Armadillo Blessing

To anyone reading this who knows me and is still wondering if I am touched in the head, this will leave no doubt, most likely.

I was blessed with an armadillo under the porch. I have been hearing him over the past couple of months and finally this past Sunday morning, he was caught outside.  Caught with a bullet, by him. Not me.  But, he ran back under the porch.  So, suddenly the situation became disastrous rather than a concern. It was a concern because we have a dog and a cat. An armadillo is a potentially disease carrying critter that could become an issue with one of the pets.  Now it was a disaster because I probably had a dead armadillo under the porch.  In July. In Southeast Texas. In a heat wave. If you don’t understand from that, you wouldn’t be able to imagine.

Our house is on a slab, but the porch is pier and beam. He pulled some of the skirting off.  No sign of the critter.  He decided it was as good a time as any to pull out the back stoop that was in need of replacement.  He might be able to see from that angle.  Still no sign of the critter.

He did notice that the air-conditioned air was flowing freely between the cracks in the floor under the carpet.

Let me back up a bit.  This back room started as a screened porch. But, it was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.  We don’t have anything in between much here.  Mama had windows and a window unit a/c installed. She had indoor/outdoor carpet put down. The carpet was to keep the mosquitos from coming through the cracks that had developed between the floor boards that were just wide enough for them. We replaced the window units with central air and I just open the French doors to cool or heat it.  After all these years, the carpet is still in decent shape, but has a few stains and a lot of set in dust. I have been wanting to replace it with stained plywood.  I saw that in a place that was on Village Creek at a wedding reception years ago and I think it would be perfect here.

So he noticed the central air flowing right through the floor cracks and indicated the porch could no longer be air-conditioned until after the floor has been corrected.  It has been running in the upper 90s for a while now. I should have been upset. Remember the armadillo under the porch?  The dead one?

Another factor involved in this very complicated story is that I am on vacation, or staycation this week, if you would rather call it that.  I never work on my birthday, so I took off last Friday. And I like to be off for a week this time of year and stay home puttering around the house.  So, I am off all this week. First time I have done this in years.  My time off in recent years has been spent traveling to Hawaii, California and Houston. Traipsing after my children and granddaughters.  I have really needed this week off at home.

Here is the miracle. There is no smell from the armadillo that is dead under the porch.  Did he have a hole that deep? Did he make it out and away into the woods before he died?  There is no smell.  I thank my Heavenly Father for the very personal favor He has shown me in this matter.  I can think nothing else.

He will be replacing the back stoop in a day or two. And all the skirting will be replaced. We may have to wait till the jungle subsides in the cold for that.  And the floor on the porch will be redone sooner rather than later.  He has a lot on his plate these days.  So, the armadillo wasn’t a blessing for him. Still, I am glad for it.

Here is the blessing for me and why you will finally know I am not quite right in the head.  I have enjoyed not having a/c on the porch.  Years ago, I spent most of my summers outdoors.  As kids, we all played outside.  There wasn’t any a/c going in the house anyway.  And later as a young adult I just stayed outside.  I would take a book out to a shady spot and enjoy the heat, the sounds, the feel of summer.  I sit at a desk in a windowless office all year these days.  I love being on the porch. I love it now with all the windows open and the fan blowing and feeling the summer, again.  Oh, I have been in and out throughout the days.  I have all that puttering to do.  But, I return to sit out here and listen to the cicadas and the birds and the hum of the fan.  Feeling alive and at peace in the Texas Heat.

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This Past Week

This past week, I took a “quasi-vacation”. I worked five and a half hours or so and left at noon each day.  The afternoons off were used to take care of some trivial things.  I spent time reorganizing the kitchen cabinets.  I moved some furniture around.  I did some reading and some napping. Why did I take that kind of time off?  I am saving my hours for a trip to Maui.  And, I don’t seem to have the time or energy to manage some things during the evenings and on the weekends.  I accomplished much of what I wanted to achieve.

The weekend found him bow hunting Saturday morning. I don’t bow hunt, yet.  So, I went to visit with my aunt and uncle.  It was good to see them for a short visit.

I had planned to see my nieces. Then, decided it would be too much for them to rearrange plans to meet up with me for an hour.  However, it worked out that I did get to see two of them.  The baby girl gave up some sugars for me.  It was a brief moment.  But, I am glad I got to have it.

I had left my aunt’s and headed for Humble enroute to see my nieces. Shopping on Saturday in Humble is not the kind of thing this old country girl should try to do.  I pulled into the parking lot of the craft store and could not believe the number of cars.  I went into the store and found a couple of on sale items that were still over priced in my opinion.  I looked back over at the lines to the registers and thought about the baby girl I was on the way to see.  Sorry, craft store.  Ladybug moments are far more important!

I skipped the purchase. I am glad I did.  My local dollar store had a few cute items I had seen previously.  Checked back today and got them.  A few more Hallowe’en decorations are out.  I always wanted to do a big scene in the front yard.  Pumpkins, lights, hay bales, mums, scarecrows, black cats, bats and owls.  Like something from the pages of Martha Stewart.  I live at the end of a dead end street with no traffic, no trick or treaters. Only him and myself to see and enjoy.  I seriously doubt he would take much notice.  I will not attempt to do that this year.

This past week I made a lot of choices. What to keep, what to be rid of.  What to spend time doing, what to spend money acquiring.  Who to make time for.  I think I did a pretty fair job of choosing wisely.

So, I will enjoy my simple table decorations and laugh at the cat surrounded by eight giant goldfish. And remember what a certain baby girl feels like snuggled in my arms.  And know in my heart that he appreciates my not going overboard with decorations this year.  And speculate on what my coming week might bring.  More orchids, no doubt.

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