Does A Bear Sit In The ‘Hood?

One of the reasons I enjoy going to my house in the country is the peacefulness I feel when I’m there.  Actually, it’s practically the only reason I go there.  Truth is, there’s not much to do so I usually spend a lot of time doing the Sunday crossword, listening to music and reading. Unfortunately, the people who already live there, my neighbors, have a different outlook. They have chores to do. So even though I have a fair amount of land and none of my neighbors is particularly nearby, my weekend reverie is occasionally interrupted by one of them mowing his lawn. Usually, Sunday mornings when I’m just settling in to seriously do nothing.

Ordinarily, I’m lying on a chaise on a screen-in porch in the back of my house when the mowing begins and my heart rate spikes to its city norm. Even though I know it’s completely unreasonable–after all, these people work during the week and the lawn needs to be mowed—-I find it almost unforgivable that my needs are not being considered. (For those of you who know me, I realize it’s entirely unnecessary to include that last phrase.) So I usually tough it out knowing that there’s only so much lawn that can be mowed and peace and quiet will be mine again.

Two weekends ago, when the mowing began, instead of stewing in my self-righteousness, I made an effort to be a bit more proactive. I decided to plant myself with the crossword puzzle on the front porch on the other side of the house away from the cacophony of noise. That porch is not nearly as gracious as the rear one, so this was a real test of my maturity. And for a little while, things went okay; not great but acceptable.

Ursa Major?

And then out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving.  I turned and saw a bear—a large one— walking (or whatever bears do) very near to the porch.  I don’t do that well with mice, so you can only imagine how freaked out I was when I saw Smokey wandering around. I then snuck back into the house and snapped a photo from my kitchen window as documentary evidence.

In some respects one might view this a an interesting addition to the naturalness and uncitiness of my Eden. It’s not. Since the bear sighting I’m in a heightened stage of vigilance which is really interfering with my doing nothing. My porch time (both front and back) has been considerably reduced. My hammock, set idyllicly under a black walnut tree, goes unused. (Lying in it, with the possibility of nodding off, I view as nothing less than a suicide attempt.)

So it looks like I’ll have to get off my ass and start doing stuff.  I hear that tennis can be a pretty fun game. I may have to give it a try.


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