I marvel, at times, how my life is one big goofy convergence of conversations and events that shouldn’t amalgamate, but do.
I’ve been dealing with domestic and personal chaos. Such chaos is better described as a nightmare, but I’m not in a fetal position, I’m not drinking (much), and I’m still laughing.
On Facebook, I was bemoaning the electrical aspects of the nightmare I’m living. A friend made an offhand quip to the effect of “You don’t have a squirrel living in your walls do you?”
Well. As a matter of fact, I do have something living between the ceiling drywall and the roof. There’s only a few inches between the two (barn, you know, never intended to be a house). I hear the creature rustling around most mornings and most evenings. My coming and going seems to annoy it. During the day, I sometimes hear it galump across the roof, the galumping loud enough to be reminiscent of the thunder of baby elephants charging.
Live and let live. Besides. I have no idea how to evict the varmint short of tearing out the ceiling or tearing off the roof. Ain’t gonna happen.
Today, after a morning of working at home and dealing with non-electrical crises, I go tearing out the door late for a meeting. Rolling down the hill, I catch out of the corner of my eye – something. I turn to look. There’s this huge ball of something wrapped around the main power line where it conjoins with the house wiring.
I’m late. I grab the cell, ask Dad to check it out, and laugh, remembering the squirrel conversation. I make up my mind. All this chaos is the result of some big bird roosting in my roof. Won’t this make a good story, I thought.
No such luck. Dad removed the nest (and a dandy it is). Still lots of problems. Relocating the nest to my living room didn’t solve a thing aside from a decorating dilemma.
After the meeting, I rush back to the house to meet with the electrician. I’m late. He’s later. Good.
I admire the nest and try to figure out where to put it which leads me to remember a Facebook conversation I had just this morning with that same friend. The topic was: So, Connie, How Many Bowls, Trinket Boxes, Shelves, Etc. Do You Have Filled With Rocks, Shells, Dried Flowers, and Other Natural Stuff?
My answer was lots. I don’t buy t-shirts for souvenirs; I collect Ma Nature’s leavings. [Okay. Once in awhile, I get a t-shirt.]
I have stuff everywhere. I even have a piece of driftwood that sits on the dash of my car.
These things please me.
And they’re cheap.
And they seem to fit in the unlikeliest places.
I have birds’ nests in the living room, rocks in the bookcase, seashells in the inkwell, pinecones in Spanish glass, and feathers tucked into a frame. Wishbones and sliced geodes hang from the kitchen window. There are dried flowers and seedpods throughout. I have tree branches in the umbrella holder (which looks suspiciously like a milk can).
Most of my houseplants are souvenirs of sorts – grown from cuttings friends gave me or delivered for one event or another.
Probably the strangest thing – and stretching the natural definition – are the copper wires sticking out of a water pitcher in the kitchen. When they rewired Old Main at Marshall, the electricians left these end pieces of wire littering the basement floor. After walking past them several times one day, I began picking them up. They were bright, shiny copper and pretty. It seemed wrong to let them end up in the trash. At present, they need dusting, cleaning and polishing, but years later I still like them.
The bird’s nest found this morning which I hoped would end the nightmare is now a souvenir of sorts. An emotional one. I’m surviving this round of insanity without needing a strait jacket. It now lives on the mantle of the faux fireplace (a giant candle holder of sorts).
The electrician just called. It’s a Big Ugly Number to fix what ails the electricity. I’m looking at the bird’s nest and smiling. I’ll remember always this day – the day I was lucky enough that my problems were such that money could solve them. Nevermind that I have no money, but how awful it is to have problems that money can’t solve. Those are the tough ones.
I have no heat except for the kerosene heater I bought yesterday. I have no hot water on the first floor. But I do have a dandy new bird’s nest, a seemingly competent and highly recommended electrician who can fix the heat and water, and a big number with a $ symbol that will get solved one way or another.
It’s all good. Or will be.