New State Bird Makes Life on the Road Interesting

Our state bird has been changed to the Orange Tipped Construction Cone.  It's true. And the state flower? The Skid Steer Loader. I'm thinking it must be migration season because these little mountain and desert creatures are blinking everywhere! I run into them on the roads constantly–almost hit a couple, they're so omnipresent. It kind of makes me wonder if we're in the midst of one of those seven-year cycles, like with locusts. You know, those big buzzing beasts that swarm a state every couple of years, leaving generalized chaos and annoyance in their wake.

I tell you, I could live with it all. I could. Except that the cones and loaders are constantly moving. I never know if I'm going to be able to go down the same streets I did yesterday, or if I'm going to be sideswiped by the state flower and wind up in a previously non-existent pit in the middle of Main Street. All to the accompaniment of an over-protective mother Construction Cone, waving and singing colorfully at me. (And I mean colorfully. This has happened a few times. There's something about me and my driving that puts our state bird and flower protectors into apoplexy. I don't know what it is, but I rile these guys up. Maybe my brakes need a little tune-up, because I think the construction dudes think I'm going to run right over their, er, nesting grounds. I'm not. For reals. Or maybe it's my face. Maybe I have one of those faces that just LOOKS like it's going to keep on going no matter how hard a state bird flaps its arms. That would explain the animated responses I keep getting from the mother-birds whenever I pull up next to one. I'm going to have to start giving them a wider berth. Or treats.)

Most of the time I can handle all the re-routing and unpredictability. But there are days when I don't want to. There are days when I want things to go exactly as I planned when I got up in the morning. I'm a mom. My weeks are scheduled to the minute. Anything shuffles out of its specified time-frame, and the entire day goes down like flaming dominoes. (You know how dominoes can flame.) (Give me a break. I've got Hashimoto's.) (Hah! I KNEW that would come in handy!)

Well, it's all going to lead to something better, right? Nicer, wider roads. A generally beautified and more modern state. People flying by at 30,000 feet on their way to someplace else, looking down and saying, "My! What lovely roads! Their state bird and flower must be the Orange Tipped Construction Cone and the Skid Steer Loader! Perhaps I shall move there!"

In truth, I do appreciate all the work our construction peeps are putting in. And all the patience they have to exert with Mom-Assault-Vehicle-driving people like me. (Mom-Assault-Vehicle = M.A.V = Minivan) I hope they also appreciate us. Because generally speaking, we're nice people who are glad they are beautifying our state. Even when we have to drive around state bird droppings and flower dust.

Perhaps now would be a good time to join hands and sing "Kumbaya." Or Jefferson Starship's "We Built This City."

You go ahead. I'll listen.

About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. I SO know how dominoes can flame. I have no business behind the wheel of a car generally speaking, so the new State bird and flower you describe…well, I should turn in my license until things are beautified. (Is it this easy to comment on the AF Citizen site? I’m a doofus.)

    • Hi girl! You’re so not a doofus. Thanks for commenting! All you have to do on the Citizen is register and login. Nothing complicated. Once you do that you can comment.

      Thanks for the call the other day. I’m excited about what you’re doing, and hope to help any way I can. Woohoo!

  2. We’ve had so much construction in our little town that it’s almost impossible to get There from Here. There and Here being any freaking where on the map that you choose to start and end. Sheesh.

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