The locksmith eyed this birdfeeder and mentioned it might attract more bears than birds...oops.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Possum O-Possum, You are a Nasty Creature

The opossum is one disgusting creature. I'm sorry. It's just true. Not many of God's creatures can't elicit oohs and ahs, when seen out in the wild. But the opossum, it's just nasty.

I was washing dishes one morning, and looked out the kitchen window. There was Annie Fannie, my black-tri Australian shepherd, taking her morning stroll around the back yard, not a care in the world, with a big ol' dead opossum in her mouth.

I leaned in for a closer look, hoping against hope it was her stuffed raccoon, inadvertently left outside, but alas, it was a big fat, long-tailed dead opossum. 

And she seemed so proud.

I opened the window and yelled "LEAVE!!!!!" (her 'drop it' command).
She stopped, looked towards the kitchen,  opened her mouth, dropped her prize, and kind of did this lip-smacking thing. 

I called my neighbor and he came right away with some leather gloves and a garbage bag. I am so ever grateful for friends with bravado and leather gloves.

Recently, while washing dishes again, (reading this blog you would think I just stayed in the kitchen washing and cleaning, washing and cleaning. You just think that, okay?), I looked out to the yard and said out loud, "What is that puffy, gray thing? A big mushroom?"

 I left the sink and went outside to poke it, but soon enough realized the dogs had gone and killed me another opossum. 

Let's just stop and ponder this for a moment. Why would an opossum come into a yard with a six foot fence to join a group of energetic dogs? Are opossums that dumb?  I'm beginning to think so.

So........there I stood.

With a big ole dead opossum in my yard.

It was too far gone for stew and dumplins. (Sarcasm. I'm southern, but not stupid)

I pondered leaving it, hoping the dogs might ignore it, but remembered how the previous dead possum had mysteriously changed locations in the yard numerous times. And the dogs, with their gooshey kisses, can leap as high as my mouth, so the opossum had to go.

I salute my girlfriend, who, upon taking my urgent call, immediately put on her latex gloves and headed out the door. 

Her husband was the one who actually buried the poor little stinky thing. Thank God for good friends. (Again!)

You may be thinking, at this point, that I'm a big girly girl, unable to take on anything that involves death, stink, rotten animals, maggots, or decomposing flesh. 
You, my friend, would be right. 

But alas, the opossum saga continued... 

My daughter, Anna, burst into the bedroom at 11 pm one night, saying, "Mom, we have a serious

Earlier that day, the dogs had killed another opossum (ANOTHER opossum) and my husband had double bagged the fuzzy corpse and we'd thrown it in the big, black garbage can on the driveway. 

Looking back, I have no idea why he didn't bury it, but I trust it was the right decision at the time. (he has now reminded me he was on his way to the airport.) However, at THIS time, the driveway and surrounding vicinity smelled like a rotting corpse and we were hosting the mother of all yard sales at 7 a.m. the next morning. Since the high temperature was expected to be 94, this would not do at all, and would surely affect sales. 
So I held my breath, reached into the garbage can, grabbed the bumpy plastic bag, and quickly dropped it into a Kroger paper bag. I popped open the trunk of my Honda and placed the cargo-of-death next to the spare tire. And off I went.  

There I was, driving around town with a dead opossum in the trunk of my car with no destination in mind.

As I drove past the Kroger and the Taco Bell, I wondered 'just what does one do with a stinking dead animal?'

I thought of driving over a rural bridge and tossing it into the creek below, but I had visions of Wayne Williams and the missing and murdered children in Atlanta and the body tossings, and could just see SWAT teams rushing the car, wanting to know what dead thing I had just thrown over the bridge.

Then, I thought of tossing it into some woods. But that seemed too much like littering, with the grocery sack and two plastic bags. And I sure as shootin' wasn't going to 'de-bag' it before tossing. 

So, I drove.

My gas light came on and I turned into a station. As I stood there, pumping gas, the first whiff hit my nose. Oh Lordy, I can smell him through THREE bags AND the trunk.

I eyed the dumpsters by the building, but they had the big, black lids closed. I didn't really want to be touching the lids to a dumpster.

Then I saw it.

A lone trash can over by the far corner of the parking lot. Sort of set apart from the gas station, and yet convenient enough for me to casually stroll over. That was it. The resting place for my rotting nemesis.
After filling my lungs with one long, deep inhale from around the back of the pumps, I removed the bag from the trunk,  I quickly went to put the bag in the trash can but it wouldn't fit in the round opening and the thought of shoving on the solid mass was giving me the dry heaves.

I finally lifted the lid to the can and pushed in the bag. Goosebumps rippled up my arms.

Did I feel guilty? Yes.

Did I wonder about it as the temperature soared into the 90s? Uh huh.

Was I going to do a drive-by whiff test later in the day? Maybe.

I went home and had my yard sale, minus the stench, but the question remains; What do you do with a dead animal? 

(I think next time it's going in the middle of the street. That way the city can deal with it)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Black Ram

I signed the Bill of Sale today for our 2003 Dodge Ram truck.
"You just got yourself a really good truck. We're gonna miss it," I said as I handed him the keys.

I stood on the porch and watched it back down the driveway, the glossy, newly-buffed sides reflecting the oak trees as it passed by.
Had the new owner noticed the shine?

The familiar rumble faded as it disappeared around the curve. 

And was gone.

For fourteen years, that black 2500 Heavy Duty Diesel Ram stood proud in the driveway. I still remember the week we brought it home, and a friend looked under the back bumper and said, "LOOK AT THE REAR END ON THAT THING!" 

I was sure proud of that torque!

It pulled our three horses with a gray 16-foot trailer and built my confidence as I drove through downtown Atlanta with a horse yelling, "WHhhhhheeeeeeeEEEEEE!!" out the back.

I sat many an afternoon on the laid-out tailgate, singing songs to Jesus and shooing away the geldings and mares who wanted to chew on the truck out of curiosity. 

The Ram saw my new-driver, 16-year-old daughter sit in the seat like a little bunny trying to see over the dash, and was equally as gentle when my British friend (who had no license!) cautiously inched it over hills and pastures, stating with satisfaction, "This is jolly good fun!"

And my high school son, who up to that moment had been the picture of 'good', couldn't resist the lure of an off-road adventure one night when we were out of town, and if it weren't for the tell-tale bramble and brush stuck under the bumper, I'd dare say he would've gotten away with it. 

And I'm quite sure it was 'jolly fun'!

The Ram moved both children to colleges, new apartments, and new adventures. And it even tattled on my husband by giving me a whiff of a hunting trip cigar. More than once. 

It smelled of saddles, manure, cigars, gunpowder and french fries. It was the manliest truck I'd ever seen, even with rubber mats which said, "Cowgirl Up"!

Over the years, a slew of dogs, taking an afternoon nap, would wake, hearing that familiar Cummins Diesel rumble coming down the street. They'd run, skidding into the kitchen, "Daddy's home!"

But that's all over.

The last time I rode in it, I didn't realize it was the last time.

I suppose that was best.

Happy trails dear old Ram. I hope you give many memories to your new owner. We're gonna miss you.