missing-good stuff-if-too-busy

Miss Piggy being coy.

Picture this: Suddenly there’s a pig in your backyard. You don’t know where it came from. You don’t know where it’s going. Quick, grab the phone. Never mind that you’re still in your jammies. That was the scene from my couch yesterday at 7:00 AM. Mid-sip morning coffee, there was movement in the front yard. Wait, is that a pig? Yes, blink, that’s a pig all right. Ten minutes later, when I saw that my honey was trying to get eyeball-to-eyeball with this giant porker, his obituary flashed through my mind. “Bill Wiseman was trampled on Sept. 25 by a rogue pig that had escaped from a neighboring field. Selfies can be fatal?”

Sightings of unusual somethings wandering through our rural yards over the years, beyond the usual raccoons and skunks and deer, have included: 4 cows that had breached on the next street, a dozen wild turkeys stealing our carefully scattered bird seed, and a renegade horse peacefully browsing on newfound grass. Once a Great Horned Owl resting in our pine tree was close enough for us to see him blink. We even rescued a dangling ‘possum with his head stuck in the hole of our tree. But a pig? Never.

Long story short: With the help of the town’s facebook page, which is devoted to recommendations, conversation and local alerts, there is a happy ending; Miss Piggy is back in her owners backyard!

missing-good stuff-if-too-busy

The best part of this unexpected adventure was the reactions of people to a loose pig. Whereas we were laughing our heads off and could only see “photo op”, others saw it differently. The owner of the yard where this giant porker decided to rest was worried about her beloved plants being decimated. Comments ranged from “Hmmmm, bacon.” to “Aaah, did you make friends?” There was practical stuff like the phone number of Animal Control and a warning about aggressive sows and children. One commenter tried to steer my thread into political waters, something about “sending the pig to the Whitehouse.” Thankfully, nobody bit that one. My favorite reaction was, “Is his name Chris P. Bacon?” Perspective is everything and can be a hoot, rather a snort.

We once lived in the center of five wooded acres. It was a hot hot summer, and we blew up a large kiddie pool in the front yard so we could cool off with margaritas in the afternoon. The memory of this home adventure was so vivid that I submitted the following paragraph to a 100-word challenge contest. It’s always been our favorite backyard sighting and was among those chosen for a collection of little stage vignettes. Note that it is exactly 100 words!

— 7:00 AM Sunday morning, in bed. What’s that sound? He opens the blinds and says, “Two bulls are butting the blow-up wading pool out front.” He and she face each other, WHAT? “They must’ve smelled water, but it’s covered.” Quick, no time to get dressed… horns make holes. He grabs something to scare them off. She watches from the safety of the bedroom window as he confidently charges across the lawn, naked, unopened umbrella as his lance. “Eeeehaaaw!” Bulls look up, stare. He pauses, unfoils RED umbrella, lunges, “Whooosh.” The boys scatter. Ho-hum, just another Sunday morning. —

Now, I’ve spent most of my life being in a hurry with one thing or another. Mostly everything. Get it done as fast as you can so I could get on to the next thing. Phooey, I realize now that it was a hogwash way for me to live. Things are different when you’re getting paid to be in a hurry, but there’s lots of life to live before, after and in between working hours. Even when I wasn’t working, my mind was too preoccupied to notice stuff happening in front of my own eyes. Once I put cumin in my oatmeal instead of cinnamon because I was in such a hurry. Blaaaaah!

I no longer have to punch a clock so I have the luxury of time, and what a luxury it is. Addicting, in fact. I don’t have to plan stuff back-to-back anymore. And I can lunch with a friend for two hours instead of meeting a 45 min. deadline.

I’m very grateful now, but I could have slowed down before and shudder to think about all that I probably missed. If I hadn’t been taking my time over coffee yesterday, there’d be no anecdote about a passing pig to amuse the grands or to embellish at the next cocktail party.

Weeded out this week: Any remaining notions of ramping up my ambition. Allowing dead space between tasks and obligations lets memorable moments of amusement and satisfaction peek through.