The sounds of light rain falling on the lake, the feel of a cool breeze in the middle of summer…. and the shock of a squirrel running across your body when you’re sound asleep…
Yep, that’s how things are rolling here in the Adirondacks.
“Chris! Wake up! CHRIS! Seriously! WAKE. UP!! There’s something in here!” Chris is sound asleep on the other side of the screened in sun porch on his own twin bed. I’m all alone here and a creature is running over me like I’m it’s own personal fun park.
Chris wakes up and groggily replies…”Huh? Well, if there was a creature here, he’s long gone by now.” He reluctantly hits the flashlight on his phone and scans the room with the light. That’s when I see two eyes staring at me from the corner of the window sill near my bed.
“What was that?!” I shriek. He flashes back and the object moves a bit. But in that split second recognition that SOMETHING is there that wasn’t before, I leaped 5 feet from my twin bed to the door in the middle of the room.
I half eek out a scream but know I can’t yell because Ella and Sophia are sleeping in the connected room next to us.
Chris knowing I’m about to lose it, reminds me not to scream and to stay calm. I listen to him continuing to wake up, as he assesses the situation, willing himself to wake up and think. It’s hard because he’s cursing to himself, saying things like $#@! WHAT. IS. IT?…Then, more curse words as he shines his flashlight in the corner of the room.
As I stand behind the mostly closed door inside the kids room, I’m thinking, What do you mean WHAT IS IT!? It’s a CREATURE. Where it SHOULDN’T BE. In my mind, pretty much this thing has become a prehistoric Adirondack BEAST. We should get out of there. Grab the kids. Lock it in the room. RUN! [Note: I am TOTALLY USELESS in a time of crisis… or at least a crisis involving rodent creatures.]
But then he’s talking practically. About what to do. UGH. Okay. No running… He’s looking for a [gasp] solution.
He mentions a bucket. And I think of the garbage can, so I grab an empty one and hand it to him. Within a minute or so, he catches it against the screen and then tells me to come help him.
Nope. Nuh. uh. I can’t do THAT. I feel some serious fear begin to build up and Chris realizes I’m useless and says, “Fine. Go wake up my dad.”
Shew. I’m off the hook. They eventually figure out how to get the garbage can off of the screen with the squirrel captured inside and take it down to the other side of the railroad tracks.
I decide that I’m going to sleep in Sophia’s twin bed but realize after 5 insufferable minutes of getting elbowed in the face that I’m better off snuggling with the squirrels. So back to my bed I went.
I don’t have much of a take away for you in this silly story…but maybe this…
We all have fears. One of my fears is small creatures like mice, rats, squirrels, bats etc. Not so much outside where I expect them to be, but inside, in MY territory.
It skeeves me out.
But today, when I think back on the story…it’s pretty funny. And ridiculous. And will forever be part of the stories told at the camp. Hey…remember that time when Kara got woken up attacked by a squirrel?
And I’ll also be able to Tall Tale that sucker so my kids will think I really suffered….since they weren’t awake for any of it.
The point is this. Occasionally, we face our fears. Sometimes out of choice. Usually out of necessity. And almost always we walk away saying, that wasn’t as bad as I feared.
But even if it was JUST.AS.BAD.as it could have been, we’re stronger for it. Better for it. So, maybe we should Fear less. and Live More. If nothing else, at least we’ll have some good stories.
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