Deer-in-headlights moment

Sometimes the unexpected happens.

So this morning after I did my volunteering I drove to the plant nursery where I spend a lot of time and money to return some flats boxes they could reuse. After that I decided to go ahead and mail my brother’s birthday package, so my dog Lily and I drove to the post office.

I got out of my car, took the package out of the trunk, turned to let Lily know I would be right back when all hell broke loose behind me. I was afraid there had been a car wreck in the parking lot only I hadn’t heard a crash, but 4 people were out of their vehicles, one a 4-door compact car, white, and perpendicular behind that was a pickup truck. There was a man behind the pickup truck brandishing something long and lethal looking, and he and the woman in the truck were yelling at the top of their lungs language I wouldn’t repeat anywhere at the 2 young men in the white car. Then everybody started yelling, same language, and I simply froze, clutching my little box in front of me. When the man with the long-stick thing crashed it down in the bed of his truck I turned back to my car but remembered I did not have my cell phone. There would be no calling the police, but they didn’t know this. So I turned back to watch without actually looking at anyone so they wouldn’t come after me, and something in me got me started praying. That they would calm down, that nobody gets hurt, that everybody would get back in their cars and leave.

And that is what happened. One last crashing of the long-stick thing in the truck bed, they got back into the vehicles. As the truck drove by, the woman flung a rather unkind expletive at me, which in the moment seemed so ridiculous it made me laugh, and when the 2 young men in the white car drove by I asked were they all right? They said they were, but they thought it was funny the other guy couldn’t fight like a big boy, that he was threatening them with an axe! I replied I had thought to call the police, there ought to be no axe threatening at the post office which made them laugh. Glad somebody found something funny!

I took my brother’s birthday present in to mail. Nobody raised an eyebrow. Maybe they have sound-proof windows. Axe-proof, too, I hope.

And I thought this was a sleepy little beach town.

My son thought this incident was blog-worthy. I told him ok, but probably any readers I might have would just think I’d made it up.

You can’t make this stuff up folks.

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Random thoughts

This is one of those days a friend of mine used to describe as when your forces are scattered. To me it’s just being scatterbrained.

It started off ok, well, sort of. I woke up at around 3 a.m. and could not go back to sleep so when it was about 5 I got up, fed Lily and we went for our run. The thing about this time of year is there is heavy dew on the grass, almost like it rained, so when we run on the road (with our reflective vests) Lily comes in with gritty gray flecks all over her lower legs, paws and underside. We get her wet day towel and dry her off which she loves because she likes nothing better than a good rub down or massage. Then I ate and got ready to volunteer for Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, an emergency food pantry here for in-between food emergencies for people who are on a regular schedule with the other food pantries.

Then we drove to the park near the beach to walk the loop because it was predicted to rain only it did rain so we cut the walk short over the intracoastal.

I decided to do laundry because my son is coming to visit in a week or so and I have piles of clutter so I need something to help me procrastinate going through these and putting stuff away. I really wish I could live by my godmother’s motto: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” It is still grey and on-off rainy so I can’t put this off by going outside and playing in the garden. There is nothing for it I guess. I have to bite the bullet and put this stuff away.

After lunch.

Birdcams, or how to lose track of huge chunks of time

I had never watched a cam of any kind (engine, traffic, shoreline) until I came across a link in a newsletter one day. It was an eagle cam on a farm someplace in Iowa, and they’d been watching this nest for years. In fact the same eagle pair returned every year. I tuned in after the first eaglet had hatched and watching the mom eagle feed the baby had me hooked. Every day I watched this nest and, though I did not know enough to chime in with the chat on the site enjoyed “listening” to their conversations. A chat voyeur I suppose, but I learned extremely important terms for understanding what was going on: when it rained the mother eagle turned herself into “mombrella”. When either parent was on the nest and not feeding the young and maybe got bored with nothing else to do they made “nestorations.”

Then the other babies came along. There was much vying for food at this point. A lot of knocking each other down and out of the way. And it was certainly true that the more aggressive one got whatever tasty morsel of fish, squirrel or some other unfortunate rodent was torn from the carcass. The little legs could not yet support their growing bodies so they sat on their little bums with their legs sticking out in front of them, their soon-to-be lethal talons as yet useless.

Then the babies became stronger and we had much “wingercizing”. This, too could prove a problem if another eaglet was in the way and got knocked over, or worse knocked clear out of the nest. That did not happen much but it did happen to a pretty grim outcome.

Some of these cams are funded by Cornell University and those who love to watch the growing up of the babies and their care along the way, and so are on 24 hours. You’d think the night cam would be pretty boring, nothing to see but a pile of eaglets with their mom or dad, all having their heads under their wings. Well, mostly you’d be right but every so often some idiot racoon gets the idea he might savor a tasty eaglet morsel and ventures up to the nest, only to be met by a fierce mom or dad eagle, beating the life out of the racoon with their wings.

My favorite cam right now is an osprey pair in Missoula, Montana. They call them the Hellgate Ospreys. They haven’t laid any eggs yet but the nest is building.

You should try it, if you’ve got many hours of idle time. Or not.

ATVs, ORVs and motorbikes

So I bumped into an architect on one of my walks with Lily who said the town I have moved to is about 98% built out. Lily has found the 2%, which likely will be claimed by some developer someday. But for now there are no power lines, utility feeders or any other encumbrances except a few surveyors posts with those little pink or orange flags on them. These trails are idyllic places where I can take Lily’s leash off and let her run or explore to her heart’s content. She found one where we used to live, too, with such red clay that in the dry heat of summer it became impenetrable dust that no detergent has been invented to remove it from clothing.

But for now it is a white sandy trail cut through by someone’s thoughtful ATV riding behind some developments. And unless they are riding Lily goes happily along sniffing each small tree and blade of grass.

If they are riding we avoid the trails. Lily does not care for these motor vehicles. Maybe it’s the noise they make. In fact, she “attacks” them if we are riding in the car and she sees one. She begins with a high-pitched yelping that becomes deeper and more meaningful as it approaches, culminating in a salivating snarl-bark as it passes by. Sometimes they honk back in salute to her bravery or annoyance.

This is a mission for Lily. She sits on alert in the back seat, sometimes stepping her front legs on the console between the front seats where she can search them out in earnest. Should one appear the frenzied barking starts as she leaps into the back seat to gain purchase at the window, screaming her barks in my right ear. The ringing generally overtakes the barking. Eventually it subsides, about the same time the offending vehicle has passed us and the barking stops.

Then the cycle begins again. Soon it will be too warm to bring Lily along for rides, only when we drive to her parks for her walks or runs.

It is what she lives for.

Happy Easter

Frank and Jeff - Two Old Vagabonds

In honor of Easter Sunday, I thought I’d share a Bible passage from Luke. It’s been on my mind quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. This particular passage is from the “other” Gospel record of the Sermon on the Mount …. I think Matthew’s version is the more popular, but this one from Luke has stuck with me since I was a young man, battling the hate and anger that rises up in me from time to time:

Luke 6:27-38

27) “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28)  bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.
29)  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.
30)  Give to everyone who asks of…

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