Sunday, November 29, 2015

removed from the list

Sometimes when I open my kitchen door late at night, all of the darkness of the wide, wild night seems to make a rush for the door, and me. It gives me such an endangered species sort of feeling that I hurry.
Hurry to pull the garbage can free from its cover and
hurry to lift the lid and stuff in the bag.
I always hope I am alone on my deck in the still darkness, my eyes and ears on red alert.

It's because I remember a time  when I found I wasn't alone.
When I turned at the sound of a stealthy step behind me and saw a dark shape suddenly appear out of the darkness.

I didn't scream.
I knew in a moment who it was.
He had come before.
Was starting to come regularly, as though we were on some sort of route.
Darn raccoon.

A raccoon has been riffling through the garbage can on our deck late at night.
We have been forced to build an enclosure that made Fort Knox look like a kiddies playground.
Houdini would have had trouble getting the lid off of our garbage can.

We've hoped the raccoon would ponder our new defense system.
Would scratch our address off of the list.
Would warn other raccoons......

And so, when a raccoon suddenly loomed out of the darkness, I wasn't so much surprised as I was terrified.
Which is strange because I'm not scared of raccoons at all by day.
Only by night it seems.

For the next few days, I was jumpy about going out onto the deck at night.
Was jittery about opening the kitchen door  after sun down
and nervous about stepping out into the cool evening darkness.
But as the days passed, I grew calm and complacent.
Now that is the perfect set up for a set up. Calm complacency.

Sure enough, one evening, I opened the back door, my thoughts happily engaged elsewhere when I was jolted into the moment by the startled face of a raccoon.
I screamed.
The raccoon probably did too, poor thing.
It jumped in a single leap from the deck up, up onto the railing and then with paws outstretched, launched itself into the darkness.
Such a desperate act.
Lke suicide.
I was shocked.

Our deck is on the second floor.
There is a gravel walk way below and raised wooden framed garden beds.
These are not the sorts of things one should jump on from a great height late at night in the dark.
Unless of course you are terrified for your life.

In the light of day, not a thing could be seen.
Not a hair,
not a freckle.
It was as though he had never been there.
But, we were instantly removed from the list.

Monday, November 23, 2015

wonderful place

My arms slide around my mothers shoulders.
"Well, I'm heading off now....," I say smiling, my eyes locked with hers.
"You'll be seeing my mother of course," she says brightly.
"Your mother was my grandma, wasn't she," I say by way of sidestepping the question.
"Oh, yes," my mother says, smiling.
"And then YOU became a grandma. You have a dozen grandchildren and TWO dozen great grandchildren!" I exclaim.
She smiles modestly and happily.
"And then I became a grandma," I add.
We nod and smile at each other.
Common ground is a wonderful place to meet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

a perfect spot

We were playing hide and go seek, just little she and I.
"Can you help me hide, Grandma?"
I picked a perfect spot.
She hid there so nicely.
I looked and looked.
And there she was.

Monday, November 16, 2015

right up there

"Do you want freezing?" he asked kindly, leaning closer.
"Uhh....will I need it?"
"Only for a couple seconds. Three. Three Seconds," he said with conviction.
"Nah, go ahead."

This conversation took place today but the story really began Saturday night.
Just before bed.
You know, on one of those evenings when you brush your teeth on automatic pilot and half-hardheartedly floss.
One of those evening when you expect to droop tiredly into bed with your mind set on some internal easy listening channel.
An evening whence you are counting on Sleep to mercifully rescue you from a thousand thoughts.
And then crown.
It toppled off.
My real crown.
In my mouth.
A gold one I've grown rather fond of.
There was an ominous clink and there it was, on my tongue like a piece of macabre jewelry.

As I lay in bed I tallied up the good news and the bad news.
The bad news was that it was Saturday night.
That would mean no eating until I could get to my dentist on Monday.
If he could squeeze me in.
And things involving crowns and glue tend to be pricey.
That was the bad news.
The good news was that I had a new fairy godmother waiting in the wings called A Dental Plan.
And I had no pain.
And I hadn't lost the crown, or broken the crown, or swallowed the crown.
That seemed like pretty good news.
More good news than bad.
Strange how the heart and head don't always agree.
I felt grateful and fairly optimistic but my heart still beat faster. I didn't just drift off to sleep as per Plan A but turned about on my pillow like a chicken on a spit for longer than necessary.

Monday morning revealed much more good news though.
There was a parking spot EXACTLY in front of my dentist's office. What??!!! That never happens and it was pouring rain too. I felt like a celebrity stepping out of a limo when I stepped to the curb and hastened up the stairway.
I had been afraid that the crown would not be able to be reused and some other dire remedy would be suggested.
Instead, my dentist crowed with delight as he held the crown aloft after doing a trial fit.

I was soon leaning against the counter with wobbly knees, brandishing my bank card.
"There's no charge," the receptionist said, smiling.
She warmly agreed when I declared my dentist to be a VERY gracious man.

Relief is one of my favourite feelings.
It's right up there with happiness.