Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Embarrassed or Pleased

I don’t know if I should feel embarrassed or pleased.

Gee, as I wrote that statement I realized it could apply to several things, such as “I should feel embarrassed that I passed wind in public. I’m just pleased it was only wind.” Or, “I’m embarrassed that I forgot about the dog and left him inside all day, but I’m pleased that he ate the burglar.” Or, “I’m embarrassed that I haven’t had a boyfriend in five years, but I’m pleased that I don’t have chunks of broken heart messing up my home.”

I’m sure you could add a few for us out here in Blogistan.

Well, I’m embarrassed that, after taking my daughter to school at 7:15 a.m., I crawled back into bed, but I’m pleased that I’m feeling better. During the past four days I have worked this old body too hard and, as usual, I haven’t eaten enough, being particularly scarce on salads. And early last night, while my intent was to magically disappear between my sheets after partially dissolving in the hot tub, I stayed up, read, and helped my daughter study so she wouldn’t have to be alone. When my head finally hit the pillow and prayers were said, the hammer fairy laid a strong one on my head, and it was lights out.

When 5:58 a.m. struck me equally hard, the black bears on my flannel sheets held me firmly around the middle. They even put their black paws over my eyes, testing my strength. I struggled and they fought back, and at last I broke free and fell off my mattress. But I didn’t make my bed.

Making breakfast for my daughter has been easy the past two weeks because she hasn’t wanted eggs but, instead, cereal. So I set out her placemat, bowl, utensil, and napkin, then took out the recycling, garbage, and dog. When I came inside she said, “I thought you were going to make me eggs.”

“Oh yeah,” I breathed, vaguely remembering my "you should have a good breakfast" suggestion before taking her AP test.

Back home I vacillated: Should I? or would I feel guilty? Recalling that I am neither Catholic nor a full-fledged Jew, I succumbed and fed my body to the bears.

Forty minutes later, a transmogrified person arose from my bed. I must say, she’s quite pleasant compared with her exhausted twin sister. Grrrrr.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thank Yous

While I was in the shower today, I missed a call. When I recognized the number as my daughter’s school’s, I panicked, thinking the worst. (When some of us become mothers, we simultaneously receive an advanced degree in worry.)

When I collected the message, I heard the sweetest words from a woman I didn’t even know: “Thank you so much for….” She went on to say how my gift contributed to her students’ education and why.

Three days before her call, the arts department chairman responded positively to my offer of donating 64 high-quality illustration, photography, advertising, and design publications, Communication Arts. I had tried to sell them two years ago through Craigslist (ammo for scammers) and local universities, to no avail. After leafing through almost all of them during the past two years, I decided others should enjoy them too.

I sometimes feel as if I could live on thank yous. And while thank yous don’t pay for my insurances, they sure make me want to give more stuff away!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Haven

Have you ever noticed when you return home from vacation that animals knew you were gone, so they’ve moved in? It’s almost as if they conspired and waited for the day when the garage door would close, and they’d feel no vibrational frequency emitting from your home. With a welcoming wave of a hand and a short whistle, all the animals emerge from hiding, exposing themselves for the sheer pleasure of taking over human space. How satisfying.

Conniving little beasts.

Spiders construct new webs in the lower level. More deer lie in the backyard—the does filing their hooves and applying a fresh layer of polish, bucks now recovered from rutting season are playing a riveting game of poker. And birds have chosen to nest in your new hanging planter, the precious plant having been picked out and carelessly tossed on the ground.


This type of activity happens in our home and yard. The difference is, we never go anywhere, so they conduct their presumptuous behavior right before our eyes. Years ago a friend said, “The meek shall inherit the earth,” quoting Psalm 37:11. “I think what’s meant by that is insects, small and insignificant, will eventually overcome everything.”

Scary thought, but possible.

I’ve always attracted those less fortunate and those who have lived through a lot of emotional pain. I endured much bad stuff as a child and have done almost everything, so I really can’t be judgmental. People and animals know I’m trustworthy, and some take advantage of me, but I’m forgiving to a point…after which I disappear like the wind.

The most recent less fortunate being is someone I thought was dead and consumed by coyotes. I hadn’t seen him for three weeks, nor had several neighbors. But last weekend while standing in my neighbors’ backyard talking, I noticed a pair of ears. For five minutes or more, those ears didn’t even twitch.

Finally I asked if Bette and Bob would turn around and look at what appeared to be a ceramic deer, which would be a pretty weird thing to have, given the tens of deer trotting around all the time. We all trekked down the hill, and sure enough, it wasn’t a ceramic deer.

So I ventured, “I’ll bet it’s our injured one,” referring to the young buck I call Franklin, whose hindquarters are virtually useless after being struck by a vehicle. So we chose to let resting faux-ceramic deer rest.

By the next day, the injured deer was grazing in our back forty, as I call the easement area. I walked downstairs and outside to unlatch the back gate, so he’d have access to fresh water, the hot tub, and a more expanded area to poop. And sure enough, he’s made himself at home under the large junipers. Even Shiloh the Lab knows to leave the poor guy alone, so they share space.

Aside from one very close call during rutting season, Shiloh doesn’t let deer bother him. A fawn once touched its nose to Shiloh’s, and a doe chased the dog as he fetched his ball.

Today a ringed turtledove perched in our juniper above Franklin, and a beautiful kitty with a chunk missing from its left ear is skittering around. I boiled her a chicken leg and set it outside with a bed in a wooden box. This feline, however, will remain outdoors, unlike the other two. My heart goes out to the wounded and strays, as I hope someone’s heart would go out to me in times of need.

Two years ago I wrote to my friend William, currently a contractor in Iraq: “Shiloh found two kittens in the backyard, adding to the thick web I've woven. I feel as if I have a farm, but I can't butcher any animals.”

To this he gently replied: “Those animals are not an inconvenience. They are a way for you to be reminded that your house is a home, and it is safe for friends, family, and wayward strays.

“Don't worry about the poop. They'll make up for it by licking your hand one day.

“Be safe! William”

“If one of my wayfarers licks my hand, it’ll probably be the bear. Love, Goldilocks.”