the front lawn of a DC Federal building. It was in the NY Times with photo
For awhile, I was the Queen Ducktress of the Joy Duck Club. Yes, there were other members. We web bound Caregiver Angel Warriors created this club because we liked to laugh, and that helped to keep us sane during truly difficult times. G*d also had sent the Painted Lady butterflies to me, but that's another story, written as a poem. (In Sephirat HaOmer poems.)
The ducks returned the next spring season. This time I was not so filled with chesed and generosity of housing. I was tired of not being able to enter my own spa because the ducks did all their ADL in the spa. That's "activities of daily living", and it includes 'going potty'. For awhile I didn't think the ducks were very nice around here, because I constantly found strange black droppings by my back door. I admit it took a year, but I finally realized the black items were normally green succulent leaves near my porch that had changed color and dropped. Not duck poop after all. I didn't extend the hospitality any longer the second season, and the ducks flew their coop. I reclaimed my spa and my challah and bagels.
|Ducks swimming in Joy's spa|
© Joy Krauthammer
|Ducks lounging by Joy's spa|
© Joy Krauthammer