Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Day of the Marmot and Other Summer Adventures....

This is a very different summer for me. My kids are basically gone and I am having to find all sorts of things to occupy my time. The following tale will confirm that I probably have too much time on my hands....

So....this is a marmot. They are prolific in Spokane and while cute, they can be very destructive. So when Alex started his summer job on the maintenance crew of the Mead School District, his supervisor promised a free latte for every marmot the summer crew manages to catch up with and kill. These things apparently are digging under the schools and setting up housekeeping. Now this, of course, is all on the down low, because environmental types would erupt if they knew these poor little helpless animals were being inhumanely killed. The "official" policy says that they can be trapped and moved to a more appropriate home.

Now into his second week of work, Alex and his work partner encounter a rather bold and brazen marmot at Mead High School. Alex's partner was very enthused at the prospect of getting a free coffee, but when it came down to the dirty deed, he wouldn't do it. Now if you know Alex at all, you know that he puts up a great macho bravado, but is totally a softy at heart, especially when it comes to animals. In order to keep up his facade, he takes a nearby baseball bat (a weapon with which he is very accurate) and nails the marmot in the head. Fortunately the marmot was instantly dead because I'm not sure he could have hit it twice. And so, Alex gets high fives and a free coffee from the senior maintenance crew.

However, on his way home from work, Alex calls me from his cell phone to tell me how sick and awful he feels about this poor marmot and even did an immitation of how it sat up with cute little eyes and chirped at him before he hit it. He will avoid this part of his job in the future.

Lo and behold, next morning I get up and sit down with my coffee to read the morning Spokesman-Review. I open it to find a HUGE picture of a marmot holding a sign. Now this was just too good to pass up. I cut out the pic and wrote on the sign "Have you seen my mom?" and pasted it to the front door.

I actually cracked up Mt. Spokane Class of 2007's "Most Likely to make an appearance on Saturday Night Live." He admitted I got him good. Now this doesn't happen often - mostly he enjoys making fun of me, so this was immensely satisfying.

All of this just to prove my point that I have too much time on my hands these days. Keith and I will spend the 4th of July by ourselves at the homestead as Alex is headed to the lake with his other family and Whit and Travis and are hosting a little friend gathering of their own. Even our friends have booked out of town or are having family get togethers. While it's totally great that our kids are independent adults now, I still have to adjust. I should enjoy some quiet time, but it's too quiet. And it's really weird not to have a family gathering on a holiday. But I will survive I'm sure. It's a new season in my life and with every new season there comes getting used to it. Maybe I'll take up knitting......


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