Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Fox Whisperer

Yet another blog without a photo, and oh how I wish there was one, or better yet, a series. But even if my camera had been in my hand, turned on, I would probably have missed the shot. It all happened so fast.

Tina wanted to take the dogs out for a run in the country. They looooooove the drive, and the gallop through the grass with the wind whipping through their ears. And there's not much longer till anything fun outdoors is only a distant memory. So we packed up all 3 dogs, all 3 kids, and drove out on the gravel roads west of town.

Last week, Tina had found a beautiful old abandoned house, and wanted to show it to me. We parked down at the road, and walked up the long, curved ruts that had once been a driveway. True to her description, it was beautiful. All the windows were gone, so you could look right in and see all the incredibly bright colors that had once been on the walls, and yes, the ceiling. The lower part of the walls had been forest green, with a vibrant yellow on the upper part, and the ceiling was a deep royal blue. Old cupboards still cling to the walls, and gorgeous disintegrating doors sag forlornly.

Tina went right on in. I didn't. As much as I like to explore, I have this thing about not wanting to plunge suddenly into dark basements, leaving chunks of my body behind on the way down. I'm just funny that way. Tina thinks she will somehow just know when the floor is unsafe, and that she can float if anything goes wrong.

Those little differences of world view leave her with all the best things to see, and me outside, pressing my nose against where the glass used to be. "At least you won't fall into the basement," I try to console myself.

While Tina gingerly worked her way upstairs - it not being sufficient to fall only into the basement, she wants to fall through the ground floor first and THEN into the basement - I began peeking into each window, feet planted firmly on the ground.

Right above my head, I heard her squeal or squawk or something, and this awful-sounding noise right above Damon and me. I ducked my head and closed my eyes. Don't fall on me! Don't fall on me! Don't fall, either....

A plopping sound and instantaneous ruckus behind me made me whip around, only to see a glorious red fox streaking off into the sunset, Finley hot on his poofy tail, and all the other dogs hot on Finley's hindquarters. Finley has no tail, so that's probably why he was so intent on capturing that one, to assuage his inferiority complex.

As it turned out, upon having his second-story haven disturbed, the courageous flying fox took to the air and hurled himself out the window, leaping far out directly over Damon and me, and was well on his way to Canada before I even saw him.

Finley has never chased a fox before. I have never seen a wild fox so close, much less had one jump over the top of me before. Tina has never startled a fox in an upstairs bedroom before. It was a day of firsts. I'm guessing there may have even been a couple of firsts for the fox.

Cringing and looking upward for more raining foxes,
Noni Beth

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Lutheran Church Strikes Again

I admit it. The title is a masterpiece of responsibility-shifting. It really isn't the Lutheran Church's fault that things keep happening to me. Every time I play for them.

So I got all ready, and right on schedule about 13 minutes before the hour, picked up my music to walk out the door, and went to the little peg where my keys were supposed to be.

No keys.

Reaching warp speed in less than 2.7 seconds, I tore in quick succession through my purse, book bag, camera bag, kitchen counter, and bedside stand. No keys, not even in the ignition.

Time was running out. With blinding speed, I dumped the stuff out of Devon's backpack, ran to the car where my music and glasses were set neatly, and dumped them in. Somehow I missed the glasses, a move I would regret for a good hour. Then nothing else for it, but to grab the nearest bicycle and start pedaling.

The dress I had chosen was very low-key and modest - a long, narrow pinstripe skirt that buttoned up the front, and a white shirt. Not exactly designed for biking, but no time to change. It took two hands on the handlebars to get going, since my feet would hardly reach the ground in my leg-hampered condition. Then it took the next 500 feet to pull myself back into a mostly-clad condition.

My only hope going through town was to ride so fast that no one could see anything but a blur. Unfortunately, steering with one hand and trying desperately to hold myself together with the other, I just couldn't pedal as fast. Jack, down at the shop loading his work truck for the day, came out the door just as I went by, of all the luck. His maniacal laughter followed me most of the way to the church.

One advantage of being a couple minutes late is that, once I turned onto the highway and headed for the edge of town, no one was around so I could let go and ride like the wind. Everyone was so happy to see me that no one commented on my windblown, gasping condition. To my face, at any rate.

After that, the discovery that my glasses were still at home and I would have to squint my way through the whole service, was anticlimactic. I sure wasn't riding back to get them.

Next time they ask me to play, I think I will get dressed Saturday night and go spend the night in one of the pews.

Still twitching from too much adventure,
Noni Beth