Saturday Workday Detour

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?”.

We eat a lot of eggs around here – breakfast is a good time to get creative to keeping egg dishes interesting!
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.

These ten baby opossums are in great shape, thanks to their mother. Apparently the mother opossum was looking for food and ventured to a back yard where a dog killed her. Wildcare of Oklahoma will be raising these little ones until they can manage on their own.
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…


26 thoughts on “Saturday Workday Detour

  1. Oh, yes! How I relate to this state of mind! It happens all the time and takes some effort to get out of. A chat with a close friend, doing something out of the box and simply doing “something else” is the best way to get out of that shell (the best medicine, as you said). Glad that you are back on track (I always do after a bit of a struggle) and hope you stay that way.
    Great to see the baby opossums, particularly the video. Your posts are always so alive. They make one feel part of the action!

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    1. Thanks for such a wonderful comment, my friend. It makes my day to know these adventures and struggles in life speak to others in some way. Those opossums sure were sweet… I am glad Wildcare exists. I cannot imagine trying to rehabilitate ten orphans, when I find two or three exasperating at times!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Paulette. I guess you certainly would know how “it’s always something!” Those little opossums were sweet and I love their “scary” noise, as the Wildcare staff calls it.

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  2. I thought I commented and saved it but don’t see it. I wrote it’s always something! But what I was thinking is life takes us on the journeys we need, always changing. I try to remember that when my mood gets low as well. And then something SOMETHING happens and like you I laugh a little and before you know it things, including my mood have changed. Sending ❤ and hope it's a good week for you.

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  3. Isn’t it amazing how a friend can really lift our spirits? Your blog posts are always a lift for me, even when I don’t particularly think I need it 🙂 My husband often asks me what my ‘plan’ for the day is and I usually have one, but it’s nice when the detours yield good results and gratitude. We have visitors at the moment from Wyoming and we all went to the Kangaroo Sanctuary last week where a lovely man is ‘Mum’ to orphaned baby kangaroos, found exactly like the opossums were found. It was a very special experience. Sending hugs xx

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    1. I have always been fascinated with kangaroos. Visiting such a sanctuary like that would be a treat for me. Any time I go to Wildcare I like to peep through the windows to see what’s going on. Many times they are feeding orphans – lots of squirrels and opossums. I would certainly be a volunteer there if I lived closer.
      Our summer reservations are beginning to fill up here. These past few years my family has visited from Nebraska, and we have a few others from FD’s family in Texas that visit often. It’s lots of fun and we enjoy it. I have to be flexible with plans when we entertain. Many of my usual tasks (like working in the pecan orchard or mowing) have to go on the back burner for a while. Enjoy your company, Ardys. Have a wonderful time!

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  4. 🙂 Seems you and I, miles apart, are walking similar path – 🙂 Ya know? a gift of towels and dishrags may scream “cheap/don’t care” to some folks, but to those struggling to keep things clean in low circumstances, they are a wonderful blessing – I know – cuz I’ve been both the recipient AND the giftor – and seriously, for me? Anyone who took the time to make the second call to you AND save something – well – – isn’t it nice when humanity, in conditions one is not familiar with, is the one that brightens our day, sets back on the path our heart desires AND, reminds us, all over again, of the good we humans posses AND rise to the occasion with! 🙂 After reading your comment on my blog, and working through my reader, I proclaim both me and thee got the boots-on-the-ground Easter Miracle we both desperately needed to renew our spirits! Happy Easter, in more ways than one!! 🙂

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    1. Aw, thank you, TamrahJo, for such a kind and enlightening comment. It feels good to be in the company of good people who understand. I hope your Easter was a blessed one. 🙂

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  5. There’s been an unsettling energy around the last couple of weeks. Hindsight, and your words remind me how important it is to be, just listen and go with the flow sometimes rsther than attempting to direct it. On a lighter note, I could relate to oh no more eggs. At one stage I had to give them up altogether for a month or so, it was apparent my digestive system had had enough. But these days there’s always a dozen or more in the fridge.
    Sometimes, we need to spend some time in someone else’s life. The stranger’s to give us perpective and friend’s to give up strength. I’m so glad your day took you to both, for you and for the opossums.

