Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moose & Misc.

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to the Great North Woods of New Hampshire to fulfill my goal of seeing a moose in the wild in 2009. I don't know whose job it is to do the counting, but there are an estimated 7,000 moose in that region. Surely we can find one of them.

Just in case, Husband No. 1 snapped my picture in front of what he also hoped was a reasonable facsimile that might prompt me to abandon my quest. It did not.

Our drive will take at least 4 hours and we will be farther north than some of the points where the US borders Canada. "We” includes Husband No. 1, No. 2 son and Buddy the dog. You might wonder how I "persuaded" the nearly 19-year-old and my long-suffering husband to make a trek that, as he notes, will take the same amount of time as traveling to Times Square “so maybe we should go there instead.”

Birthday guilt. It took a few years to figure out I could bargain for an adventure primarily of interest to me by assuring my family that the only gift I really wanted was their company. That’s why the teenager actually spent a day with us on Monhegan Island 10 miles off the coast of Maine two years ago – and my landlubber native Kansan husband forced himself to board the boat taking us there. Last year, the destination was midcoast Maine to stand in line for over an hour for the famous fried clams and lobster rolls at Red’s Eats takeout in Wiscasset. (No. 2 son opted for a gift instead.)

This year, it’s the moose. And since I didn’t win the $250 in the weight-loss contest (see previous blog entry), it's both a birthday guilt AND pity trip. (There were rumors the victor starved herself for days and packed lighter clothing to weigh-in without undergarments. I only wish I’d thought of that myself.)

High-Speed Driving
Ironically, No. 1 son, aka the Cop In Training, was certified to use laser equipment for traffic enforcement last week. Undoubtedly his driving record made him much more familiar with the process than most of his classmates.

During an earlier high-speed driving unit, the instructor asked if he’d taken the course before because No. 1 son seemed to be handling the car with such ease. “Negative,” my son replied. But when he successfully maintained control after sliding sideways through the orange cones, the instructor insisted, “Are you sure you haven’t taken this course before?”

“No, sir,” replied No. 1. “I’m from New England. I've had years of practice fishtailing in the snow.”

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. But, as a co-worker noted, perhaps all those traffic fines can now be considered “educational expenses.”

No Bodies PLEASE!
This may seem like an odd prayer from a crime writer, but I did utter it last week when digging began for the foundation of a firefighter monument project I’m involved with at my day job.

I was especially concerned because a few years ago, road crews unexpectedly discovered an unmarked slave cemetery about a block away. This led to a campaign to build an appropriate memorial to mark the site. But when digging began for that foundation, the backhoe encountered more human remains. The project is now stalled.

So I crossed my fingers, held my breath and uttered a plea for "no bodies please" as work crews began excavation for my project. The area was fairly small and yet they encountered enough unexpected things to call in an archaeologist numerous times -- pottery, a stone foundation, and yes, you guessed it, bones. Fortunately, the archaeologist determined they belonged to an animal so my prayer was answered after all.

Neighborhood Blog
My neighborhood now has a blog, courtesy of the local newspaper. It’s an experiment and if successful, other neighborhoods will be urged to launch their own. According to the newspaper, people are most interested in what impacts their neighborhood and since the newspaper doesn't have enough reporters to cover every one of them, a blog might be a good alternative.

I’ve signed up to be a "blog administrator," which I figure is the optimum position. That way I can remove any nasty comments about our lawn care regime or how and when Buddy takes Husband No. 1 for a walk. It also will provide me with an opportunity to remind my neighbors that Christmas decorations really ought to be removed by March, as well as make any other pronouncements I've been anxious to share with them.

Imagine the possibilities.....


Nancy Nearing said...

Oh boy! I'm glad your not administrating in our neighborhood. I can just imagine the veiled references to our Christmas wreath & lights which, if I calculate correctly, have been up for about 15 years!

Rode my bike past your old house yesterday and missed you tons.

Pat said...

Every neighborhood needs an enforcer, don't you think? haha! As I recall,The Hart/Marchaks used to dread our annual assessment of their decorations!

We drove to the Canadian border last night and saw 2 moose == and 15 miles without electrical wires --a long way from Arlington!!