Mouse, grudges, virus, sirens and baby robins

Taking flight

I wrote a long blog post earlier this morning filled with too many words about my own opinions involving emotions and the human nervous system.

Now it feels like there’s no life or ooomph or immediacy in that post, so let’s Take Two.

What’s true in the now of our little house in the woods?

Birds chirping off the deck right now.  A couple of days ago a baby robin burst upwards in flight from the nest.  What a riotous cackling ensued!  Baby robin didn’t know what to do once he perched atop a branch.  Mama flew clucking around him and eventually fed him a worm to keep his energy up and cheer him on.  I might have stayed and watched yonder robin drama, but instead the dishes–or something equally important–called me inside.

Baby robin singin' the envy blues.  "But my brothers and sisters can fly!"

Photo of another baby robin before first flight

We caught a mouse in the basement overnight.  We buy superior traps.  We love ’em so much after years of feeble wood traps.  Tomcat Press ‘n SetSnap!  Mouse gone.  I cannot look in their surprised dead eyes, at their sweet dead faces.  I love mice.  Just not in our house.  I might take a picture of our perished companion, but–no.

The daisies are waving their beingness everywhere, sticking their yellow tongues out at the dying lupines.  (Oh my what a suggestion!  I am 100% sure that the daisies and lupines hold no grudges.  That seems a more human thing to do, don’t you think?)

Daisy at First Sand Beach

On a sad human note, one of our good friends has been exposed to the coronavirus.  Even though she did everything possible to avoid it…a beloved relative brought it home after being exposed.   Probably a relative who deemed it safe to be partying and fishing and carrying on because of youth and conviction that it wouldn’t happen to him.  (I am telling another story in this head, similar to the story of daisies and lupines.  Who knows the truth of another human being?  We can only tell half-true stories from our own flawed perspectives.  Please forgive me, dear relative, for making up your truth. Please do not hold a grudge if you find yourself on this blog.)

Now our friend waits with bated breath for two, three weeks to see if a) family member gets sick or b) she herself succumbs to the virus.  Or if someone becomes asymptomatic.  In which case no one will know if the virus is floating around unless twenty people all take the test, and will that even be done?

Spider on web between electric wires on garden fence.  What kind of spider IS it?

Spider and tangled web

Our small community had three asymptomatic employees test positive at our local nursing home.  Before this week we’ve experienced exactly one case.  The Upper Peninsula features 151 positive cases since March as of yesterday, many of whom have recovered. Numbers are a’rising even in our remote rural setting, perhaps especially as tourists flock north to the woods.  Now the community waits on edge to see if a) other employees have it or b) nursing home patients get sick or c) relatives and friends of said positive-testing folks succumb.

My heart beat so fast with concern Friday night upon hearing of our friend and her family.

Within an hour the Universe decided to send more excitement our way.  I could hear a siren ‘way down on Skanee Road for about five minutes.  It approached closer and closer.  Then it was zooming down our gravel road.  A dust storm to rival the Sahara dust storm ensued.  Fire truck or ambulance?  Impossible to tell in all that dust.

Listen to those fire engines scream!

From an old 4th of July parade

Then zoomed by police and sheriff cars and curious onlookers.  I scurried outside toward the mailbox in my pajamas but choked so awfully on dust that ventured back to the house.

Even though I talked with my neighbor the next day–no one seems to know what happened.  Fire?  Heart attack?  Stroke?  It’s a mystery.  Just another opportunity to sit not knowing much of anything.

It seems like a pattern these days:  just continuing on without really knowing WHAT is up. Just living in uncertainty, one day at a time.

What’s new in your neck of the woods?


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in June, 2020 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Mouse, grudges, virus, sirens and baby robins

  1. Carol says:

    My woods and mine are much the same, uncertain. I have been fortunate though in that I do not know anyone that has been exposed to the virus. Yet. Fingers crossed.