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    1. “Unsettling energy” is a good way to describe the past week for me. I do not try to figure it out for too long – the dreams and inability to sleep. There has been so much negativity in the news and media again and I wonder if it is that which disturbs me at night. I have to stay clear of that or it can really get me down.
      I couldn’t begin to describe my emotions as I pulled away from that house yesterday. Humble was all I could think of. And seeing Regina really did give me a lift… just like it had years ago when she lived across the street. Everything came together yesterday, as the Universe intended. 🙂

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  6. There must be something in the air- it’s just been so unsettled lately. Most of the time I am sharing my upbeat belief-in-myself -mantra that keeps me from reacting to the twists and turns of the people and situations that come my way….then BAM I am caught again in someone else’s bad attitude spilling all over me, and bringing me way down. I explain it to myself and adjust my sails again and again. I hope I have more control over this at some point in my life.
    Thanks for this one! Judith

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    1. Oh, Judith, you describe the cyclical pattern well. I don’t believe we ever really control it.. it’s probably not meant to be so. But the thing is, we DO “adjust our sails” and we go on a little further before “BAM” comes along again. That is life. But I do love when I have realization about how the right people and situations come along when we need them the most. I hope someday I can be the person to help others (like Regina has been to me) and be a good listener and offer encouragement.

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  7. What a day and what a nice story Gee, Lori the baby possums are so cute and really beautiful. My husband nick named our son Possum and the name has stuck to this day. Many people know him as Possum. We raised a Possum when my son was about 12 years old. We released the possum back to the wild in our yard because at the time there was very little development around us. It was semi wooded and heavily wooded around us. To this day possums visit and or live on my property. I see them at night eating the bird seed near the birdbath. My guard light shines brightly outside my window so it’s easy to see them.

    But on with my comment. It’s so good to have a wonderful friend such as your former neighbor and you are fortunate to have met her and to have kept in touch.

    I can relate to your awful dreams. While I was so ill these past several weeks, I was dreaming of deceased kin who have been dead for years. It is unsettling for sure.

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    1. Your comments are always interesting, Yvonne. It’s wonderful to meet other opossum lovers. They get a bad rap when really, they are interesting and beneficial critters. I am glad those people called – it’s the first step in saving orphans and injured wildlife. Such a simple thing to do, but I’m always surprised at how many never make the effort to get help.
      I have had some good dreams too. I usually know where they come from, but the recent ones have been puzzling. I suppose maybe I’m still dealing with my sense of “justice” but I know ultimately it isn’t so much that it is “served” but rather how I deal with the injustices of life. I ask myself many times, why it seems to matter so much. Maybe it shouldn’t.

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  8. Life is like the TARDIS. It doesn’t always take you where you intended to go, but it always takes you where you need to be!

    What sweet little opossum babies, and I would have wanted to do up that family’s home for them too. I’ve been that poor (and worse) and so I always want to help others where I can. This is one of the many reasons I’m so fond of you xx

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    1. I know you can relate to having to do without and learning to be creative in order to get what you need. You are one of the most resilient people I know… and you sure know how to get up and dust yourself off and get back in the saddle!
      Opossums are sweet, and I love that little sneezing noise they make. I guess when they grow up it’s a growl and hiss and much scarier, but it sure is cute when they’re little. I had no idea opossum mothers were equipped to handle so many youngsters! Can you imagine raising so many!?? Gads!

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  9. I’m glad that I read this just now. It reminded me of the importance of friendships (I lost one last year, ruined one before that, and mislaid far too many over the years) but also of the unexplainable imbalance of gift distributions. Your concern about the hole in the porch floor and your recognition of the importance of that towel lifted me out of a self-centered daydream, comfortable yes but insubstantial, not satisfying. You are generous to share your stories. I am so grateful for the little screen and its connections that enable me to participate in a larger, very human world.

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    1. Albert, you always write such lovely comments. I am thankful too for this little screen. But I am even more thankful for the situations and events that arise each day, that I can learn from or maybe like on Saturday, where I am jolted from my comfortable life and realize that it is not so for all people. That the most simple thing – a kitchen towel – could bring me to tears, really spoke to me of the depth of life and important realizations about myself.

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  10. Not a detour, but the right path opened for you.
    Thank you for collecting and helping the orphan possums – they are such passive dear creatures who live in their own little world and at time blunder into ours. Loved the video.
    It’s difficult to let go sometimes and see. While that family may be poor in material things, seems they are rich in knowledge of what’s important. People like that won;’t ask for a helping hand or a break, but it would be so wonderful if those who fret about the poor lives of those far far aways, would look around closer to home – and see it’s worthy to help your neighbors, city, county, state…People focus on such strange impossible ideas, and neglect the simple one sometimes.
    You touch with goodness and kindness all those whose path you cross – despite your questioning. Must question and wonder – that’s what life is for. And the definition of angels? Many seem to be around when we need them.
    Thanks again for another rich and touching post

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    1. What a thoughtful comment! I do tend to over think things, but most of the time the answer or message is simple and right in front of me. That day was such a blessing in many ways. We all get what we need – especially the experiences – despite those “plans” we have for the day. I am better at accepting what the day presents. It’s a wonderful thing to look back on the day and see the gift of interruption and detours. 🙂

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