My dining room table still serves as my writing space. Old habits are hard to break. I’ve spent so many hours there working on the rewrites of my novel that the chair cushion has a permanent imprint of my derriere on it.
I like to sit so that I have a clear vision of the bay window in my living room. The nook must be empty of clutter so that I can envision myself sitting with a steamy cup of java. On occasion, my characters join me in conversation or act out a romantic scene. OK, maybe you have to be a serious writer to relate.
There is one item that sits in the right hand corner of the nook, but normally I am able to ignore its presence. It’s my husband’s weather alert radio that only chooses to blast its warnings during the middle of the night. (I know that’s its purpose, but I like my sleep!)
Recently, on a rare sunny afternoon, I gazed through the nearly translucent sheers to the barren yard across the street. I envisioned how pleasant it would be when leaves bud out on the towering maple tree and the brown grass turns to emerald green.
My dream dissipated when I noticed a foreign object next to the small black radio. I furrowed my brow as I focused in on the intrusion. My mind struggled to accept what I saw. I closed my eyes and opened them again. I pushed back my chair and stood up to check out the unusual item. Perhaps it was a joke, I thought.
The sudden movement startled the foot long furry creature and he dashed under the couch. A squirrel! How could a squirrel be sitting in the alcove of my living room window? I did what most women would do. I yelled for my husband.
“Wart! There’s a squirrel in here!”
“What?” He responds without moving.
“A squirrel!” I call out from a more remote location in the hall way.
“Where?” He says as he drags himself away from the television show he was watching in the bedroom.
“In the living room!” My voice has elevated to a scream as he makes his way to my side.
“What’s he doing in here?” He asks as he searches the room and sees nothing.
“I don’t know.” I spout in frustration. “He’s under the couch.” I point to the corner of the room where I last saw the frightened animal.
“We’ll have to let him out through the French doors.” He says as he moves into the dining room.
“The doors are all taped. Remember?” I recalled my fury the day he decided too much air was coming in around the door frame. His answer to the problem was a large roll of grey tape.
My husband hands me the plastic gate that we use when our grand dog visits.
“Keep him from going into one of the other rooms,” he commands.
“I don’t think this is going to do it.” I reply as I dutifully follow his instructions.
The squirrel dashes back to the window seat, trying desperately to escape the maddening conversation, I’m sure. I listened to the tape being torn off the metal frame and tried to decide what to do if the visitor scurried my way. Fortunately, the frightened squirrel dashed back under the couch.
A blast of cold winter air greeted me as a sign that the patio door was now opened. My husband returned to the living room and tried to lure the errant critter out from his hiding place. I offered him a broom from the kitchen. Fortunately, the squirrel saw the opportunity to flee and he made a direct path out the door onto the deck.
“Should’ve got a picture,” my husband suggested a little too late.
We laughed heartily as we went room to room looking for the port of entry. Satisfied that we had none, we surmised that it must have slipped in through a door left ajar earlier in the day.
My husband retrieved the roll of grey tape and resealed the door. I shook my head in disappointment that the weather still required the extreme action and in anticipation of the gummy residue that will be mine to remove come spring. He returned to the bedroom and I sat down at the laptop to continue my rewrites.
I glanced up at the window seat and wondered how long it would take before I would stop seeing the furry brown squirrel looking back at me. I hope he doesn’t interfere with my romantic characters.