    • Kathy says:

      You are lucky indeed, Carol. Do your kids know anyone exposed or sick from the virus? Both of our kids know people who have had it.

      • Carol says:

        The county where my daughter lives has had NO diagnosed cases. My son is in SoCal, so it’s there, but he hasn’t mentioned anyone he knows having it. He had a test done Friday and is now quarantining so he can come see me.

        • Kathy says:

          Thanks for letting me know. There is one county here in Michigan–the one next to us–that doesn’t have any cases either. I am glad your son had a test and is doing it all right before he comes to visit you. That will be wonderful to see him again.

  2. I was sitting here trying to convince myself to take a shower when the email notice of your post came in. It’s a strange new world we are living in. I love mice, too, but it’s hard when nature keeps trying to reclaim our man-made living spaces. Somehow we know we’re also vulnerable to having our lives shortened by forces beyond our control. I am so sorry about how the virus is affecting your friends and your community. So stressful. May you all be safe in the end.

    I agree, we are having to live with so much uncertainty, one day at a time. What’s new here? Not much. Meals, walks and yoga give me something to look forward to. The neighbors had a raucous party outside their door last week. (We’re not supposed to have indoor gatherings yet.) I peeked and no one was wearing a mask or social distancing. It seems like it will only be a matter of time before our numbers start going up again. Sigh.

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you postponed your shower to say hello, Barbara! Have been thinking about the virus much more again lately, ever since the new cases in our community. Am not really worried, per se, but more like acknowledging a low-level concern that is often running in the background. Sigh… Sigh also about your neighbor’s party. Hard to see people who are dismissing this out of hand. I saw pictures today of Arizona folks in tubes not socially distancing–and they are in a state whose numbers are fast increasing. Triple sigh… But so get it about meals, walks and yoga. Same here!

      • Kathy, I think senility is creeping in. By the time I finished reading your post I had totally forgotten to mention the fantastic picture of the gull at the beginning! What a handsome creature! I love the way his feet are positioned on the post and the chance to see underside of his wing. Great capture!

  3. Larissa says:

    Dust! Are you having a dry summer too? We are parched here.

  4. dorannrule says:

    Getting sick of the virus but getting sick from it would be worse. How alarming that you know someone who caught it and now has to wait and worry about survival and spread. Your robin babies are a much sweeter story.

    • Kathy says:

      Ahhh, yes, Dor, the virus gets to be an old story. Hopefully it doesn’t stick around to become a virus novella or novel. Thanks for your concern about our friend and her family. Will tell the robins you appreciated their story too!

  5. Stacy says:

    People call these times uncertain. But I can’t name a time in my life when things in the world (on a grand scale), or things in my own life (on a small scale) were certain. If I knew that certainty could be a reality, I would jump for joy. Instead, I try to find small pockets of joy in daisies, and beautifully written words, and stuff that’s real now. XOXO

  6. dawnkinster says:

    I hope all your robin babies grow up to come back and make more robin babies. I think mice are cute too, but not in my house. Bruce has to dispose of the dead ones for me, it’s too sad. We were just talking yesterday that neither of us knows anyone who has caught the virus (that we know of), and I only have a few friends on FB who know someone that knows someone that has it. They said on the news today that 1 in 3 black Americans knows someone who has had or has the virus. That’s shocking. I know the virus is tiring…I am so tempted to go do something, anything, to get out of the house. Yesterday I went to the park and walked, but I really want to do something different. Still, it’s not safe yet. And I really really don’t want to get this virus. Good thing I never really spent much time in bars or restaurants, so I don’t miss them so much.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Dawn–it is shocking that one in three black Americans know someone with the virus. So very sad, and maybe one of the reasons that white rural folks don’t really believe it’s a thing. Your comment caused me to reflect how many I know personally who have had the virus: two. But know of ten others that are known by my friends and family members. Good thing you don’t miss the bars or restaurants. Barry and I have been up to the Library Restaurant twice since they reopened. We went at 4 p.m. and were practically the only ones in it both times. However, we are going out very sparingly, if at all.

