So, admit it – did you go a little nuts at the mall today?
There was a novelty song called “I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas” by Yogi Yorgesson that was popular before I was born. (And no, “yust” is not a typo.) If you’ve never heard it before, Google it for a snicker, especially on Black Friday. My parents had that record, and played it, along with Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” album every year. I also had my own collection of 45s of kid’s Christmas songs that got equal playtime on the old stereo during the holiday season back when I was growing up.
For some people, going nuts at Christmas is the norm – it IS an extremely hectic pace from now until the old year exits and the new year is rung in.
While everyone headed to the mall to begin (and maybe complete) their holiday shopping at those great Black Friday sales, I opted for a quiet morning, heading to my favorite nature nook. A few more of the regular walkers were at the Park this morning, probably deciding they over-indulged on Turkey Day, and thus feeling the need to repent and get back on track by walking the loops at the Park.
I took the car for a spin today rather than wend my way to the Park on foot. When I walk, however, my regular route is all the way down Pagel Avenue, navigating its twists and turns, especially as that street nears River Drive. There are many trees on Pagel Avenue, ergo there are many squirrels as well. After my walk, I retrace the same route to walk home.
About a month ago, while walking home from the Park, a fox squirrel came bounding over to see me. I wondered if he had migrated from nearby Council Point Park, since he wasn’t intimidated by me in the least and made a beeline to climb onto my shoe.
Lucky for him, I had some peanuts left in my Ziploc bag from feeding the Park squirrels, so I laid them out for him near my feet. He immediately glommed onto them, savoring one right away, then snatching a pair between his two front teeth and running over near “his tree” to hide them. His paws dug furiously into the still-moist ground, so he squirrelled away those peanuts, and was assured of some treats on a day when peanut pickin’s were slim.
Since that fateful day enroute to the Park, just as soon as I make that last turn on Pagel Avenue, and I am in his sights, he runs over and begs for peanuts. Then, the little bugger nabs me again on my trip home. Yes, I could go down another street, but I’m partial to Pagel Avenue. Besides, I’m such a sucker and I dole out those peanuts willingly. I must admit, if he doesn’t approach me first, I wiggle the bag and stop and look for him. Perhaps I am just a little nutty, huh? Sometimes you forget those squirrels are not pets – those bright eyes staring right through you, the quick swish of the tail, and the trusting disposition – just like your pet dog; he knows I’m not going to harm him.
Trust – it’s all about trust, I guess. We need more trust in this world, that’s for sure.
So, whether my furry little pal senses a friendly face, or he originated from the Park, he has a good memory, just like the squirrels in the Park who come racing over to my side while I am walking.
But, on this cold morning, I felt badly that I would not see this little squirrel and feed him, and he was probably waiting on me, counting on those few peanuts, so, instead of finishing up at the Park and walking to the car to drive home, I decided to walk a little more, past the parking lot, and over to Pagel Avenue to look for him. I walked along, shaking the Ziploc bag so he knew I was out and about, since I didn’t see him on the ground. But, alas – no squirrel. I took a second look, then headed for the car in the parking lot, a good block and a half away.
As I was unlocking the car door, in my peripheral vision, I saw a squirrel racing to cross River Drive and heading toward me – he stopped right at my feet, and I sweet talked with him a little bit, while my cold hands and heavy gloves fumbled to retrieve and open the bag of peanuts that I had already tucked back into my pocket. I gave him the contents of the bag – a mother lode of about eight peanuts and said, as if talking to a child, “honey, were you careful crossing the busy street when you followed me back here?
He looked at me and climbed onto my shoe and I guess I melted just a little … cold hands, warm heart.
This week I heard a story on the radio about the benefits of eating nuts – there were many types of nuts mentioned for their health benefits, but the peanuts piqued my interest. Peanuts aid in memory improvement because they stimulate brain frequencies. Well … I like peanut butter, but I could use a little help in the memory department so that when I go downstairs for something, I don’t have to come back upstairs to remember what it is I went downstairs for.
Does that happen to you too?
So, going forward, I’ll take my cue from my peanut pals – they gobble up the peanuts and have an awesome memory. So perhaps, I will pop a few peanuts myself and see where it takes me … a new-and-improved memory, powered by peanuts!