One enduring thing about me, is that I always have a plan for the day – even when down with a physical injury, I still create some kind of a list of doable projects. Around here, the weather often dictates the plan for the day and, thanks to fairly accurate weather forecasts, I have an idea a day or two in advance of how I will spend my days. But yesterday morning, the lingering black cloud of a disturbing dream hung over me, and I could not seem to get motivated. I had planned an indoor day of house cleaning, doing several loads of laundry, ironing FD’s work clothes, and doing a little cooking and baking for the coming week. Instead, I was irritated and lethargic. Contributing to my poor state of mind, I’m sure, was that I had not been able to sleep well for many nights, and for no reason at all. And, the more I tried to pinpoint the reason behind this state of being “wired up” and having ill dreams, the less I felt like doing anything productive.
Many of my sleepless nights were the result of rather disturbing dreams where I had no control over events that took the lives of people I love. Symbolically, I had felt this way many times in my life. Most of the time it was my strong sense of justice that ensnared me in situations where I felt upset and angry when justice was not served in some setting. In these dreams, there was never anything I could do to control the outcome or hope of justice being served. I knew my current dreams were due to residual feelings and emotion from deep hurts of the past, and probably my projection of the same for future situations. Ultimately, I know I can do nothing about the past, and I know that injustices and hurt will likely occur again. All I can do is try harder to move on, and allow God/Universe to handle the rhythm of life.
This morning, thankfully, I was thinking about waffles instead of my disturbing dreams. Having laying chickens on the place, we have a lot of egg breakfasts, but I was tired of eggs. There are only so many ways I can cook eggs until I have had enough, and then I just cannot eat another one! But before I could get my waffle iron out, FD reminded me that his friend, Billy would be arriving in less than thirty minutes to go morel mushroom hunting. This would be the last time to look for those tasty delights, as the mushroom season was nearing its end. Their last two attempts to find mushrooms had wrought slim pickings, and it appeared to be a disappointing year for morels. Unfortunately, that happens sometimes, as conditions of warm temperatures and moisture have to coincide precisely to have a bumper crop of morels. This year, the temperatures had been warm early on, but there had been little moisture. Then, when the moisture came, cool fronts came with them, and it was now almost too late in the season for the mushrooms to pop up. Billy and FD enjoyed hiking around as much as anything, and yesterday was to be a pretty day to be outdoors, so regardless whether they found the treasured mushrooms or not, they would still have a good morning out. But I would have to forego my plan for waffles, throw a quick vegetable and egg scramble together, and heat some almond flour tortillas in a skillet for breakfast tortillas. I could feel the disappointment my stomach relayed to my brain… “GAH, eggs AGAIN?”.
After cleaning up breakfast, I got a load of laundry started and starched clothing to prepare to iron. I had just managed to get the vacuum out and plugged into the wall socket when my phone rang. It was an Oklahoma City number. Normally, I do not answer these calls because they are likely solicitors. But something nagged at me to answer. Prepared for the worst (I often second guess these “gut” feelings of mine), I was relieved to find the caller needed help with some orphaned opossums. The lady indicated her backyard dog had killed an opossum in the night and, when she went to remove the body in the morning, she found a wriggling tummy with eleven babies inside. One was dead, but ten were living. She had called Wildcare of Oklahoma but, since she had no vehicle to transport them with, they referred her to me, knowing I had often provided transports in the area when folks did not have either transportation or money for fuel. The Wildcare facility is more than an hour from here, and located well into the backwoods of Oklahoma. Almost every time I drive there, I must plug the address into the cell phone GPS so I do not miss the turn to the lane that leads me back into the check-in building.
By this time, I had fully accepted that my morning plans were defunct. FD had just returned from a fruitless mushroom hunt, and offered to go with me, but I knew he had his own list of projects. This time, I would make the trip myself. FD did help me prepare for my rescue mission by finding a little box and a couple of old towels. I had learned long ago it was best to go prepared to do wildlife pickup and transport. As I drove to the location, I was already going through some mental notes of how I would rearrange my day, once I returned home – which would be three hours later of course.
