Monday, April 5, 2010

Telling Tales

WARNING: Yet another long post.  Read at your own risk!

The taking and loss of life has been front and center in my recent days.  You might want to know a few things about me before we continue (and don't worry...after reading that intro, I want to state right up front this DOES NOT include any jail time or harbored thoughts of extreme violence.  Promise.):

1)  I've been a practicing vegetarian for about 2 1/2 years.  There are many reasons for this; none of which necessitates any judgment on those who choose to eat meat.  I'd contemplated this for years (and attempted an unhealthy stint in college) - a final straw was watching all of the episodes of "Planet Earth".  The taking of life there, in however natural and necessary a situation, made me re-evaluate my own choices.  Basically I don't eat anything I wouldn't be comfortable preparing on my own....from Start to Finish.

2)  I'm not a total girly-girl - I cringe at those random centepedes & millipedes we find and won't go within viewing distance of a hairy spider unless there is a thick glass cage between us - but I'm totally ok with the random creepy crawly thing.

3)  I hate taking life.  Again, not just talking about the  " 'Chicago'-type-Velma-Kelly-Roxie-Hart" taking of life (you wouldn't want to hear me sing about it)...I mean of any sentient being.  If I find a spider in the house, I will use a cup and piece of paper to transport it outside.  Likewise, a few wasps who have found their way in recently found their way back outside - alive - on the tip of a long broom.

So...keeping that in mind, here are three tales for you.

L Wilson 2010.  Copyright, blah blah - just Please don't steal this image. 

We left this weekend and came home to a counter top crawling with ants.  I know...EWW, right?  But, remember the above.  Usually the random guest in our house is just paper-lifted back outside.  With food and dishes and a daughter who FREAKS out at any bugs around, though, there simply weren't enough seats on the LifeSaver Express.

The past 48 hours have challenged my every nerve.  I have squished more ants than I care to admit.  Every time that I do, I say out loud, "Sorry" (as if that does anything!) and a couple-second long prayer for its life.

Here's where a lot of people (okay, most people) may be raising their eyebrows - but others are frowning and crying out "poor ants!".  

I'll just say it is an ongoing struggle for me and I totally feel as though I'm screwing with my karma.

Now you know.


During a blissful VERY early morning run on Sunday with my brother and sister, we ended up running a bit apart (different paces).  No troubles...I ended up with a running partner anyway.

We were running along back roads and at one point, a (THANKFULLY) friendly dog started running between my sister and I and jumping on us both.  This dog was some type of Sheppard (sp?) mix - beautiful but BIG.  He ended up befriending me and stayed right with me.

Except for the occasional times that he tried to run in front of me or jump on me, I really didn't mind the partner.  He mainly jaunted off to chase horses or cows or explore the random pond and tick off the geese.  But every time, he came back to my side.

I started to get concerned when we got towards busier roads and he still wasn't heading home.  Not only that, but he seemed to be oblivious to cars.  Countless times I was stopping and yelling, "Dog!" and frantically waving my arms at an approaching car.  (I wonder what each driver was thinking, probably not the least of which was "Why doesn't she control her dog?!?!")

This dog stayed with me for approximately 4 miles - all the way back to the house.  I knew after about 3 miles that he wasn't heading home.  I knew after car #1 that I wasn't going to just leave him.

Graciously my mom drove me and my newfound partner (in our minivan - yeah, that thing truly has paid for itself in convenience - don't knock it.) back to the area that he joined me on my run.  She approached the house and was met by an elderly gentleman who confirmed it was "his" had just ended up at his house awhile ago and he had been taking care of it. 

This sweet man couldn't even see well enough to get back to his house once he was at our car.  The dog, however, looked quite comfortable and knew right where to go to get food and water.  My mom did offer to take the dog to the Humane Society if he desired, but he said to just leave the dog there.

I left with such mixed feelings.  Again, trying to avoid thinking too much - and yet...

Both that loving man who took in a dog and that loving dog who put his big, stinky, wet chin on my lap as we were driving him home have similar fates.  As do you and I. 

Thinking about how or when we will meet those fates is sometimes more than my emotional body can handle...and yet, sometimes, is just what I need to clear my mind.


In the same time span as all of this, I came across this notification in our neighboring town's (little) newspaper:

I won't comment.


Heh heh.  You didn't think I'd have any mind-blowing final analysis, did you?

