The following is 100% true. Except I don’t really know the dog’s name. So The Daily Post made it up for me.
I live in the country on the edge of a big city. In my yard there is an abundance of wildlife and land. The back of our house overlooks a ravine with a sometimes dry creek bed running through the bottom of it and in the summer we can see no houses through the woods. The Husband (who is a wonderful, yet occasionally obsessive man) has looked at said ravine and discussed its potential for putting in one of those weird survival things that you bury underground and stock with everything you may ever want or need. He is a handy kind of guy, having installed a new and upright mailbox at the end of our lane that is perfectly level, anchored in concrete and just the right height that I don’t have to get out of my car to get the mail. Sometimes, I see blue jays or cardinals sitting on it (we have both and they are spectacularly colorful) and find their poop later when I get the mail. And a big hairy spider lives inside. I can’t rightly ask for him to leave since his is outside of my house. Bummer.
The Husband loves to go to Costco without me and buys things – weird things – in bulk quantities. One of the things we do go through at an amazing frequency is paper plates, so we buy those in mass quantity, along with laundry detergent and K-cups for the Keurig machine. I am telling you, in case of a Zombie-pocolypse, there had better be coffee in my underground bunker! One weekday while I was not gainfully employed, he called from Costco to verify what we needed – milk, coffee creamer, protein bars, eggs, the usual. While we were on the phone, I was looking East out of the back window of the house and saw our dog, Butter, sitting next to the shed. I said to the husband “I have to go, Butter is out of her kennel!” Then I turned around and faced West where the kennel is and there was Butter, laying happily in her house in her kennel. “Never mind, Butter is in her kennel. She must have a doppelganger!” The Husband said, “Oh, that’s *Bob* a neighborhood stray.” And the conversation about shopping went on. Guess what he came home with? No protein bars, no coffee (I know where his priorities lie!), but a gallon of pancake syrup and ink for the printer we had two years ago. No lie. A gallon of pancake syrup. And two gallons of orange juice. He loves Costco. So after the Zombie-pocolypse, if you’re craving pancakes with lots of syrup, but no coffee – head on over to my bunker. It’s right behind the 4th tree to the right.
Here in the 5 Acre Wood, fall is in the air. It smells like autumn when you walk outside. As I sit in my kitchen working, I can see the evidence all around me. Squirrels are scurrying around gathering whatever nuts the trees may have dropped. The trees are dropping their leaves in a constant rain of brown. I can no longer see the driveway for the leaves covering like snowfall. The cats are getting fatter and their fur is getting thicker. The foliage is so thin on the trees now that I can see both the road and that there are neighbors.
This is my favorite time of year. I have pulled my sweatshirts out of storage and put one on in the morning. I need to find my fuzzy slippers soon. I am starting to knit hats and scarves for winter wear. My shawls from previous years are waiting for any occasion to be worn. I am going to pull out the tea kettle and fill it to make tea.
When it turns cold, I will have blankets – soft and fuzzy, warm and snuggly – sitting at the ready, no matter where in the house you want to be. The fireplace will have logs nearby to stoke the fire and sit next to. Fall and winter food will be started – soups and stews, roasts and chilis. Bread will be baked and hot chocolate will be ready for marshmallows. I love this season, this season of change. Cool mornings that give way to bright warm days. The warm days that give way to cold and blustery nights. Every day brings me a new landscape to look at out my kitchen window. Today, it is fall. And I am happy.
This morning I was rudely woken from my slumber by the screech of a 12-year-old girl. Nothing quite matches the pitch or frequency that particular age and gender can hit. “Dad! There’s a raccoon in the garage!” This was indeed a rude awakening. I had visions of a snarling, feral raccoon tearing up everything in the garage that can possibly be torn up – pet food, trash cans, boxes from moving. Could I have heard none of this from my bedroom which shares a wall with the garage? I am not a sound sleeper in the early hours of the night, but sleep more soundly as the sun starts to rise.
The Husband and the Boy head to the garage, curious to see what it looks like. I bury my head under my pillow once more. I have no need to go see what the furor is. And there is no furor. They see nothing. “Bunny, did you see the raccoon?” “Yes, Dad, I saw it looking out at me. I thought it was Spud at first, but it’s not.” Spud is one of our much spoiled and much-loved cats. The garage is suspiciously untouched with no signs of the ravages one would expect from a raccoon being trapped overnight. After looking around with no success, everyone leaves for work and for school. I drag myself out of bed and head off to work. In the kitchen.
I start my day by making a cup of coffee (Green Mountain Breakfast Blend) and sitting down to read the emails I had received overnight. Something catches my eye outside the kitchen window. A sharp-toothed, rat-tailed opossum sauntering across my field of vision from the garage side of the house to the patio side of the house. Hmmm… I muse, could this be the raccoon that Bunny saw? The next question in my mind is does my 12-year-old really not know the difference between a raccoon and an opossum? I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on this one.
So, here is what I have learned today:
Raccoons and Opossums live in the 5 acre wood.
Working at home leads to all kinds of new adventures.
Opossums have a great love for cat food.
Never stick your hand into the cat food bag without peeking in first (just to be sure!)
I would add to that a #5 that I like coffee, but I already knew that!
Noon Update: I guess today is the day for wildlife. I just looked up and a couple of turkeys wandered across the lawn. Sorry about the poor picture quality, but I just grabbed my cell phone.