  7. Susan D. Durham says:

    “The daisies are waving their beingness everywhere, sticking their yellow tongues out at the dying lupines. (Oh my what a suggestion! I am 100% sure that the daisies and lupines hold no grudges. That seems a more human thing to do, don’t you think?)” —— Pure gold, my friend. Thank you for sharing ALL of this today…

    • Kathy says:

      That was quite the paragraph that popped out of the typing fingers, wasn’t it? Always feel my heart go pitter-pat with your reading and commenting, my dearest Susan Dee!

  8. Love your daily tidbits that add up to life.

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  9. Gay Herron says:

    So good to read your post Kathy, it’s been awhile. We are in a new home since last October, older log cabin in the foothills of N.C., we have 18 acres, a small pond, some woods and mostly pasture. This is a year of learning the land, the home. We got a horse with the farm, a older white Arabian, Scamp, she is a sweetie. We have chickens, a rooster and two pigs, berkshires, they have been (especially the pigs) a learning experience for sure! We also have TONS of birds, lots of bluebirds, it’s a type of bird sanctuary, I love that! We put out a small vegetable garden, it’s trying, next year we should have better dirt and hopefully do better with that. It’s not the U.P. But we do live our new home. We don’t know anyone who has the virus, so sorry for your friend, hope she does well. We see our neighbors down the road, we visit, outside on each others porches, distancing of course, we have good neighbors so it has been a time to be home and get to know them all. Life is strange, waiting to see what the rest of 2020 holds with slight trepidation, but I’m enjoying all the small moments and staying in prayer. Little things are all big things now and somehow life feels more alive. Keep sharing, I love hearing about and seeing pictures of your little slice of heaven UP there!

    • Kathy says:

      Gay, it has been so nice to hear from you and to hear about your sweet little cabin and animals and garden in the foothills of North Carolina. It sounds so lovely, even with the learning curves and poor soil. Even the visits with new neighbors on porches sounds wonderful. Your comment about enjoying the small moments and staying in prayer sounds like a way to anchor in the positive joy of being alive even as all sorts of calamities pop up left and right. Been thinking about that this morning as a weeklong heat wave descends on the U.P.

  10. Red, red, robin keeps bobbin along, or something like that. Robins are lovely and I’ve only seen then in the winter on the grounds of the VA hospital and then years ago I would see them in our yard as they perched in the trees and ate the berries. I have not seen any in my yard in quite a few years.

    The virus thing has just about worried me to a point of utter frustration. It is a hassle to spay everything with disinfectant. And I worry that I could possibly catch it from my son’s significant other who has been helping me and ordering and then picking up groceries curb side. She has been around some of her family who she insists don’t go anywhere and who wear masks. I think I will begin waring a mask in her presence.

    Anyhow, I hope and pray that your friend will be ok and be totally fine before long.

    • Kathy says:

      I remember that red, red, bobbin’ along robin song! Interesting that you do not see them in your area. So very sorry, Yvonne, that the virus has been causing you so much worry. That must be so utterly frustrating indeed. I know you don’t want to get it and are trying your best to stay very protected. It IS a hassle to spray everything with disinfectant. We only did that once or twice and then abandoned that idea, but for someone with a compromised immune system it may be a necessary step. Thank you for sharing what’s happening in your world…and may you stay safe and well.

  11. 🙂 Your robin drama (and picture) is sweet. I’ve been watching the unfolding bluebird dramas here. My couple is on their second brood this year. Perhaps I’ll post the video record I’ve been keeping.

    • Kathy says:

      Bluebird drama sounds just as exciting, Lunar! I will have to check over your way to see if you posted the video of the sweet little ones.

