I am the most inside person you will ever meet. I love the concept of the great outdoors. I love photos and videos of nature scenes. But for me to love being outside, the conditions have to be perfect:
Old fogey, that’s what I am. I just happen to love being inside. Air or heat set at 68. That’s probably why I love rainy days and snowstorms.
That being said – I am dealing with an inflammatory situation in my body these days. A very painful one. Doctor is running tests. The front runner of the doc’s choices is….drum roll…Lyme’s Disease. Of all people, don’t you think I’m the least likely to get bit by a tick? I am outside no more than 15 minutes the entire day – max!
Now, I do sleep with 7 dogs, so maybe one of the pups brought the interloper into our bed. Just seems weird that I, of all people, would get Lyme’s. Still waiting for the test results. I’m actually hoping he’s correct since I presume antibiotics would reduce the inflammation. And I don’t like the other choices.
Today, however, I had to venture outside to attempt to whack some weeds in the easement to keep the city from citing me. My current whacker of weeds is broken so I purchased this dandy contraption from China. I like the concept – just attach two zip ties and out you go. Concept failed. My new contraption only irritated the weeds and nipped a few pieces of clover.
But during that dreadful and sweaty time in the great outdoors – and yes, most people would say it was a perfect day – sun shining and about 80 -- a bug flew into my eye. And of course, my eye closed automatically trapping the little rascal. I think he was dead by the time I got all the pieces of him pried from my red and teary eye. I can only be grateful that it wasn’t a bee. Ouch – even the thought of getting stung in the eye would make me consider wearing a beekeeper’s hat on my outings back and forth to my car.
And now, of course, there is a rattle in my left ear. Most likely it is water from my shower and not another bug burrowing into yet an alternate facial orifice, aiming its way to my brain. You see why I stay inside.
Before I retreated to my air-conditioned house, I yanked some of the tall weeds like a mad woman and then stomped the shorter ones into oblivion, reenacting the scene from I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel were stomping grapes.
I tried a perfunctory sweep of all the tree stuff the wind blew on my sidewalk, to almost no avail. If one looks both ways on my block, mine is the only sidewalk covered with brownish tree litter – tree dust of sorts. It was not amenable to being swept….or perhaps I was not amenable to sweeping it after my above recounted adventures. My only thought was, if the wind can blow all of that tree dust all over my sidewalk, why can’t it just blow it away?! Well, I had two thoughts. The second being, what happened to everyone else’s tree dust?
Before I close and put more drops in my offended left eye, I might share with you that my pups are insiders as well. They too, like the concept of going outside. So they yap and twirl and jump at the mere mention of “outside” – and dash out the door only to return in a matter of moments, often to run to their peepad and do their business. They truly are housebroken – they love to run in from outside and go potty in the house.
Lastly, just for the record….my most well behaved pet is my chicken, Glozel. Just saying. I know it doesn’t fit with the topic, but during my quick ventures in and out, she comes when I call her and seems to mind better than my pack of renegades. A+ for Glozel.
Leaving you now – off to order parts for my aging whacker of weeds. Yet another mechanical thing for this aging bookworm to fix. My, oh my, how my life journey is turning out. I could say that things didn’t go according to plan, but that would imply that I had a plan. And if I had a plan, things might, or might not, have been different. No complaints – life is a great adventure and it’s just a matter of playing the cards we are dealt (or deal ourselves) joyfully and with as much grace (ha-ha, says this clumsy one) as possible
It was an April snowstorm. The blustery winds were pelting everything and everyone with hail. Drifts were forming. It was downright nasty. Three days of nasty. Fortunately, I had nowhere to go and no place to be so I was cozy in my cottage with my pups.
On day two, the pups alerted to the sound of someone shoveling snow. I looked out my window to see my friend ambitiously shoveling my driveway. Wimpy as I was, I couldn't fathom going out in this Antarctic weather, so I just waved. In all honesty, my friend was probably just as happy that I didn't go out and help since I seem to get in her way more than contribute. She shovels with purpose and intention and I'd only slow her down.
Several more times, or a gazillion, I do not know, she returned to make sure my driveway was without flake.
By Monday, I knew I had to get the steps and walkway done for the mail person and besides, it was garbage day so I had to find a way to get my garbage to the road. I lay in bed working up the desire? courage? energy? whatever I needed to tackle the task. Soon the pups had to pee, so up I got and we trotted downstairs only to discover the there was a drift blocking the back door - coming halfway up to the window. No going out. Okay...it was time for me to swing into action.
By way of explanation, I have been struggling with chest pains for a bit. And before you get all concerned and "advicey" - smile - my doctor knows and we are testing and treating with more tests on the way. (Although, between you and me) I bet shoveling snow would be counter-indicated.
I started bundling: long underwear, extra socks, several sweaters, my Klondike hat, a scarf around my face and my down coat -- you get the idea - I was a cross between a stuffed sausage and the Michelin man. I thought about calling my neighbor across the street, Bob, and asking him to keep an eye on me and call 911 if I went down. But looking out the window, I could see he wasn't about yet. Remembering that my neighbor two doors up was a third shift EMT who would be coming home soon, I figured she wouldn't mind doing one more round of CPR if she saw me flopped on the sidewalk. So bravely, I put my phone in my pocket (thinking that I would even be able to call 911 myself....maybe), donned my gloves and stepped out on the front porch.
To my amazement, it was clean as a whistle. My friend had stealthily returned and shoveled the steps and walkway. Tears welled in my eyes. Okay - I cried and got snotty - and no, I didn't bring a tissue. What a precious gift!
My friend has the blood of a Yupper and the heart of a Samaritan. A special person to me and to this world.
Since I was already bundled, I figured I'd tackle the back door drift so I could let the pups out and so I could get to the garage. The plan was good. Now the challenge was how to get there. Both gates were not only in a drift but frozen shut. Pondering.
Back into the house I marched and fetched a chair. I came out and placed the chair by the gate and climbed up on the chair. From there, I still had a challenge - but assessing the situation I launched my plan and myself. I bent over and pushed off from the fence posts and did a sideways somersault - okay - a flop - into the snow drift. Between my many layers and the size of the drift, no harm, no foul. Just glad Bob wasn't up yet to see this Olympic move or he might have called for an intervention!
And yes, I remembered to put the shovel in the yard before my leap and tumble.
As soon as I got the door open all of the pups ran out and were joyously frolicking - what fun. Belly laugh fun. I love those precious souls.
I let them in and went back to shovel the door to the garage - not only to liberate the chickens but to make sure I could get to my car. As I turned, there was my street thug, Ziggy.
He remembered the last snow when I tossed snow balls for him to chase - he was staring at me with his little body in ready stance. This snow was not snowball snow but no matter. I started tossing handfuls of snow to him and we both delighted in this winter play.
What a beautiful and glorious morning; and how grateful I am for my tenacious friend.
Ann is a modern day Erma Bombeck - enjoying the foibles of her own life and that of living with 7 dogs and 2 hens.