Tuesday, April 18, 2023

O is for Owl


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter O

My husband and I met cute through work when I lived in Nashville and he lived in LA. One of his co-workers and I had become friends, and she put us on the phone together one day, telling him we had a lot in common, because we were both from Missouri. She was right, and I flew to LA a few weeks later to meet him, we hit it off a little bit, dated long distance for a year, and got married 13 months after we first met. We are coming up on our 30th anniversary this August. I tell you all this so you know how close we came to a deal breaker about a month into dating.

He had recently moved to Ventura from LA, and I was visiting. The house was two blocks from the beach and the weather was nearly always delightful (except during June Gloom or the Santa Ana winds, a/k/a fire season). The windows were open, a light breeze gently stirring the curtains, and the sound of birds twittering and singing floated into the room. 

When the soulful sound of a mourning dove drifted through the window, I looked up and said, "I love that sound!"

The dove called again, and my husband stated confidently, "Oh, yeah, that's a California owl."

I looked at him to see if he were kidding.

"A what?" I asked.

"A California owl!" he repeated, totally not kidding. "I hear them all the time."

It's...it's... a DOVE," I replied.

"It is?! I just thought it was some kind of California owl."

"Not, NOT a California owl. Or any kind of owl."

"How do you know?" he asked, and I shared that my mother had been a member of the Junior Audubon Society, and by golly, I knew my birds.

Funny, the thing that made ME wonder if this guy was a complete and utter idiot and it was the end of a short but good run together was one of the things that made HIM want to marry me: I knew birds and he did not.

And you know what I say whenever we hear a mourning dove cooing?

"Hey, it's a California owl!"


  1. This is such a sweet post. For some, it's contrast or difference that's the unifying factor. For others, it's similarity that binds them. It's all a matter of figuring out what keeps you going!

  2. Awww I'm glad you didn't let an owl stand in the way of your happiness! At this house I can't remember hearing any doves but we do hear owls regularly. We even saw one giving a young owl flying lessons.

  3. They do have a lovely call. My mother raised doves for a while, we'd hear them in the house.

    Owl, indeed. I'm glad you didn't let that stop you from getting to know him better.

  4. A California owl? That's a new one! I do love the sound of doves, though--and owls, too, for that matter!