Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Sometimes I must leave home in the dark, before the sun thinks about coming out for the day. I may have been grumbling to myself about the early hour as I turned out of my subdivision street.

Something moving caught my attention, just beyond the light provided by the headlights of my car. I slowed down. Is that a dog? If it was a dog, it would be a really big dog, perhaps a Great Dane. But I don’t think we have a Great Dane around us. Maybe it’s a wolf. Do wolves live here? I don’t know. We do have foxes, but this animal was too big for a fox. As these thoughts fire through my mind, my car gets closer.

Oh my, it’s not just one! There are three! Three young deer crossed the road in front of me. I stop the car to watch. They stop to watch the car. We make eye contact. Two run ahead, but one paused to stare me down. I think the look I got was, “What are you doing out here? This is our place!” As soon as the deer sent that eye-message, it scampered off into the dark to join its friends.

Slowly I accelerated while thinking about the encounter. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper was playing on the radio. How appropriate, I thought. Those deer just want to have fun before the world wakes up.


Drop in Surprise

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Sitting in the passenger seat, I am idly watching the landscape slide by as my husband and I are on our way to a nursery.

Suddenly, something drops right before my eyes. It is so close that my eyes can’t focus. I pull my head back trying to see more clearly. My hand raises up to swat what I think is a gnat-like creature, but wait! There are multiple legs gyrating. That’s no gnat-like creature! That’s a spider! I let out a small yelp as I realize what this is.

Quickly my hand reaches higher for the invisible line holding this creature. Thump! Thump! beats my heart. The spider is transferred to the floor of the car, but I lose sight of it on the black floor mats.

My purse is snatched up and settled onto my lap as my eyes scan the floor for any sign of movement. Small tinglings plague me. Is that the spider walking on my leg? Finally, I spot it. Unfortunately it is in the groove of the mat. With sharp eyes, I follow its every movement until it crawls up to the flat top of the mat. My foot moves in to eliminate the crawling threat. My purse remains in my lap (just in case).

Slowly my heart returns to its regular beat. I sit idly watching the passing landscape until we reach our destination.

Stanley, the Roadrunner

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Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

An umbrella propped in the corner of a covered patio has become an evening-through-the-night roosting place for a roadrunner at my brother-in-law’s house, outside of Phoenix.

Every afternoon between 3:30 and 4:00, a roadrunner wanders in from his (we think it is a male) day of hunting for food. He ambles about the patio, freezing into position if he senses movement behind the glass doors. When he feels safe, he continues his patrol of the patio. My brother-in-law reports that occasionally, he will tap on the glass doors. Sadly, he was not in a tapping mood during my visit during the holidays.

After taking stock of his surroundings, he may fly up to the back of a chair to study his final destination, the top of the propped umbrella. Or he may decide to fly right to the top of the umbrella.

Stanley is all puffed up trying to dry off. Believe it or not, it rained the days were were in Arizona.

Stanley is all puffed up trying to dry off. Believe it or not, it rained the days were were in Arizona.

Once perched, he faces out so he can keep an eye on his surroundings. His tail is straight up and flush with the wall. That is his pose until he leaves in the morning. Departure is usually around 8:00-8:30.

Since this bird has been roosting on my brother-in-law’s patio for several months, he was given a name, Stanley. Stanley does not take flight when you go out to view this curiosity. He views the intruder with an unblinking steely stare.

Stanley, settled in for the night. He has become the finial of the umbrella.

Stanley, settled in for the night. He has become the finial of the umbrella.

This is the tidiest bird ever. He has never left one dropping on the umbrella or patio. Now, I find that amazing! I’ve never known a bird not to leave a little disgusting reminder of their presence.

Every morning, the patio corner is checked to see if Stanley stayed the night. Each evening his arrival is anticipated and noted. It will be a sad day when Stanley decides to relocate.


Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

“What’s under your vanity?” my husband inquires.

I am totally clueless. There’s nothing under my vanity but the bathroom rug. I get up to investigate. The room has been stripped of the rugs, only beige tile can be seen, except for the dark spot under the vanity, close to the shower door. I kneel down to get a closer look.


How in the world did that creature get in here? My husband goes to get a cup to scoop it, I go to get my phone for a photo.

