So often my writing at 3 a.m. on Wednesday mornings is from the hub of juxtaposition. I perch criss-crossed atop the intersection of a funky fence that spikes out from under me in many directions. On a slowly spinning Lazy Susan, I see a myriad of uneven angles resembling those created by cow-path meandering streets of my neighborhood. They make no Midwest-grid sense but perfect early-New-England-get-your-cow-to-the-common-in-the-most-direct-route-from-your-barn sense. And this morning on my spin: squirrels. Down the fence lines, I'm juxtaposed by the sights. My barn. The farm in Iowa. The scope of a .22. The tree tunneled electric wire highway to the big chewed away corner of my barn. The sweet animals playing in the winter snow. The lack of squirrel nests in my maple trees. My barn in flames. (That didn't happen. That is from a futuristic vantage point.) The Chevy Chase movie scene with a squirrel adhered to his face. Opening my email using software titled "Squirrel Mail." The rodents that are anything but sweet. Merely rats with bushy tails.
All these have culminated with the necessary action of squirrel removal from a place that isn't rural to most, but with so many trees is rural to some. A place I call the city, but a place a friend who lives nearer to "the city" refers to as "not the city." A place where squirrel removal doesn't involve my brother's .22, but rather a live trap set by a 3rd party. A man who has a no-nonsense kind of tone to his work. "The radio in the loft won't do anything, unless you want to teach the squirrels to dance." From the state of the pulled down insulation in the barn loft, there were a few too many squirrel dance parties before I even set the radio up.
There are times one must throw money at a situation for it to go away. Tax time. Squirrel time. Forget who you are, where you grew up, or who you know near and far. Call the tree man and call the squirrel man. For we aren't in a timber where we can fell a tree with two people and a chainsaw nor do we have weapons in our home.
Perhaps after this when the dreams stop and the fear of the back corner of the loft subsides, we will take some well-deserved time off. It will be a stay-cation at our own squirrel-free property. The money for the vacation went out with the squirrels and down with the trees.
(Who is your farmer in the family? One guess who mine is.)