When I was in college I remember my Uncle James calling me barely able to contain his excitement as he invited on the change of a lifetime to go bird watching to have the life changing experience of sighting some rare owl that had been spotted in Sun Valley. Now, let me make it very clear that I had no idea what I was signing up for. First item of business the reader must understand is that my Uncle James is a genius. He has these laser beam blue eyes that when you speak to him makes you wish you would have read a few articles from the encyclopedia or at least looked up some bird names to throw out there when conversing. When I thought of going bird watching, I took that description quite literally. See a bird and watch it for a couple minutes and then go somewhere fun to eat and maybe take a pic to remember the event. How wrong I was. We spent over 9 hours driving to find the "Surnia Ulula" which I will never forget, and when the heavens parted and the obsession was acquiesced by that white feathered friend finally showing up, we did anything but watch, click a pic and leave. I felt like we worked for national geographic the way Uncle James was snapping pictures and exploding with intricate details about this flying phenom. I will never forget that memory. However, that experience taught me that I am indeed nowhere NEAR close to being a true bird watcher. My ornithology data base of my brain are exhausted after naming 15 birds and that's counting jay and blue jay. Anyway, the point is that I don't think bird watching in its true form is for me. I have, however, found a new hobby involving natures creatures that is what I would consider a daily delight: Squirrels.
Our back porch is basically a squirrel public park eatery and I promote it at every opportunity. Whatever we have for dinner, the squirrels have for breakfast. Liv and I watch the squirrel fest every morning. We have our regulars with names and sometimes they bring a new girlfriend and we watch in fascination as our favorite rodent friends dine with their tiny unclipped nailed paws. I feel like the squirrels of Bluefield and I have a very important relationship and they trust that I will provide and they will consume. I think my heart goes out to them even more because they have to live here while I get to move. I will not feel as much sympathy for Denver squirrels. Anyway, for months and months I always leave out food for them after dinner. Always. Sometimes I am shocked because usually whatever I have left out is always gone by morning so Liv and I bring out breakfast for the little guys. I've always found it so interesting how there is never even a single crumb left when we wake up. Now I know why.
A few nights ago I dumped a bag of chips on the porch outside. G didn't say anything, but I could see his, "I am now exerting extra patience with my wife and will refrain from saying anything" eyes. I asked if there was a problem and he said, "Well babe, don't you think that's just a little ghetto to be dumping food on the porch like that?" I first reminded me the state where we lived and then told him about my close relationship with the squirrel family and said that if he would like I would put it on a special squirrel plate with some hand sanitizer and a napkin next to it for fine dining purposes but I would not deny my duty to my furry friends.
Nothing more was said except for the next day when I sat out 4 raspberry filled doughnuts and G asked if I was intentionally giving the squirrels diabetes so they would fit in here. The next night I made about 7x more noodles for our spaghetti than I needed so I sat them in the dish on the porch even though I could tell it was crossing the "ghetto" boarder for my classy spouse. I went to the store later that night and when I came home I opened the door and what should I see? But Garrett on the porch dumping the noodles off. He started laughing and I yelled that he was caught red handed. I asked if this was the first time he had done this. He said no. Suddenly it was all coming together.... all those times these past months that I thought hundreds of hungry squirrels were licking the plate clean having a midnight snack, was secretly Garrett who was quietly trying to bring a touch of class (what's not classy about jelly doughnuts on your back porch in West Virginia?) and "de-ghettoify" his porch despite his wife's squirrel obsession.
We then began yelling in a heated rage...Oh wait. Not. As much I would like to imagine having that kind of drama, it's hard when I married the King of Peace and someone with a severe allergy to conflict. Sometimes when we're just laying in bed I say, "I just want to have a good fight." G responds calmly, "Ok Chel, that sounds like a good time, why don't you pick us a topic." It's the same way he responds to all my ludicrous immaturity...with calm logic. Have I mentioned lately that I married the perfect person for me? I did. I still feed the squirrels. Garrett tolerates it and no longer secretly disposes of their meals. He respects that I am the squirrel steward and wish to magnify my duty. As the self appointed, "keeper of the squirrels," I know what is best for them. I figure they'd rather have diabetes and eat a raspberry jelly doughnut than live an extra 6 months eating boring nuts. I would.