Once I have a photo, I use a paper plate to nudge it into the cup. It doesn’t move. It is stuck to the floor. Ewww! I cannot dislodge this critter from my floor with the paper and plastic tools I had planned to use to capture it. A razor blade is needed to pry the dried out body from the tile floor.

Now we are left with a mystery. How did it get in? When did it get in? This bathroom floor is cleaned every week. The rugs are never left outside or set on the ground. To say we are bumfuzzled is an understatement.

Leaping Fences

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Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

In the fading light, my husband spots movement on the road ahead. At the entrance to our subdivision, he slows the car to allow a deer to leap over the fence, then dash across the road into the brush. As the car begins to creep forward, more movement makes him pull the car over to the edge of the road and completely stop, mesmerized by what we see.

Excitedly we see an additional four young deer. Our eyes travel up the field to discover more. How many are there? As we count, more come galloping down to the fence. One, two, three, six, seven, still more! Some leap effortlessly, however, some freeze in their tracks. They stare at the fence, hoping a gate will magically swing open. They mill about, confused. What should they do?

One decides if you can’t go over it, you go through it. It stumbled between the slats, then took off running. The others have been still too long. One brave soul took a running start and sailed over the fence. This gave the rest courage to try. One by one they flew over the fence and disappeared into the brush. At least a dozen passed us at dusk one evening.

Just imagine a dozen deer leaping over this fence.

Just imagine a dozen deer leaping over this fence. The top three photos shows the path the deer took, running down the field, over the road, into the brush.

Pedaled On

Without fanfare, the cool air crept in during the night, pushing humidity out the back door. Daylight brought crisp air and bicycles to the riding trail.

I find my mind goes to a zen place as I settle into the rhythm of the pedals going round and round. On this day, the phrase “living a dream” echoed through my mind as I ticked the boxes of my life that makes this true.

  • I was pedaling on a trail, while many were back in school.
  • I can take vacations in off seasons.
  • I have wonderful friends.
  • I have a very comfortable home that I love.
  • My husband . . . enough said ­čÖé

The list could continue, but you get the drift.

A voice took me out of my reverie, “On your left!” as a man sped by me. I noticed he was wearing a onesie type of riding clothes. “Hmmm, that’s different,” I thought.┬áThen I checked my mirror to see if my husband was coming up behind me. After noting these bits of information, I then focused back on the trail where I was jolted out of my musings. A shriek escaped my lips as my eyes took in the sight. A huge black snake stretched across the trail, soaking in the sunshine.

My heart leaped into my throat as I narrowly missed running over this snake. I wondered if my shriek was heard by the man who just passed me or my husband behind me. Slowly my heartbeat and breathing returned to normal. Then the regrets set in. I should have turned around to snap a picture of this snake, but I didn’t. I pedaled on.

My shriek had not been heard by my husband, but he was shocked that I had not stopped for a picture. I wish I had stopped, but for some reason my feet just kept on pedaling. The snake was gone by the time I returned to the spot on the trail. Maybe next time I will be more observant before I nearly run over the poor critter.

Along the Road

My mind thought back to the events of the day. A day of presenting balanced literacy to an elementary staff, K-2 in the morning and 3-5 in the afternoon. Analyzing each group’s reception of the information presented and pondering where to take them next when I return. I have eighty miles of time to think this through.

Suddenly, there is movement ahead. My senses heightened and my speed decreases as I zoom closer to the movement. It is a young fawn who has stepped out of the thick brush that lines the road.

Each step taken with deliberate care. No quick movements for this young fawn. A multitude of spots spilling down its back.┬áThe head upright, watching. Eyes wary. It steps closer to the highway. It pauses. Is that confusion or wonder in the fawn’s eyes, as my car speeds past.

My mind no longer thinking of my day. Now my thoughts are questions. Where is your mother? Will you continue on your way across the road or did the sounds of the cars frighten you back to the woods? I watch my rear view mirror as another car follows me. That car has not stopped, so I hope the fawn stood its ground or dashed away.

My thoughts linger on that fawn for many miles, hoping it returned to the woods where it might be safer. Eventually, my thoughts returned to my day, hoping the teachers won’t always stay in their safe zone, but try some new ideas.