This blog was done. Finished. Just a few skim-overs left and it would be ready to submit on Friday morning. My eyes were tired slits when I got up and walked away from the computer Thursday night without saving it.
I jiggled the mouse the next morning. Nothing. Apparently, Windows had taken the liberty of closing down my computer to install "important" updates. The blog was gone. I just got up and left the computer. This pretty much summed up the week I was trying to close out.
As for the blog, in the words of Donna Summer... I don't think that I can take it 'cause it took so long to bake it / And I'll never have that recipe again, oh, no.
But I will try.
I knew that I had overbooked myself last week. It was going to be a miracle of Moses proportions to get done what was on my plate. And as it usually does when I have a big day planned, my internal problem-solving alarm clock rang early. Two consecutive mornings at 3 a.m. exactly. I thought, this is NOT going to be good. (My reasoning skills among others tend to evaporate with lack of sleep.)
I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep while my brain mentally planned the course of the day. Then I glared at the clock. 4 a.m. Don was faring much better than me, obvious by his nasal baritone.
4:58, 4:59, 5:00 a.m.... I watched the minutes tick off on the bedside table and cut the alarm off seconds before it would have sounded.
Minutes later, I was at the kitchen sink trying to figure out the sequence of putting my percolator (which I have had for 10 years) together. I glanced up and out of the window and noticed a shadow pacing the pond. The quacking little Aflac ducks were swimming to the pacing silhouette on the bank across the pond as fast as they could.
As stated in the Miley Cyrus/Duck story last week, the domesticated aviary community beside my pond is castrated, docile, and oblivious to fear. To the ducks, dogs are friends who usually accompany their owners bringing buckets of cracked corn, bags of bread, and as we have witnessed... Mom's dinner out of the pockets of tween boys.
Only, on this morning, that "dog" was a coyote.
The ducks were within 20 feet of the bank when I realized that I had to intervene. I glanced down... pink Curious George pajamas. Oh hell, no time to change.
I flew out of the patio door in as much blind naiveté as the ducks. I waved my arms furiously while shouting to the coyote as I headed toward it. Great, now the ducks are coming to me. I glanced back at my house, realizing that there was as much distance between me and the coyote and me and the back door. And to boot, I was now standing between a hungry coyote and its breakfast.
The coyote was much bigger than he looked from my window, and damn healthy looking, too. He was not pacing anymore or backing down for that matter.
At that moment, I couldn't quite believe I was outside in my pajamas staring down a coyote.
Don was in bed. So was the neighborhood.
I tried to remember National Geographic channel's advice on encountering wildlife? The hair stood up on my arms. Do I continue the stare-down? Make myself appear larger? Lay down and wet myself? I forget.
The coyote lowered its head and gave me a good once-over, as if questioning whether he could take me. For once I was glad I'm still toting around the extra five Christmas pounds.
Then he gave me this steely-eyed stare and simply sauntered off into the wood line.
Daylight edged over the trees and a neighbor across the pond waved a thumbs up at me. I felt a little guilty because I really don't think I "wanted" to save the duck—maybe I just didn't want to see it die in front of me. I mean, this is really what happens behind the scenes in the brush, at dawn, at dusk and while we sleep anyway, isn't it?
Don and I talked about the intervention over coffee. We both agreed that nature would and has indeed taken care of itself without us for a long time. In the normal course of things, maybe one duck would die—but the next one would know the difference between a coyote and a dog and wouldn't go near the bank when one came up. True, but these poor ducks are nature-neutered. It may have been easier to close the blinds if I had not watched them rely on the hands of the community to carve out an existence.
I told a friend later about the morning's wildlife adventure.
"I don't remember coyotes, bears, and aardvarks in the coastal peninsula when we were growing up," I told her.
She doubled over. When she could talk, she told me, "We don't have aardvarks... we have armadillos."
"Alright... those too."