Stop At The Oasis [on KS Friday]

It was the end of a brutally hot day. The chipmunk peered over the edge of the deck, located the dog, and calculated the risk. It decided to go for it. Popping onto the deck, it raced along the wall, hopped onto the edge of Dogga’s metal watering bowl, reached down and took a hearty deep drink. Checking to see if Dogga remained oblivious, it took another long quaff, jumped down and raced to safety.

Alarmed at the idea of thirsty chipmunks, Kerri leapt to her feet. “We have to put water in safe places!” she chirped and ran into the house. 20 and I reminisced about the Ely chipmunk she’d trained to sit on her lap and take peanuts from her hand. We named it Humpy because of the large hump on its back. Ever since Kerri bonded with Humpy, all chipmunks are related to Humpy. They are family.

She returned with a deep plate, something that held plenty of water but, unlike the dog’s water bowl, didn’t put them in danger of drowning. “I wouldn’t have thought of that,” said 20, “You?”

“Nope,” I replied. “I’d have found a chipmunk swimming pool. They can swim, right?” 20 shrugged. Kerri narrowed her eyes so we hastily sipped our wine.

We watch their travels every day so know the chipmunk trails through the yard. The chipmunk highway runs beneath the potting bench and there’s a gate that prevents Dogga from getting in. The new chipmunk watering plate went there. “It’ll keep the sun off, too,” she said.

A chipmunk oasis. Roadside chipmunk assistance. First, we gave them Hotel Barney (the piano) for shelter that also provides high ground to mock Dogga while also enjoying pilfered bird seed in relative peace and comfort. Now, a safe watering hole.

“Do you suppose they’ll write an email to Humpy” 20 quipped. “He should know how well you’re taking care of his kin.”

“I hope so!” I said as Kerri gave us the evil eye for a second time. “Do you need a refill?” I chirped, suddenly feeling a kinship with the chipmunks. I scoped Kerri’s location, grabbed 20’s glass from his hand, and raced for the relative safety of the house.

read Kerri’s blogpost about CHIPMUNKS

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sweet ballet/released from the heart © 1995 kerri sherwood

Slow Down And Join [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

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We were in Madison at the campus. It was Friday afternoon and the party was already raging. Music thumping, horns honking, people pouring out of class, racing to feel the freedom of week’s end. The rush hour was revving. Cars swerving, cutting in and out, vying for ‘the advantage’. People all around hurrying to be some-other-place.

We went to Madison to flee the noise and mess of our life. We needed a mini-getaway. A breather from walking into our current life-headwind. We thought we’d walk a bit. Grab some dinner. I’d never actually been to Madison. We forgot it was Friday. We chose a destination without really thinking it through. In our search for peace we stepped into chaos.

So, we fled Madison. A day of double fleeing. Or, one long extended flee.

Leaving Madison we knew without doubt where to find refuge. When you walk through the doors of Cafe Carpe in Fort Atkinson you step back in time. It is a place dedicated to the simple art of slowing down. It is a place where people come to be together, to chat and laugh and linger. To join. There is a backroom with a stage no larger than the average kitchen table. Musicians passing through know that it is a good place to stop and play. People listen. And then they talk to you about making music and relevance.

We sat at the end of the bar and watched people trickle in, join their friends, enter the storytelling. A woman stepped through the door and asked if anyone knew about the poetry reading at the library.

“That was last night. I heard it was good.”

“You mean I missed it?” the woman rolled her eyes. The cafe crowd erupted in laughter. “Yep.” The woman took off her coat and sat down. People introduced themselves to her. She joined.

Screwed to the bar where we sat were two small brass plaques. Just Bob. Just Leslie. Kerri asked the bartender about the plaques. “Oh, Bob and Leslie come in every Friday night.  They have for years. They put those plaques on the bar to mark their spot. Should be here any minute.” she said.

“Let us know when they come and we’ll move,” Kerri offered.

“Oh, they won’t make you move. They wouldn’t want that. But they might want to join you and have a drink.” she smiled.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about CAFE CARPE

 

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