Good Enough for Me

I didn’t get a glimpse of the real aftermath of yesterday’s storm that moved thru here like a high-speed freight train until this morning as I was heading into the City. Oh my goodness! Ancient trees were down, big limbs poking holes in roofs, and branches big and small strewn about. I know there’ve been storms in the past, and certainly in the future, but for me, they seem to arrive more often and noticeably very destructive. I don’t even want to remember how many big trees I’ve had to have taken down over these past five years due to storm damage, and one of them a giant walnut tree the wind pushed right over. I’m getting to the point where I’m not sure I’d ever want to live in a house that has a tall tree within hitting distance because that would be devastating.

My first order of the day was to tuck myself into my quiet little corner to get my Sunday morning spiritual practice completed. Yes, each Sunday morning now seems to have more of a soulful effect on me, and ever-glad that I went back to it after a number of years. I’m finding after these many weeks, I can concentrate on my prayer sessions all the more which offers a more positive and lasting effect during my workweek.

Just after finishing up, a friend of mine called to ask if we were still on for today, and I said “Yes”. He was the one who called several days ago asking if I would borrow him an extra pair of hands to help with getting his big trailer loaded with junky stuff he had in a big storage shed. After hanging up, I changed my clothes and headed out to his little home at the edge of our City.

He’d already got the doors open and just getting ready to start throwing the little stuff in. We worked on the two-handed items first, and then moved onto the bigger ones needing the both of us to carry.

The reason he was getting rid of nearly everything that had been stored there for more years than he wanted to remember, was his discovering about a month ago, some naughty raccoons had managed to get in that building and deciding to call it their own. Oh and the smell of their piles of feces was enough to make me want to vomit.

Nearly all my life I’ve personally had to deal with those stinkers, as well as seeing the damage they’d done to properties and the personalty of others. Today’s mess was typical of what I’ve seen in the past. I mentioned to my friend how interesting it is how coons always find someplace higher off the ground to defecate, and usually have one or two spots where they continue enlarging their “piles”.

While digging and throwing, I said to him several times, “I’m afraid I’ll turn something over and there’ll be one ready to attack.” He laughed and said, “No, I’m pretty sure they’ve all gone to see their maker because when I discovered what they’d done, I was on it.” Those words were good enough for weak-stomached me, who had to take a few more breaks because the smell of them was making me want to gag. While dragging, pitching, and throwing, I couldn’t help sharing my all-time “coon story” which was his hair-raiser. After what I saw many years ago on a freezing-cold winter morning in a barn, brought me fully up to speed on what raccoons will eat. After finishing my story, he looked at me and said, “I don’t think I needed that information overload today.” I chuckled and said, “Well, at least you know now that they will eat just about anything if they’re hungry enough, and the varied “tastes” of opossums not being far behind.”

After my many breaks from the smell, we finally finished up with the loading of everything he wanted to take to the landfill. We visited a bit, but when seeing the time, I was shocked to find it nearing noon. I bid my farewell while he profusely thanked me for helping him with that mess. I had absolutely no problem helping, but it was a good thing he didn’t tell me about his coon infestation until I got there because I may have thought twice before agreeing to help.

When I returned to my office, I changed into another set of work clothes and bagged those stinked-up ones for the wash. It’s funny when thinking about how certain familiar smells will resurrect vivid memories from long ago, and the smell of a raccoon is no exception for me. Back when working on the farm, I had more than enough experiences with those nighttime varmints, and none of them pleasant. You do know that raccoons and opossums will freely and gladly eat baby chickens, ducks and geese, which is why we’d always have to keep them secured in a building over the night, yet knowing full-well they’d be trying to find a way to get at them, and on occasion, those evil ones did.

I’m not sure what’s going on now with the woodchucks because I’ve been hearing a number of stories about how invasive they’ve become, and as chance would have it, while I was out mowing today, I found a new woodchuck hole. One of my clients mentioned several weeks ago how one that’s living under his neighbor’s shed, has been attacking his garden, and it sounds like they find fresh peas to be their “candy’. He also mentioned how they like to go after watermelons and cantaloupe. I despise those creatures because of how they compromise foundations with their deep diggings. When growing up, I dare say I only saw one woodchuck hole, but these past years, I’ve been seeing all the many more. I’ll have to look online to see how deep they normally dig.

The rest of my afternoon was spent finishing up on my mowing chores, and then going back to my project and working there for a few hours and then calling it quits, and heading home. Isn’t it amazing how quickly our weather can turn from being evil to delightful? Yesterday’s storm still seems like a very bad dream to me. How about you?

Tonight’s one-liner is: Words are the dress of thoughts, and surely deserve more care than clothes, which are only the dress of the person.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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