Okay, honestly folks…. my heart has had enough excitement for one week. It’s Sunday night at 10pm – time to unwind from a long and wonderful week. Time for me to sit quietly, reflect on the bountiful goodness in our lives and believe that “not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse”.
The new roof was finally finished yesterday. It was a joy to come home from the mountain to see the roofer’s utility trailer gone, the final roof pieces in place, sealants applied and…… drumroll please……. FAIT ACCOMPLI – THE ROOF WAS DONE! George did a happy dance all around the yard and instantly made up a little jingle singing, “Ding, dong the roof is done… the wicked roof, the roof is done. Ding dong the wicked roof is done!” He was euphoric and ready for a celebration! That was yesterday. The celebration is over and we’re back to reality.
Prior to the celebratory dances of yesterday, the roof debacle was a nightmare. In the two months our roof was under construction, we became accustomed to the sound of pieces of our ceiling crumbling and falling to the floor. I settled on the couch tonight after a beautiful day in Burlington and heard a few grains of plaster loosen from the ceiling and land on the floor – it wasn’t a surprise or concern. A few bigger pieces followed and the sound was still quite commonplace. The sound I was NOT prepared for was the sound of the ceiling pieces walking around, flying into the walls and hurling themselves against the curtain behind my back. Yeah, that sound freaked me out!!!
I tried to calm myself. I knew it was a bird or a bat. But I pretended that since I couldn’t see it, it wasn’t really there. That’s a trick I learned from parenting. Ignorance is bliss, right? Unfortunately, it didn’t last for long. The bat reared its little ugly head, found its way underneath the curtain and flopped onto the table directly next to where I was sitting. Seeing it that closely was something I could have lived without!!
I sat frozen on the couch because bats are blind, right? It flew directly to the ceiling fan over my head and started a bizarre race with the fan – the bat flying in circles in one direction and the blades of the fan flying in the other. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it and watching the opposing circular motions was making me dizzy. I was too afraid to stay and too afraid to leave. George was sleeping. I didn’t want to wake him because even Superman needs sleep. Weston was a floor above me on the opposite end of the house. I was trying to plan an escape. I finally got the courage to run underneath the ceiling fan and out of the room, but there was nowhere to hide. I had to keep the bat in my sight otherwise I wouldn’t know where it was. I didn’t know which was worse – knowing or not knowing. Weston happened to come down just as I was standing in the dining room looking fearfully into the living room. He’s so much braver than me. He instantly got the broom and stood near the living room door. He didn’t do anything. But he wasn’t cowering and quivering like me – so he was my hero. A moment later we lost sight of the bat. When it returned, we agreed to just lock it in the living room and hope that it would disappear by morning.
We closed the doors and I resumed my computer work at the dining room table. Just as I began to forget about the bat, a faint scraping sound followed by the sight of the bat squeezing underneath the living room door into the dining room sent me into my second fearful fit of the night. The bat lifted from the floor to the ceiling light above the dining room table where I was sitting, narrowly missing my head as it took flight. I instantly lowered my head to the height of the table trying to keep the bat in my view through the top of my eyes. Oh my god, nowhere was safe! The damn thing can get through doors!! I yelled for Weston but he didn’t hear me. I was on my own. Super-man was sleeping, super-son was playing video games. I gathered my wits and made a run through the kitchen and into the mudroom – realizing that I was trapping myself in my escape. I had reached the other end of the house and if the bat came after me in there, I had nowhere else to run. My heart beat wildly. I tried to be rational.
I needed to give the bat an exit. And I thought with their acute hearing and echolocation, it would sense an open door and the call of the thousands of mosquitoes outside. Right? I propped open the porch screen door. I wedged a storm window at the bottom to keep the cats out of the house (I’m allergic). I hid behind the wooden interior door, shielded myself with some hanging coats and kept watch as the bat flew circles around our dining room light then more circles into the kitchen and back and forth between the two rooms. Dumb bat!! Here’s the open door!! Finally, it found its way to the screen door and landed on the screen. I peered through the crack by the door hinge to witness its exit. It had sticky feet, like suction cups, and it moved slowly across the screen. I imagined those sticky feet on my face. Oh my God!! It reached the wooden frame and its feet stuck to that. Just as I thought it was ready to disappear into the night sky, it opened its wings and flew backwards, over my head and into the mudroom….. into my sanctuary!! I let out my third scream of the night, ran blindly out of the mudroom and into the kitchen and slammed the door behind me. I quickly gathered bags and boxes and anything I could find to block the opening underneath the door. Weston came down just as I threw a large duffle bag across the kitchen at the door.
I shared my little horror story with Weston as my heart raced and I just kept repeating, “oh my God, oh my God.” He was amused. I was certain that the bat would find its way outside in short time since the mudroom was relatively small. I didn’t want to leave the outside door open all night for fear of bugs and other creatures. Weston peeked into the mudroom. In my hasty, irrational, screaming exit I had closed the outside door. That’s right, I had been hiding behind it and flung it closed so I could pass back through to the kitchen!! The bat had no way to get out. “Oh my God, oh my God!” Weston reopened the outside door for me. We both decided to seek safety in closed rooms with towels stuck under the doors. I’m back in the living room hoping that the bat is flying outside and that it won’t drop from the ceiling behind my head again before I go to bed. My jitters have gone away except for when there are any sounds or dancing shadows. The sound of the crumbling plaster of our ceilings sends me into panic mode. And now moths have entered the house through our open mudroom door. The shadows of moths have an eery resemblance to a bat. I feel like I’m in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It’s time to go to bed. Tomorrow begins a new week!