Mystery Solved

Remember the mystery animal cracker that appeared out of nowhere on my parents’ front porch, leaving me and Tara befuddled and a little bit creeped out? We have an explanation, and sadly it involves neither ghosts nor aliens. My brother had texted me and said, “Hey, I think dad eats animal crackers all the time! Check with him.” So I did, and he does. Much to my chagrin. It didn’t take much sleuthing to figure out that he’d been eating them in his recliner, dropped one that fell between the cushions, and when we dragged the chair to the curb that afternoon because a stranger was on his way to pick it up, the cracker must have dislodged itself and fallen onto the welcome mat, which perfectly explains why it had not been there before. As proud as I am of our Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning, I’m bummed that we debunked any possible paranormal activity. I always want the world to be weirder than it is.

Oh, well. The incident inspired me to write about synchronicity, a pretty interesting (and illogical) topic in its own right, so all was not for naught.

Speaking of synchronicity, I’m kind of amazed at the way dates are lining up for me. Not dates with other women – Tara might not approve – but rather, calendar dates. Our move is coinciding remarkably well with my 2011 road trip, and it’s completely unintentional. Consider the following:

  • I set out on the afternoon of June 22 and spent the first night in Spokane. We are setting out on the afternoon of June 22 and spending the first night in Spokane.
  • I drove from Spokane to Billings, MT on June 23 and spent the night there. We are driving from Spokane to Billings, MT on June 23 and spending the night there.
  • I arrived in Rapid City early in the afternoon on June 24 and checked into the Super 8 on Rushmore Road. We arrive in Rapid City early in the afternoon on June 24 and are checking into the Super 8 on Rushmore Road.

There were crazy thunderstorms a few hours after I arrived, so if this pattern continues, I guess we can expect to be greeted by some interesting weather. We shall see.


Still no change with Sydney: she just absolutely refuses to eat or drink. We are basically forcing her to swallow water through a syringe. Trust me, this is not nearly as fun as it sounds.

And yes, I know. It doesn’t sound fun at all.

The vet is still convinced it’s all stress related to the move. We told her we cannot afford to run any more tests, and she says doing so would be useless anyway, because they have all come back normal.

She still curls up on our laps, and purrs when we pet her. Other than giving us the stink eye after trying to force feed her – and the fact that she refuses all food and water in the first place – she seems okay.

So, we just don’t know. The vet is going to check in with us again on Friday.


When we decided to move to South Dakota and I began researching hiking opportunities, I was excited (and relieved) to learn there are no bears in the Black Hills. I have long been afraid of encountering a bear while hiking through the forests of the PNW, so I figured this was one less thing to worry about.

And then, a couple of days ago, some poor sap was golfing in Spearfish, SD, when he was bit by a rattlesnake and died.

Umm, what?!

prairie-rattlesnake-adult

Great. A new source of nightmares.

Turns out the prairie rattlesnake is common throughout South Dakota, including the Black Hills. Hmm…that was news to this former resident. Hikers are urged to exercise caution when out and about, especially this time of year.

I guess I’m trading in one phobia for another.

Countdown: 9 Days

Advertisements

All Her Suicides Are Fake

One of the best things about this time of year is the early sunrises. I might think otherwise if I ever slept in, but I’m up super early most mornings so it’s a non-issue. Sometimes I’m out walking, like today. The sun was just cresting the eastern horizon on my final circuit through the park, lighting up the clouds in shades of cotton candy pink and fiery orange, and it stopped me in my tracks.

sunrise

I’ve only got 45 more PNW sunrises to enjoy, so I’m going to make an effort to see as many of ’em as I can.


Are you familiar with the concept of synchronicity? I’m not talking about the 1983 album by The Police (though “King of Pain” is a great song), but rather, the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” is a great example. It is said to sync up perfectly with “The Wizard of Oz.” The band claims it’s purely coincidental, but I’m not so sure. I’ve watched them simultaneously and they really do seem to be interconnected. I’m fascinated by this stuff, because synchronicity seems to be a recurring theme in my life. I notice it all the time.

Most often these episodes are music-related. Like, for instance, I’ll be listening to The White Stripes (“I’m thinking about my doorbell/When ya gonna ring it, when you going to ring it”) and then the doorbell will ring. Things of that nature.

Saturday was an especially synchronicity-heavy day.

At one point I was scrolling through Instagram, and at the exact moment I was looking at a post from a friend named Michelle, the song playing on my phone mentioned a woman named Michelle. Earlier in the day, I was packing, and had just grabbed a Lumineers CD. At the very moment I was putting it in the box, I heard the Lumineers playing from the other room. The crazy thing is, I never listen to CDs anymore. My entire collection is packed away in a plastic tub and buried somewhere in the garage. I happened to have this one and only CD in the bedroom because it was a gift I hadn’t gotten to putting away yet.

But the universe was saving the strangest thing of all for the end of the evening. My parents are in South Africa on that safari, remember? Tara and I went over to their house to borrow their grill and barbecue some baby back ribs. We had already made several trips in and out their front door and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. So imagine my surprise when I opened the door again to grab something from my car and saw – sitting on the welcome mat, in plain sight – a freakin’ animal cracker.

Let that sink in for a moment. MY PARENTS ARE ON AN AFRICAN SAFARI HALF A WORLD AWAY AND THERE IS SUDDENLY AN ANIMAL CRACKER ON THEIR FRONT PORCH THAT WAS NOT THERE BEFORE.

I’m sure of that. The welcome mat is black, the animal cracker was white. I spotted it immediately when I opened the door.

IMAG5890_2

The mystery animal cracker.

And, though I’m not proud to admit this, I nearly screamed. Because honestly, it freaked me out like nobody’s business. Even Tara, who is far more rational than I am, could offer no logical explanation. In recounting this story earlier, somebody suggested, well, a crow flying by could have dropped it.

Sure. I suppose that’s possible. Or would be if the welcome mat wasn’t located beneath a covered porch.

Another weird coincidence in a long string of them, or something more? I’m not even going to hazard a guess.

I am curious, though: does this sort of thing ever happen to you?

Countdown: 45 Days