Thursday, February 23, 2023



            We had a mystery take place just outside our window. That’s where we have our bird feeders. One of them is a long plastic cylinder with several seed access openings. It hangs about five feet off the ground from a pole that features a very effective squirrel guard.


            The feeder cylinder is about two feet long, and at the end of most days the birds have consumed all but four or five inches of seeds. We leave it out at night, refilling it in the morning. At least, that’s how it usually works. But about two weeks ago, when I looked out at the feeder in the morning, it was drained. The same thing happened for about a week.


            We wondered what might have done it. Squirrels could not reach it, and we don’t know of any night birds that feed on seeds. Raccoon? Maybe, but they are heavy enough to tip the feeder. Same with the fox, who is still roaming our property. We could not see any tracks beneath the feeder – or rather, so many tracks in the old snow that none were distinguishable. Kim was hoping it was that beautiful striped skunk she saw a few months ago. My best guess was a kangaroo.


            Then one morning, at about 5:30, Kim was up and saw a large deer at the feeder. They stared at each other for a while before the deer walked away. Mystery solved.


            All of our mysteries, however, are not so easily solved. Apparently, someone, or something, goes through our kitchen and puts utensils in the wrong drawers after I carefully dry them and put them away properly. I suspect Kim’s deer, but it’s hard to see tracks on the kitchen floor.


            Someone also retypes some words and phrases in my blog posts, adding typos and grammatical errors in order to make me look bad. Fortunately, my friend Gene catches them and suggests how to fix them. I’m not sure who is doing it, but I may have to change some of my passwords. That should make my life a lot easier, right?


            And somehow, while I am sleeping, my greasy fingerprints appear on cabinet doors, right next to the handles. I may have to wear gloves in the house – even in bed.


            Also, occasionally at night, while we are watching television in the basement, we hear a loud scraping noise, apparently coming from Kim’s art room next door. It sounds like ice sliding off the roof, but it’s loud and close, and my inspections inside the house and out reveal nothing that dramatic. I suppose that as long as the furnace and television are working, it can’t be all that serious. Not as serious as the carrot scraper’s moving into the wrong drawer.


            Over all of this, another kind of mystery looms: What’s next? For us? For our planet? Will our “next” be an adventure, which is what Kim and I are trying to make it into? We are looking at houses and condos online, trying to predict our health and mobility as we cruise through our 80s. Or will it be something less like an adventure? Stay tuned . . ..


            And I’m not even talking about life after death. No, our goal is to have more life before death.


            Speaking of which, here’s Woody Allen on the subject:

 “In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!”

            What’s next for us? For us all? It’s a mystery . . ..


  1. Martin Amis wrote a novel depicting a man's life lived backward, Time's Arrow.

  2. I need a bird feeder that squirrels can access. Tell me the brand and where you bought it.

  3. Love the Woody Allen idea !