Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mayhem and Memories

I'm not sure what to write about this week...usually a story presents itself, either through a serious topic that needs to be addressed, or because I'm stuck behind some dingleberry who's texting on his phone while driving.  Either way, a topic almost always appears!  Though not this I really had to ponder this one.  Finally, I decided to talk about a funny memory, from a trip to camp.  So grab yourself some hot chocolate, get comfy, and let me tell you a story!

I've mentioned before that Schroon Lake (where my family's camp resides,) is my favorite place on earth.  You just can't find a place more peaceful than that!  Up there I have no distractions, no problems, no stress...I can just BE.  I can sit on the porch with a book and the sunlight streaming through the screen, and I feel no need to fill the silence with noise.  If you can believe it, I don't even need the television.  No, really!  At camp, the silence doesn't bother's calming, and my mind finally relaxes.  It's also a favorite place of my two cats, though transporting them in the car for an hour-plus isn't always enjoyable.  I set Scout up in the back seat, which is covered in pee pads and towels...and I hope for the best.  Surprisingly enough, she's the easy one!  Once I manage to pry her claws off my arm and put her back there, she doesn't move...and the protective layers are mostly a precaution (mostly).  Shay, however, makes me want to pull my hair out by the roots.  I put him in a carrier (because the alternative is a frightening prospect!) and he proceeds to hook his claws into the side, and just HANGS there...crying the whole way, incessantly--and for the ENTIRE trip.  It's very stressful for both of us...Scout is the only one who successfully tunes the crying out, as she curls up and takes a nap.  Though once we've gotten there and entered the house, the smells and the quiet and the memories make us all decompress.  Shay stops being so jumpy, and Scout chooses her spot to continue her nap...falling back to sleep with a little purr.  They know it's a quiet, safe haven, where all creatures are welcome!

Okay...I'm making this place sound pretty magical, right?  Well, maybe it's time to tone down the magic a little bit and be a tad more honest.  When I say ALL creatures, that's not quite true...I guess I should say all humans and felines are welcome.  That's where my funny story comes in!  Years ago, I was at camp with my parents and Scout (Shay was not in the picture yet,) and we had been out all day...when we returned it was already dark out, and we settled in to watch a movie.  That night we chose Cast Away with Tom Hanks, which had recently come out on DVD...and though Hanks is one of my favorite actors, I was a little frightened by the plane crash scene (as I have a tremendous fear of flying.)  Okay...I was scared silly!  Cowering on one end of the couch under a blanket, I cringed as the Fed Ex plane started to go down.  Scout was on the other end, completely oblivious to her mother's anxieties, curled into a tight ball and fast asleep.  If you've seen that movie, you understand that this was the most intense part, causing you to sit on the edge of your seat (or cower under a blanket!)   There isn't much that could drag your attention away from the screen during this scene...other than the addition of a giant, gray flying MONSTER into the room.  Which is exactly what came in to visit us in our house at that particular, intense moment.

So you can imagine the screams!  As this flying monster started circling the room above our heads at the speed of light, I began screaming at the top of my lungs and so did my father managed to hold it together, and for that I give him credit!  My mother and I were so loud, Scout dove off the couch and hid under the heater...I fell to the floor and tried to burrow into it--while still screaming like a banshee.  My mother, to HER credit, did the motherly thing by diving onto the floor next to me and covering me with the blanket.  The monster was flying so fast it was impossible to tell what it was, though we were all thinking it was a bat...something I like only slightly more than airplanes!  My father ran to get a broom, to try and shoo the new addition into the back porch...and we soon discovered our visitor was a bird, not a bat.  WHEW!!!  (Don't think that made me leave the floor, however.)  My father and mother eventually managed to coax the frightened bird into the porch, and shut the door.  They watched while he flew in crazy circles, until flying out altogether...through the screen door which unfortunately had been stuck open.  I think when ALL the doors were finally shut and locked against any other intruders, was about the moment I stopped screaming and climbed back onto the couch!

After rereading that last paragraph I realize how ridiculous it sounds...though believe me, it's true!  It took Scout about five hours to find the courage to come out from under the heater, after all the mayhem.  And I still can't watch that movie without thinking about this Hanks develops a relationship with Wilson the volleyball, his only companion on that deserted island, I can't help it...I'm thinking about birds.  Which I love to watch outside my windows--but can't really handle when they're flying right above my head.  Though I have learned, if nothing else, to laugh at crazy situations from my scared as I was in the moment, it now brings a smile to my face and a laugh bubbles out!  Bats still scare the hell out of me, and when I get on a plane I still panic...but the memories that make me laugh at myself the most, make those things seem a little more doable.  I conquered no fears with this post today, nor did I reach any personal goals by changing troubling issues for the better...which is just fine; it's not necessary to do that every time.  Instead, I just smiled and enjoyed a memory...let's hope after my story you did the same!


  1. What a great story - I have such a vision of your camp now!! And I do love the image of the cats traveling!!

  2. Your mother and I constantly are in awe at your facility with words and how well you can tell a story. As I remember the incident, I think I was totally placid even calling the bird by name and making friends (right?). Thanks again for the memory.

  3. You charm us with your words , invite us in ,and make us part of your expierence, what a wonderfull talent you pocess !
    Thank goodness Mother's and Father's shall ever remain so , and always come to our aid when needed ! I'm certain now that I'll never see that movie again with out seeing "Wilson ", and immediately being transported back in time to Alfred Hichcock's "The Birds " !!!!!
    Thank you for a charming tale , and as for "Feline "travel .... we used to have to wrap Pumpkin in the largest towel we had and hold on tight ...... simply for survial [ smile ]

  4. Christine, what a wonderful story teller you are. Reminds me of the time we had a bat stuck in our piano. I placed a bird feeder right outside a window where my cats can sit and pretend they're going to catch them. I too had visions of Alfred Hichcock's "The Birds " when reading your post. There fine as long as they stay outside the house.


  5. Wow, that is crazy! It reminds me of the time my cat brought a flying squirrel in my house, that was a fiasco. Have you ever seen one of those? Super creepy! I'm glad it wasn't a bat though, they are the worst, rats with wings! My boy cat cries the whole time in the car too, that's funny. My girl just goes to sleep like yours!