When I arrived at the pick up address, I found the house was ramshackle and smack dab in an older, less affluent section of town. Two broken down vehicles were parked on the rutted-out area of street in front of the small home. There were no curbs in this area of town and the street was full of potholes. I saw a small Chihuahua dog tied near the front door. It barked incessantly – not because I was an intruder, but because it was excited. Surely this was not the beast that killed the opossum mother? For the first time that morning, I laughed a little.
As I walked up the steps I noted a hole in the front porch floor, where I was greeted by friendly folks who invited me inside. I did not sense anything to fear, but I opted to stay on the front porch, as it is never wise to enter any unfamiliar house these days. While they went back inside, I looked around me. I had never lived in a neighborhood like this, and it made me sad.
Soon, the lady and her daughter and a son-in-law all came out, and gathered around the small box with oil stains on the side and a ripped top. Inside, covered by a ratty, gray rag, were ten baby opossums. Some had eyes open and some not. They all had hair. They were a long time from being weaned for sure, so it was good they would be going to Wildcare. The lady said I could take the whole box with me for the trip, but I said it would be best to put them in my box as I had a lid and two towels to keep them warm. Hearing this, the lady seemed relieved, saying she would have given up her kitchen towel, but was sure glad now that she didn’t have to do so.
I can tell you that I was mighty humbled on the hour drive to Wildcare. In my life, I have never been poor – never rich either, but certainly not poor. That kitchen towel that wrapped the opossum babies in warmth, would not have even made it to my rag bag. This experience made me want to stop and buy that lady brand new towels and wash clothes. I wanted to buy lumber to patch her front porch hole. I thought about getting an appropriate dog house for her little dog in the front yard. That little dog had a sweetness about it… and it’s masters seemed loving and kind as well. Why was life so easy for some, while others had it so tough? Thinking about this brought up that nagging feeling again… injustice.
Opossum Babies rescued from their mother’s pouch after the mother was killed by a dog. The babies make this tiny “sneezing” noise when they are frightened.
After I checked the ten little orphans into the Wildcare facility, I sat in my car for a bit. I had a good friend who lived just about ten miles from here, and my day at home was already shot, so I decided to forget about my plans and go to visit my friend. Regina and I had been neighbors in town for many years. Then FD and I moved onto the Ten-acre Ranch, and Regina moved closer to the Norman/OKC area to be nearer her daughter. Regina has always been an important part of my life here in Oklahoma. A farm woman herself, who worked at the lumber yard here in town for many years, she had often encouraged me when I was down, reflecting on her own life experiences. And I always felt better having talked with her. Regina was a source of strength for me when I felt overwhelmed or even desperate. Her “farm woman” strength revealed her compassion, yet with an underlying toughness that left me feeling I needed to get back on my feet, dust myself off, and get back to the plow! She also taught me a lot about plants, which helped me to develop my “green thumb”. She was resilient and clever about fixing, repairing, or creating something by using common sense and wit. And she always gifted me with practical items on holidays and special celebrations – gifts I have long treasured each time I’ve used them.
My visit with Regina turned out to be just the medicine I needed yesterday, to get me back on track. It absolutely turned out to be the best decision to chuck my “to do” list and forget about my plans for the day. For two hours, I enjoyed immersing myself in laughter and conversation with my friend. Had it not been for the “opossum” interruption, I would not have made it to Regina’s house. And on the way home, there was yet another detour that kept me from getting home in a timely manner. A simple road construction detour took me miles out of the way. But I did not let it bother me one bit. This detour was a road I cannot say I had ever been on before and, if I had, I did not remember it. It was a beautiful drive through horse country, dotted with pretty lakes and lots of rolling, green hills, thanks to recent rains. Overcast skies kept the sun from blinding me as I headed westward towards home. When I finally arrived home, I found FD busy with the vacuum cleaner that I had left strung across the kitchen floor. And he did not complain one bit when I heated up some leftovers for dinner. Despite the detour our day took, we moved on and we made the best of it.
It seems there have been a lot of “detours” in my life lately, but I have also seen a lot of my vulture totems flying high above… reminding me to “glide and soar”. And I am trying my best to learn to go with the flow, and see what Universe/God has in the works for me…
© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…