Guest blogger: My Mom
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My mom is a newspaper columnist in Colorado. And I got such a chuckle out of this week's column that I had to share it with you ...
Just when you reached the point in your life where you thought you'd seen everything . . .
I was in Florida recently, playing Man of the House (Did you like the way I sneaked in that plug for his latest book?) for Son No. 2, who was in Nebraska for a writer's tour plugging that very volume.
As I said before, it wasn't exactly hard basking in glorious sunshine and high temperatures while folks back in Burlington were suffering through a spate of early spring snows and raging storms.
It did, however, have its moments.
One of them came when I was getting the house ready for an appraisal inspection, that necessary first step for refinancing a loan to better interest rates.
I'd been scurrying about, staging the place to look its best and had just completed my tasks, inside and out, when I decided to give it a final check just moments before the appraiser arrived.
As I walked through the house, with the light streaming in through the hurricane-proof windows, I suffered a moment of total envy for having a home in such a glorious tropical setting.
Kitchen . . . spotless.
Countertops cleared to maximize their impact as uninterrupted food prep space.
Hallway rugs straight.
Beds made and pillows fluffed.
Towels artfully arranged on their racks.
Yes . . . all looked well.
Until I approached the front door from the bedroom hall.
What was that horrid black spot up on the wall between the ceiling and the door frame?
I stepped closer, squinting to better see its origin.
Of course it moved.
It was alive!
And it was . . . was . . . so cute.
I stood on my tiptoes and looked up into the blinking eyes of the most adorable little chameleon.
Obviously a baby.
I say that because had it been a grownup, it would have taken off at my approach and dived into hiding in the front room and I'd have had no chance whatever to get it out before the appraiser came.
Baby lizards walk funny.
When they get bigger, they can zip across a sidewalk, almost gliding along on their little toes, the speed of their passing out of sight a real phenomenon. Sometimes so fast you catch yourself questioning whether you actually saw it at all.
When they’re very little, in this case about four inches from nose to tail tip, they . . . wiggle.
Jerky little perambulations that make them look totally spastic, their little tummies wrinkling on one side, then the other, as they bend to the left and then the right, making their way in a wobbly line toward their goal.
I checked the time.
"Little guy," I murmured. "I need to get you out of here. Now!"
Though I feel totally unencumbered by the metal in my new knee, there are certain things I just can't do like I used to.
One is jumping.
The other is leaping onto and off of stools and chairs with any speed.
I tore through the house, looking for something.
I certainly didn't want to hurt him.
And smashing him into the plaster with a flyswatter would have caused more problems than his presence.
And then I spotted the answer to my dilemma.
Now I know I usually do not use brand names of things in my columns. After all, who wants to give free advertising in a venue that makes its living charging for its space?
You have to know, though, that it was a Swiffer that came to my rescue because, at the time, I could think of nothing else that would have given me the reach yet been soft enough not to harm the little guy.
So I moved over to the door, opening it very slowly so as not to send my little guest any further away, and set to work.
If only he were a little lower and closer to my grasp; I could have plucked him off the wall with my fingers and not had to run this risk of his fall.
Ever so gently, I used my fluffy tool to work him down, down toward the top of the doorway.
He scurried away, almost out of reach, but I did mention he wasn't that fast, right?
Another swipe, then another.
Little by little, I worked him to the wooden doorframe and pushed him into the void, sticking out my foot to break his fall on the entryway floor.
He lay there, slightly stunned, for a moment, then started wriggling his way along, me pushing him with the Swiffer out onto the stoop . . .
Just as the appraiser’s car turned into the driveway.
Li'l' lizard still living.
I replaced my fluffy tool of eviction and then went to answer the doorbell, thinking as I did so of the absurdity of the past few minutes.
If you're reading this in a Southern state setting, you're probably wondering why I even bothered bringing the whole thing up, but I can tell you that this was a strange, exotic problem for an Eastern Colorado flatlander.
"Leapin' lizards, Batman!" has taken on a whole new meaning for me.