Take a good look. That bear - yup, that one - is the identical twin of the furry gentleman I ran into up in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Okay, technically I didn't run into him. It was more like this: I was walking to the car with a bunch of garbage bags (we have to take them to the dump because there's no garbage pickup where we stay), and boom. I see a bear. In the middle of the day. He was a relatively little guy, and he was kind of ambling along like he didn't have a care in the world.
But I, of course, have always been extremely wary of bears and I knew that being in possession of a bunch of garbage bags full of bacon grease and hamburger leftovers wasn't the most brilliant position to be in. So I booked it back onto the porch (5 steps away) and did the practical thing:
"Dad! Dad, there's a BEAR!"
I waved my hands around for a second and went back. By that time, the bear was gone and all that was left were its big paw prints.
Moving on. I survived this mind-bending ambush from mother nature (okay, whatever, it wasn't an ambush but it sounds way more dramatic if I say it was), and lived to tell the tale of my nighttime experiences.
There's no indoor plumbing at our cabin, so every night if I wake up and have to run to the restroom, I follow this routine:
I walk across the loft, climb down the stairs, feel my way across the bottom level and try not to stub my toe on the stove, go outside, take a moment to shudder and look for bears or cicadas (trust me, long story), then creep into the bathroom where a giant carpenter ant patrols every single night and enjoys going ninja on me and taking a bite out of my toe (he's really a softie at heart, though).
The second experience I had with wildlife was at the local Snack Shop where my mother and I decided to have lunch. As she ran inside to get our order, I stayed at the table to save our seats. As soon as she left, a cute little boy came up and smiled at me.
How sweet, I thought. He's going to say hello.
He grabbed my mom's drink, put his mouth on the straw and started taking a swig.
I was so not into that. So I grabbed the drink back and said,
"No." Then, "No." Then, "No, no, no, no, no!"
(I'm not very articulate when someone surprises me)
The dad got up and laughed,
"Oh, sorry. *insert ignorant chuckle here* He'll drink anything in sight."
Seriously. Apparently bears and raccoons aren't the only species that have a streak of rudeness in them. At least the baby ducks around the lake will wait patiently for you to throw them some bread crumbs. In fact, at least the animals leave you in peace! Please. Somebody get the parents an Etiquette for Dummies handbook.
Book reviews and doodads are coming up this week! I managed to read about 8 books while on vacation, so I'll have plenty to talk about. It's great to be back, peeps!