Select Page


And you don’t know where you are.

Morning walks with the pups consist of strolling, sniffing and stopping to do their business. Grassy verges are welcome, as are big patches of lawn where they can run and play. On their leads of course.

We’d been ambling along for a while. Up one street, down another, enjoying the crisp cool morning.  I spied a huge park like area, surrounded by trees, at the end of a short side street. And headed that way.

New smells. Lovely. Both dogs were engrossed in exploring when something came out of nowhere. Or so it felt. But it came out of the tree we were standing under.

The “something” landed on top of Mikhail with a resounding thump. I believe I went straight into the air, Louie retreated and poor little Mikhail with his squat little body wriggled sideways and freed himself.

Scare over he stood; ears erect, watching the furry body curled up on the sidewalk.

Slowly the missile rolled over onto its side. Revealed itself as a small raccoon. Jerking its little paws, like having an epileptic fit.

It entered my mind that anyone falling from a tree would be jerking. But still, raccoons should not fall out of trees without reason. Especially not on top of my dog.

I checked the surroundings. Not another raccoon in sight. The little animal was now back on all four paws but retching. Another bad sign.

Backing away I got my phone. Called 911. Apologized profusely and asked the phone number for Animal Control.

This wonderful dispatcher told me not to worry, she’d call Animal Control but could I please tell her where I was.

Well yes.

That’s when the fun started.

I had no idea. I tell her I’m a stranger, a visitor.

No street sign on this little dead end street.

No name up for the park in front of me.

Back of some church on my left.

Parking lot with a sheriff car at the side of another building on my right.

I walked to the sheriff officer’s car. No one in the car.

I walked around the building. No name or number on the building, or not on eye level.

Now please keep in mind that I’m walking fast and dragging a squat winded little dog along. The poodle didn’t have a problem.

The kind dispatcher asks me to give her a building number.

So, of course, none of the buildings have numbers on them.

Finally, after I’ve gone in a square, I see a sign. Parking for Court House, or something like that.

I tell her. Describe again the No Name Short Dead End Street. The back of the church. The big building. The parking lot. Ask whether I should go and look for the animal and stay with it.

Apologize again for bothering her. This amazing woman is still all kindness and patience, telling me she’ll be sending Animal Control.

I wonder how many calls like this does the poor woman gets?

But what was I to do?

Back at the boat I order hot water with baby shampoo to wash the dog that’d been ambushed by the raccoon. And tell the Captain the story.

Says he, “you should carry a map so you can tell the dispatcher where you are.”

Right. For the once in my lifetime that a raccoon falls out of a tree on my dog I should carry a map.

“Yes,” he says. “You have to be prepared.”

And, as always, I see the lesson. We don’t know when our Lord is returning. Better stay prepared.

Matthew 24:42-43

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. “

Cyber hugs and Blessings all. Keep a watch out for falling raccoons.


People Get Ready

Curtis Mayfield

People get ready, there’s a train comin’ 
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board 
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’ 
You don’t need no ticket you just thank the lord

People get ready, there’s a train to Jordan 
Picking up passengers coast to coast 
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them 
There’s hope for all among those loved the most 
There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner whom would hurt all mankind 
Just to save his own 
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner 
For there is no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

People get ready there’s a train comin’ 
You don’t need no baggage, just get on board 
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’ 
You don’t need no ticket, just thank the lord.

Photo by Erwan Hessy

Get in Contact with Ida