You’ve heard the expression, “make plans and God laughs,” ? That was my morning.
Our temperatures are high this week, just as in the rest of the nation. We also have forest fires throughout the state creating bad air. I thought it was cloudy when I got up this morning with plans to wash my hair and make ready to leave early so as to avoid the high temperatures. No, it was the smoke-filled air that made the sun hazy.
It’s a watering day for our odd-number address so I also needed to be up early to run all of the sprinklers before heading out. Terry had an early morning doctor’s appointment for his yearly physical. He was going one way, I would be going the opposite. When I picked up the hose in the backyard for my chore, I got a stinging in my finger and noticed a large black inset or some such creature fall from the hose. I screamed with the pain and ran in the house to tell Terry and to get some help. Terry went back outside to check on the creature, to see what had stung me. I thought it might be a black widow spider as we have seen a few around here. He found a dying bumblebee.
The sting is at the base of my left ring finger. Hurt like the dickens. I mixed up a paste with meat tenderizer and applied it to the sting. Took a Zyrtec, too, as that was the the recommendation from the Internet. The pain subsided but I decided it would be wise to stay home and not run my errands. Let the hand heal and make sure I didn’t get sick.
Then I noticed an opossum on the fence. Odd that it would still be out after sun-up. The cats were all gathered around on the patio, watching her, or so I thought until I went outside and found that two baby opossums were on the ground, below the Italian cypresses that are up against the fence. These cypress are over 40 years old, huge, massive plants, that reach to the sky and block out afternoon sun. The detris that they drop is about two feet thick and keeps the weeds away. The babies were crawling in the detris and mama opossum was watching, clicking her tongue. The cats were also watching those tiny, mouse-like creatures.
I gathered the cats into the house and called the neighbor on the other side of the fence. She’s a big softie like me so we tried to figure out how to rescue the babies. She called wild life refuge rescue while I watched the babies from the safety of the family room. One of the babies made its way to the sliding glass door and actually wanted to come in. It was unafraid of me or the cats. That’s when I realized the cypress was its home and it was accustomed to my voice and the presence of the cats.
The wild life refuge said the babies were old enough to fend for themselves and suggested we put them in a box and take them to a nearby river where they could probably survive. I got gloves and my neighbor talked me through the process of picking up the baby and getting it back up into the cypress where it could climb to join its mother and sibling who appeared to already have retreated there. As I said, this little opossum was not at all afraid of me.
And then it was noon. The morning was over. My errands went undone. My hand had quit hurting. The opossums were back where they belonged. God laughed.