  12. Val says:

    Thankfully, I don’t know anyone with the virus, but I’ve read so many blogs of people who do, people who have or have had it, and also the blogs of doctors and nurses who’ve been treating people who have it. It’s all very sad – more than sad. I’m so sorry for your friend.

    I’m glad you didn’t post a photo of the dead mouse, I can’t stand looking at dead things… I leave the necessary despatches to other half, I can’t stand doing it. When we lived in London, we tried humane traps – they catch the rodent and it has to sit in a transparent box for a few hours or overnight (with some food), then it’s let out – but it wasn’t a great alternative either. We had to let it out in a local park and knew it’d probably just run off to the nearest house and be a nuisance to someone else. I love mice – we have visits from wood mice and voles here, but they rarely get indoors (apart from one that decided to nest in an one of my oven gloves!)

    I would have said the same about daisies… they’re lovely, cheerful flowers, but can be very snobbish…

    • Kathy says:

      I wouldn’t have posted the picture of the dead mouse, Val–I was just kidding. That would have been very unappealing to most of us blog readers (and writers!) Although have posted photos of dead birds before. Hmmm, wondering what the difference might be? Glad to hear that you have tried humane traps. We can’t do that because they would just amble back in the house. Once they get the idea in their little mouse heads…

      It is really interesting how many people don’t know anyone personally who has the virus. That’s probably why some people think it’s not even “true”. I decided to keep a list of how many people I’ve heard of with the virus. (Just because I am a stats kinda girl.) The count is two people personally and ten others known by friends and family members.

      • Val says:

        How many one knows is probably dependant on the type of place one lives in. If I were still living in London, I’m sure I’d know many – but here, I’m in a small rural place with very few people and I don’t have much of a social circle or much family left anyway. x

  13. Ally Bean says:

    I am pleased to say not much is new in our world. We continue to stay home, doing things like playing board games and tending to the yard + garden. We cook and bake in our spare time.

    As for how close this virus has come to me personally, I went to high school with someone who died from it. He denied it existed, the virus took its revenge on him. Sad all the way around.

    • Kathy says:

      You are lucky your partner likes to play board games! Plus, cook and bake. Have been thinking about the person from your high school who died after denying its existence. I am wondering how many others have experienced this same thing. Deep sad sigh…

  14. I feel like I was just sitting on your porch talking with you. You have such a perfect voice here on your blog. So accessible and friendly and thoughtful. And humorous in a way that we humans like to make fun of ourselves sometimes. At least wise humans do. Because what DO we know? It is so true that the older we get the less we know. Because we’re smart to know that we can’t know everything and maybe not even anything. When our son turned three he suddenly knew everything. He’s now almost reaching 40 and he still knows everything. I hope I live long enough to see the day when he knows nothing. 🙏😏💗

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you so kindly, my friend! I do tend to chat away here on this blog as if the reader is sitting in the living room. Smiling at your son’s confidence. When I was 11 I remember thinking “I know everything now”. The rest of life has been learning the exact opposite truth. 🙂

  15. Alanna says:

    I love this kind of news. It’s interesting to get a peek into someone else’s life and what makes up their day. I watch the birds a lot and am enamored with the chipmunk that visits the porch and the stray cat that moved into the barn.

  16. Reggie says:

    I love how you write, Kathy. Visiting your blog always feels like you are inviting us into your space for a chat over a cup of soothing tea. In these uncertain wobbly times, it is comforting to have a safe space to linger in. I am grateful that you and Barry are safe and healthy. May your lives continue to be blessed with abundance and joy and light.

    • Kathy says:

      Like I just said, Reggie, your comment(s) made me so happy yesterday. It does feel like I am intimately talking to everyone when writing these. Just opening up and sharing with a heart as wide open as it can get in the moment. (Some moments are better than others for being able to keep the heart open, as I’m sure you experience, too.) Thank you for your blessing–and the same for you and Richard, too. I have been watching the counts in South Africa and thinking about you a lot.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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