Critters will get you every time

Earlier this morning I laughed at “AlmostIowa’s” story of the extortionist critters in his yard. This made me think of some of my true critter adventures.

A few years ago I spent a (Tidewater Virginia) winter listening to scritch, scritch, scritch. It was not the hapless squirrel in “Ice Age,” but my very own attic dwelling squirrel. When spring came and I heard no more scritch, I called a repairman who came and fixed my aluminum attic vent so no more critters would invade my home. Or, so he said.

The next winter, I heard heavy duty scratching and movements. Not believing a large animal could get into the vent, I went outside to look. The vent was bent like a Navy Seal had fought his way into the house looking for Taliban. Accepting that as a warning, I put extra security around my inside attic entrance and went to sleep each night to the sounds of giant wildlife walking above my head. At last spring arrived and the invader left. This time I called a different repairman who took one look and said, “You hosted a raccoon.” He completely rebuilt the vent and secured it like a cell at Sing-Sing. Now my attic is quiet. Some friends asked why I didn’t go upstairs and try to shoo the raccoon away. I replied as my dad would have, “I may not be well-educated, but I’m not stupid.”

Back in the 1960s I was a Girl Scout camp counselor and some of the girls came to me with tiny eggs. They were so proud of their find. But, being an experienced Girl Scout I thought that the eggs looked strange and knew the mama would be angry that the girls had stolen her eggs. I asked them to show me where they found the eggs. Soon I was looking at a totally smashed rattle snake. They had surprised the snake with a whack on the head with a huge stick, thus removing their danger. But, wanting to be sure the snake was really dead they continued smashing from head to tail. Just as they reached the end, the tiny eggs squeezed out and looked so cute that the girls had to share their discovery. I hated to disappoint them, but picked up a rock and smashed the eggs too. One thing Oklahoma didn’t need was more rattlesnakes.

About the same time my husband and I were camping on the Fort Sill range, next to a beautiful lake. Having no camping gear, we slept fully clothed on the ground between quilts. Just as the sun rose we heard a gentle snuffling and shuffling. We looked up to see a small herd of buffalo drinking from the lake. We stayed where we were and watched in awe as the huge creatures moved around to let the calves drink. They paid no heed to us and when they were done, wandered back to the hills.

While in high school I attended a local overnight (Ohio) Girl Scout camp which provided us with a large, supposedly critter proof, garbage can to store our food. Before heading to our tents we double checked to ensure that all food was in the can, the lid was tight and our pit fire was banked for the night. Next morning we arose to find our garbage can open and much of the food eaten or hauled away. Luckily, the thieves left paw prints. We dug out our trusty GS guide books to identify the food thieves. As we paged through the track guide, we studied and eliminated each track, until one girl said, “That’s it. The track matches the ones on our food can.” We solved the mystery. Our leader read the description and said, “This track belongs to a Dingo Dog, native to Australia. Keep looking.” We did, eventually identifying the thief as a raccoon and his pals. We went to the lodge and called our mothers for more food, which arrived as soon as they could get to the store and drive to the camp. For the rest of the week we put chains and locks around the can. No more raccoons or Dingo Dogs. BTW, we kept that fire burning for an entire week, even holding a tarp over it during a rain storm.

© Sharon Dillon, December 29, 2014



Happy New Year – or is it?

This is not a rant about all the troubling events throughout the world. Aren’t you glad?

Rather, this is a short blog about time and our experiences. Perhaps it contains thoughts that are new and strange to you. I ask you to read with your mind open and feel free to contact me to discuss your thoughts.

Einstein and other prominent scientists, as well as many spiritual leaders, have explained that all time is simultaneous. If time is simultaneous we have no new year to celebrate. I have no wish to “harsh your mellow.” If you wish to celebrate the new year, go for it. Parties are fun and what better excuse than a perceived new year?

