Several years ago my husband gave me a back patio swing for Mother’s Day. I love that swing and retreat to it several times a day. My day starts out there. With a cup of coffee, I go outside in the dark of morning around 5:00 or 6:00 to just sit alone, take stock of the weather, the yard, family and my day or the days ahead. Before the interruptions set in, that is the time I can remember things freely without those thoughts flying out my mind. I can think clearly then. It’s my time…no one is up yet.
Last Monday with coffee in hand, alone to my thoughts, I saw the shadow of something. First I saw the blackness of its shape and immediately thought it was a cat…then, I saw the white stripes. OMG…a skunk! I hiked up my legs resting my chin on my knees.“Stay cool,” I thought. “This is my space, my time, my alone time. Nothing will happen, just keep still and go ahead keep thinking your thoughts.” It walked around the patio, went out into the yard, returned to the patio and walked under the swing.
“Oh, please just sniff out whatever you sniff, but leave me alone.” I think I prayed that. It was a good fifteen minutes before there was no sign of it. I made a beeline for the back door, slammed the screen door behind me and found refuge in the house. Good, I was safe.
Tuesday morning I continued my routine. My routine. Coffee. Walk out to the swing. Thoughts to myself. And then…this time it came from behind the garage, around the ligustrum and sniffed around the patio again.
“Am I dumb or what,? I thought. So I scolded myself, “You actually went back outside. Are you tempting fate? Never mind. This is my space, my time, my time alone. How dare he encroach on my territory. Nothing will happen just like yesterday.” I sipped my coffee and thought about you, blogging buddies. I had told my husband on Monday about my encounter and he asked if I was going to write about it. It wasn’t what I had planned…but maybe I would. I thought about my grandson’s Halloween costume, how excited he was for the package to arrive. He’s going to be Mario this year. Finally, he has abandoned his king costume with the red cape, ermine collar and crown. I stayed very still with my knees hiked up under my chin again. “Whew, it left.” I got out of the swing and walked back in glad to whir up my computer and visit my blogging friends. If you only knew.
On Wednesday, I took my camera. “What if he visits again? I’ll need a picture to post.” He did come back and I wondered again what I was doing sitting there with knees hiked up to my chin a bit petrified and indignant that he was really disrupting my morning routine.
“Wait!” I thought. “You can’t take a picture. The camera will flash and that might make him do something…to me. No. Not a good idea.” So, I thought about the broccoli and cheese soup and grilled cheese sandwiches I was going to make later. My husband said he wanted a thick soup so I remembered there was frozen corn I could add. That would thicken it up. Finally, he left.
Thursday, I did not venture out early in the morning to my patio swing. That afternoon my husband and I were driving down the street and a black furry creature with white markings scurried across the road. “That’s him!” I told Rick. I was certain of it. With that I decided yes, I would tell you all about my multiple encounters with the skunk.
No, I didn’t go out this morning either.