My morning got off to a rocky start when I switched on the kitchen light and saw a big brown spider skittering along the narrow ledge of the Formica countertop in front of the stainless steel sink. Well, that wasn’t good. I didn’t want to use a shoe on the countertop to smack him silly, so instead I spent a good 15 minutes hovering and hyperventilating nearby with five Kleenex tissues wadded up for “the attack”. It was a narrow area, and, if I missed and he landed on the floor, he’d be at large in the room where I would spend 95% of my day. Finally, I just gritted my teeth and went in for the kill. Gotcha! Then I ceremoniously wrapped that Kleenex and him in three Baggies knotting the end to ensure he wouldn’t further terrorize me. (we are nearing Halloween you know). Only then could I concentrate on making and eating breakfast.
Well, sunup is getting later every day, and today it was so cloudy that it took forever to be light enough to get outside for my walk. It was really too late to go down to Council Point Park, so I meandered over to Memorial Park instead to do several laps from Fort to Electric before heading home. It was beautiful this morning and I enjoyed strolling through the Memorial Park Pavilion that honors our City’s war dead. It is always peaceful there, but, suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I spied what I thought was a roly-poly Park squirrel ambling through the grass in front of the big church adjacent to the Park pavilion. My first thought was that whomever was feeding this furry friend, they were giving him way too many treats as it was really huge. Then it turned around and looked at me and I saw its big round face and realized it wasn’t a squirrel at all. (Also, no long furry tail was my second big clue.) This creature was big enough to go to work! It kind of gave me the creeps the way it stood up on its hind legs and stayed in that position, all the while staring me down, so I backed off and turned on my heel and resumed walking to the other side of Memorial Park. Later, when I got online, I Googled images of groundhogs, gophers and muskrats, the latter not impossible since people from these parts all know about Kola’s Kitchen, the Downriver eatery that was famous for their muskrat meals until they closed their doors a few years ago. No “muskrat love” going on there, that’s for sure, unless the diners were patting their bellies and smacking their lips after a tasty meal. I know it wasn’t a hedgehog but I thought this little guy was kind of cute so I snagged this stock photo to go along with this post since I didn’t take a picture of the mystery critter.
Next, I stopped to watch Samantha, or “Sam” as her owner calls her, playing in the schoolyard with her pet-parent. She is an adorable, small, mixed-breed dog and she has a basketball, almost as big as her, which she pushes around the schoolyard’s wet grass with her nose, yip-yapping in glee and simultaneously wagging her tail the entire time she is pushing it along. Sometimes she pushes that basketball too hard that it hits a curb and goes airborne, so she waits patiently, wagging her tail and “smiling” until it bounces back down and settles into place on the ground and away she goes again. I often see her and her owner playing in the schoolyard and he is laughing along at her antics, as do I. A few minutes of play on a sunny day … a simple little pleasure in a day so often riddled with horrible headlines and sad events. I often wish life was simple and sweet for us humans too.