Shady

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deer

Mother Nature started it.

There I was, minding my own business, listening to the radio and driving with my hands at ten and two the way they taught me back in the Paleozoic era when I learned to drive.

The weekend

I turned up the long lane that leads to our house and breathed the normal Friday night sigh home. I visibly relaxed. Shoulders down, slight smile, already dreaming of pjs and my favorite cozy spot on the couch. (To be fair I tend to start planning my PJ choices when I get dressed in the morning. I’m a long range planner).

Deer

There I was, all relaxed, planning my snack choices when two deer bounded across the lane in front of me. I braked (there goes dinner). I swear the second deer looked at me like, “Hey whats up?” Then he disappeared into the woods along the drive.

Yes, friends, I was very nearly assaulted by Mother Nature IN MY OWN DRIVEWAY! This is not fair. Some things, like a person’s personal property, are SACRED. Of course, it does gall both my guys that they spent an entire week of hunting season sitting in trees in the backyard and seeing nary a deer.

They just need to stick with me. Mother Nature seems to just fling deer out at me everywhere.

Smell

My lack-of-love affair with nature is well documented. I already deal with things that go bump, and squeak and scratch in the night. I have had flying nature come at me from above (bats and birds) and below (mice, bugs of all kinds).

The mouse

Shortly before Christmas, the kids were chased out of their attic hang out for over 24 hours when assaulted with what can only be called eu de death. I’m guessing that at least one visitor from the outside died in a wall. There is no air freshener that addresses that.

If you try and cover it up you just end up with Apple Spice Dead Mouse. There is a reason that is not already a candle scent.

Meanwhile on the first floor, the cat continues to make quick work of any interloping mice who have someone not learned, via memo or legend, that the Old Seabolt Place is not welcoming.

Vermin enter, never to leave. You would think mice would learn. They don’t.

Crawly

Girlwonder, for her part, has abandoned her bathroom in favor of showering in ours ever since a particularly persistent spider began to visit her daily. Anyone who knows Girlwonder knows that she is afraid of almost nothing — but spiders.

At age four she calmly picked up a (dead) mouse by the tail and said ‘where do you want me to put it, mommy?’ She is the animal whisperer in the case of most things and has even been known to save a stink bug or two.

The fear

Let her see a spider and all bets are off. She’s liable to leave a girl-shaped cartoon hole in the wall as she flees the room. Now I’m not a fan of spiders per se but I know that for the most part, they do good things. They are just hanging around minding their little spider business and living their little spider lives but if spider sense is a real thing (outside of comic books?) why can’t they just lay low when the one person who cannot STAND them is in the house?

Is it asking too much for some spider DISCRETION?

The spider

Boywonder, meanwhile, just swapped bathrooms and reports that he showers WITH the spider. As I understand the spider hangs out near the ceiling, getting a steam bath perhaps? He’s a cool dude is what I believe I was told. My son, the spider wrangler.

I think that’s what happens when you grow up in the country in an old house that seems to attract this sort of things. Bugs, bats, bees, birds, mice, spiders and more. You just never know what’s going to show up. When it comes to boundaries and behavior, Mother Nature and her critters are more than a little shady.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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