In the famous words of Chicken Little; “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” However, in my strange world, it wasn’t the sky, nope, not at all, but it still surprised the hell out of me! Autumn has arrived in all its beautiful glory up here in the northeast and the leaves have begun their ritual “letting go” ceremony as they randomly fall from the tree’s and blanket the awaiting ground.
The sad, but necessary task of begrudgingly putting away anything “summer” is also in full (or should I say Fall) swing just as it is every year. last Sunday morning, I sat on my back porch welcoming the sun and sipping my coffee as I surveyed the yard making a mental list of things that needed to be taken down and put away for another year. The first object on my agenda was my grandchildren’s large rectangular, blow-up pool. It’s the perfect size for them and is even big enough for several adults to sit in and get cooled down from the summer heat.
I had drained the pool of all its water the previous day and all that remained inside it were leaves that had taken refuge after plummeting inside it overnight. The pool was situated directly underneath our big, red, maple tree for lack of anywhere better to put it. As I sat there sipping . . . gazing . . . relaxing, I was horrified when out of the blue something fairly large fell from the tree and landed inside the leave filled pool with a sickening thud!
As I stood up quickly, my brain registered what it was I saw fall from the sky and I thought to myself; ““you’ve got to be kidding me, did I really just see that? Did that seriously just happen?” As God is my witness, I’ve never seen a squirrel fall from a tree before! And with such great aim! I cautiously walked down the stairs and headed over to the pool fully expecting to find a flat, dead, tree rodent, spread eagle on the bottom.
When I was within two feet of the pool, the squirrel and I made eye contact, neither of us knowing what to say to each other. (Actually, I was trying not to laugh and looking around to see if I was on some hidden video reality show) The sight of my ugly mug must have stunned him back to life or reality because the next thing I know, he’s leaping out of the pool like a kangaroo on steroids and bolting up the tree he just fell from. I guess he has a slow learning curve . . . or a death wish!
I took a moment to reflect upon what had just transpired, a part of me still in disbelief over the whole damn scene that played out before me. Before any more squirrels could try and commit suicide in my pool, I quickly flipped the pool over, pulled out the plugs and listened as the last breath of summer air escaped from its summer retreat heading for that great rain cloud in the sky.
With a shake of my head and a chuckle from my belly, I made my way back up onto the porch, sat down with my coffee and thought about whether I should tell my wife about what had just happened or chalk it up to a possible once in a lifetime experience. Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly, I said to myself; ” I hope this hasn’t set the tone for the rest of the day. Maybe I should just go back to bed and try this waking up thing all over again!”