I’m not sure I understand this time concept, but I know it changed my thoughts about things like new years. I enjoy every moment of preparing for and celebrating birthdays and holidays. I wonder how time can be simultaneous when I can see my great-grandsons growing seemingly minute by minute, or I look in the mirror and see wrinkles and gray hair that wasn’t there 20-30-40 years ago. This seems to be proof that time is continuous. If time was simultaneous I wouldn’t age. Or would I?

Then I recall the simultaneous thing and realize that I was here when the Earth was formed. I was here when pyramids were built. I was here when the United States became an independent nation. And I was present at my high school graduation. I’ve always been here – and so have you. What an empowering thought.

We’ve earned our wrinkles and gray hair. I often wish I’d remember what I learned during those long ago years. However, I also know that I don’t want to recall the catastrophic events.

Don’t giggle, you beautiful young men and women. You’ll arrive here someday and wonder where the years have gone. How did your babies become grandparents? Where did your bikini body go?

Time is simultaneous but our lives have beginnings and ends, then begin and end again and again. We never really die, but move to a different dimension to learn what we need to know for our next human lifetime. There is a reason we don’t recall who we were here before. It might affect how we respond to certain events. Our goal is to react according to what we know at the moment, not what we knew 1,000 years ago.

Now, let’s get back to the pending New Year’s Eve that leads into a new year, 2015. Enjoy it to the fullest no matter your circumstances. If you happen to be alone, do something that will make you happy. Watch a silly movie, or a football game. Read a book that has been on your to-do list for many years. Eat some popcorn and drink a soda, or be classy and enjoy cheese and wine. Play Monopoly by yourself. You’re sure to win. You’ll take that win with you the rest of your days.


Peace, love and joy will be with you every moment of 2015.


Creator Spirit,

Thank you for giving us knowledge and the willingness to live in peace, love and joy each day, no matter what those days bring. Just knowing that You have always been here to guide us and teach us what we need to know to live each day to the fullest is the greatest gift you have given us.

Sharon D. Dillon,, Laugh your way to peace, love and joy at

Please feel free to share this blog, giving credit where credit is due.

Thoughts to Ponder

“Your individuality is the most valuable thing you have.”

Martha Beck

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”



Life takes many twists and turns. It leads us up and down hills, eventually to the beach. Often we slog through a few swamps or deserts on our way to the beach.

As children and young adults we are taught:

  • You were born to be poor. So accept it.
  • This family has been farmers since 1607, so that is your destiny.
  • College is for people who are too lazy to work for a living

Somehow, we know deep inside that we belong on the beach. We can be rich, city people or well-educated. We don’t know how we know, but we do. So we nurture those thoughts in secret until one day they burst into bloom. Then we know that we have to move forward or die inside. We were not meant to be the person that we were told we should be. It is time to move forward.

This applies to our personalities as well as our outside lives. We may have grown up in a dour family, but our natural inclination is a sunny personality. We, like Ebenezer Scrooge, can through off life’s hard lessons and become the person we really are. We can be the person who “is the result of what we have thought.” When we reach that point we realize we no longer have to “fit in” but that our “individuality is the most valuable thing” we have.

So what if you want to be an artist or an actor. We must follow our inside path, no matter what our age. Grandma Moses became a famous artist in her 80s. Others have blossomed late as well.

One example is Abraham Lincoln. He was born to be a poor farmer, yet he sought to learn whenever and wherever he could. I doubt he ever thought he’d be a United States President during our nation’s most serious crisis. But he knew he didn’t belong on the farm and he followed that path. His life story doesn’t indicate that he was happy, but he knew he was doing what he was put on Earth to do.

No matter our age or station in life, we can look inside and know who we are supposed to be. We can recognize those thoughts we’ve nurtured and begin to live by their wisdom. What others think no longer matters. We become what we think we are.



Creator Spirit,

Thank you for planting a seed inside us that guides us to our real selves. Thank you for nurturing it while we face challenges and must keep the seed hidden. We are grateful when the day comes that we can let the seed grow and we finally become who we really are.

And so it is.

© by Sharon Dillon, December 12, 2014

Sharon D. Dillon, and Laugh your way to peace, love and joy at

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at

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