Sorry to disappoint you if you did.

Just like with life,

You gotta figure this one out on your own.



  1. Oh Lisa, we are so very alike.

    I once too had an encounter with a big, big dog like that. I too called my mom to come with her big car and help pick it up--because I was afraid he was going to get hit by a car. This dog had a collar and we called the owner--that too didn't seem to really give a damn about him after all.

    Second, I am the same way with bugs...and just this weekend I swatted at a big nasty flying thing outside and I guess I hit it too hard and instead of it just flying away--it fell to the ground and struggled and struggled. I felt horrible. Terrible. I, I will admit...I even had tears in my eyes. Who am I to mess with the circle of life. No matter how small or nasty ugly it is.

    And last....Hansel...well..he fishes, yes. And, sometimes he takes me with him so I can draw--but usually not--because any time he catches a fish--they are so dang cute and innocent and vulnerable that I make him feel so guilty about what he has done he always throws them back and doesn't want to fish.

    And, one more thing, lately I too have been thinking about death. About my own death--about how uncertain it is--I mean--it is certain--but the if, when, why, and how bit. That sometimes throws me into a whole other realm.

    But, I won't get into that now...or we'll have a comment that will double your post!!

    Lisa, just know that I love you. I honestly do.

    Big hugs.

  2. I really liked reading your random thoughts. Thanks for a day in the life of Lisa post. I get a guilty karma feeling when I kill a bug or ant too. One time I asked my husband to lay an injured (or hungry?) cricket in the grass for me. I had it on a piece of paper all ready for him to take down the porch steps and simply lay (emphasis on the word lay) it on the grass. He just tilted the paper and slid the cricket off. I got so mad at him. Hehe.

  3. Oh, that dog story is just ... *sigh*.... happy and sad, I think. And yes...that poster would have made me less than happy, too. While I'm not a vegetarian, and I am willing to squash bugs, I'm still quite sensitive to animal life and so that stuff tends to get to me. I don't mind quite as much if it is all eaten and hides are appropriately used, but in most cases all or much of the animal is just wasted and that life was lost for nothing. It makes me very sad.

  4. I fall in the hypocrite category. Not a fan of hunting, but a meat eater nonetheless. Spare most bugs, but I will stamp out an ant without care. I loathe the f$%^#rs.With a passion burning brighter than a thousand suns. That flyer could be on that jay Leno segment due to the irony!

  5. Man quite a day! We escort bugs out of the house over at our place too. Our last house was under a huge tree and we easily let 20 spiders a week out of the house. Two replaced everyone we found a new home. I'm happy to report Jessie is also quite compassionate.

    Last summer we were at our friend's wedding and Jessie was inspecting some of the local wild life and picked up a rather large black beetle. The beetle, obviously not happy about this clamped down on her hand and would not let go. Jessie started to shake her hand and cried out "Mommy help! Buggy stuck!" I went over to her and tried to assist but that bug was NOT letting go. Jessie started to cry and I looked around rather helplessly when thankfully Rob squeezed the bug enough for it to release Jessie's hand. The bug hadn't even broken the skin, as far as we could see at the time (later a very tiny scratch did appear) but there was a large red spot that looked like it might bruise. That bug was clamped on really hard!

    We could not believe how brave Jessie was during the whole incident. Frankly I think I would have freaked out if a large bug had clamped down on my hand but Jessie remained calm. Afterward she retold the story and said she had an "owee" on her hand because "Beetle buggy scared 'cause Jessie is a giant!"

    I couldn't have been more proud!

    Thanks a lot for not providing me with "mind-blowing final analysis" I struggle with all the issues you posed and still haven't finalized my conclusions.

  6. what an inspiring story. i've been all about dogs lately and so wanting my own. happy to have found your wonderful and inspiring blog. thank you!

    xoxo, juliette

  7. Hi Lisa! Ugh, we had a terrible ant problem last summer, and I felt like a monster every time I brought down the wrath from the sky and killed them. I don't think there's any way around it when it comes to ants, but I was definitely uncomfortable with that power.

    Loved your dog story. I know there is something a little sad about what happens in the end--for all of us--but what stands out to me is that you made a difference that day. You helped two lost souls find each other again. Who knows how much that dog has been helping the man, and the other way around? For that day, you played a part in that dance. And that is an honorable thing!