Because I like to watch the birds outside my windows, I can’t help but notice the squirrels. The nervously move through the tree branches, on the fences, under the bird feeders, and frequently peer into our windows at us.
Maybe they aren’t really looking at us, they may be looking for the nuts we bring into the house from the grocery store. I’m sure they smelled that large jar of fancy mixed nuts we bought for Christmas.
In October, some of my neighbors decorate their porches with corn stalks pulled from the field after harvest. Squirrels dash off with the dried ears of corn still attached to these stalks. One time I saw a squirrel running with the corn in his (or her) mouth with a four-foot long string of leaves trailing from behind.
A black walnut tree down the street is a favorite of the local squirrels. I’ve found the walnuts on window ledges on all sides of the house, in the nook between the drainpipe and house, on the garage workbench, in the backyard flower pots, on the patio table, and on top of the fence. My husband once accused me of messing with him by placing a black walnut on the tool chest in the garage. I told him that was a squirrelly practical joke and not one of mine.
One time I saw a squirrel run across the front sidewalk with what I thought was one of those walnuts. A few seconds later, that squirrel jumped up on the front window ledge and tucked a chewed up apple in the corner.
Now this is something new. Sometime late this morning, a bagel appeared outside on the kitchen windowsill. I’m guessing squirrel. Someone must have thrown out some old bagels this morning for the birds. Squirrelly grabbed it and hauled it up to one of his favorite “hiding” spots.
Daily Prompt: Lofty
Know me like a book
Open the paper treasure
Daily Prompt: Perplexed
Blood flows electric.
Sever the cord? Nevermore —
— A life acoustic.
One word – Maybe
Will machines grow bored?
Latent clue maybe to prove
AI has arrived.
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
“I never write my own papers, I pay someone else to write them,” she said. I heard this as I was scratching out the rough draft of a 15-page essay for a college class. The era was late B.C., just before computers.
In those days I spent many Sundays in a library writing on a yellow legal pad. Only one library near me opened its doors on Sundays. Shortly before those doors opened at 1 p.m., a crowd gathered by the entrance. The place was packed and all tables were shared.
Once such Sunday, I happened to share a table with five high school students. One of the girls in the group began to stare at me. I sensed it before I looked up and caught her in the act.
She was unfazed. That’s when she made her comment about hiring out her writing assignments.
I guess I got slammed. I was expending senseless effort for no good reason. Perhaps she assumed I lacked the funds to hire out a writer. She could not imagine a reason to go through the agony of researching and writing on her own.
But I kept on moving the pen across the yellow sheets. Researching ideas, finding connections between ideas, and interjecting my own ideas into the mix was pleasurable. I love some of the sentences I have written even though no one else cares.
I wonder what happened to the young woman at the library. Did she discover that she couldn’t survive by her mouth alone? Did her job force her to begin communicating with the written word too? Maybe she married and/or divorced well and never needed job-seeking or job-keeping skills.
Or maybe she went on to become a best-selling author and I’m living in the blog dust. That would be something to write about.
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
As the emergency alert sirens blasted through the neighborhood on Saturdays at one in the afternoon, I looked through the window. When I was young, I waited for my father to come by and pick me up for his four hours of custody time on those Saturdays. Never 5 hours, 3 hours, and not even 4 hours and one minute. My mother made it clear that he had only four hours a week and only between the hours specified by the court system after the divorce.
So I waited by the small, rectangular window looking out the front door for his car. He would be there on the dot at 1 p.m. just as the testing of the emergency sirens started to sound. Or he would not. Then the phone would ring as my mother answered and he told her he was not coming that week. That happened quite a few times.
One time I was surprised to hear my mother and grandmother, who were usually hateful toward my father, express sympathy toward me when he failed to show up. I was left looking out the window for nothing and they felt kind of sorry for me missing out on the time with my father. Sympathy and nurturing were never their strong suit, so I still remember their kind words.
My father found a girlfriend and liked to spend time with her rather than me. I guess I understood. Later when I had a child of my own, he said that taking care of a child was a lot of work. I can’t imagine how he would know. He spent such a small part of his life with me. When I got to be an older teenager, he didn’t come around for over five years.
I try to forget the past, but too often memories flood through my head. Even today, the sirens still sound their alarm on Saturdays warning us of potential disasters.
Life After Blogs
Your life without a computer: what does it look like?
Forgive me Father for I have sinned, it has been 10 weeks since my last blog post.
I really don’t feel too guilty. My blog is my greatest social media foray; limited and only somewhat consistent, but still a baptism into the computer culture. For awhile I’ve been thinking about keeping my words to myself. If not completely, (hence this post!) at least curtail my public spewing. So life without or a reduced computer usage is already my goal.
If I give in to abstinence, I would miss the machine. I can’t just run to it and ask who is dead or alive. Tell me more about a city or country I’m reading or thinking about. Tell me more about an author. Tell me if the library has a certain book. Just like entering a room to turn on a light switch when the power is out, and encountering darkness, I would feel startled at the deprivation.
My friend, my adversary. I would feel abandoned without his useful and senseless information. Even without an electrical outlet in the house, I guess I can’t keep my secretive and introverted self contained within my small room. There are no secrets and too many bread crumbs. There, you have more of me.