So summer finally arrived to Southcentral Alaska…..the salmon FINALLY started running in time for the locals to flock to the Kenai, the sun started to shine and tan lines from wearing sandals at Care’s Corner have appeared! Oh, the 70’s feel good! (HOT at times!!)
Bubba and I were lazily resting – he under my recliner/lounger, me right above, getting bum-bumped – he is growing by leaps and bounds. He weighs 22 lbs now! He almost doesn’t look puppy anymore. He and the cat definitely act like teenagers though – pouting, ignoring requests, and being picky at what time they eat and just what they want: PEOPLE FOOD! And talk about sleeping a lot!!
Back to the story (chemo-brain, y’know) so we were basking in the wonderful day, clear blue skies, delightful breeze and the sun beating down on us. Suddenly, I hear this HUGE rustle in the trees directly across from where I was sitting. My first thought was: Is it the bear or moose that have been hanging around? The second was: I’m sure glad I drove the 4×4 Ranger down instead of walking! I started to stand up when I hear a THUNDEROUS noise……
HOLY SHAMOLEY!! A HUMOUNGOUS 100 year old cottonwood tree and medium size spruce came CRASHING down over the fork of the river at Care’s Corner, root wads and all! After my screaming settled (it took well over an hour for my pulse to come down under 120, and my blood pressure under 160/90….I now know what it means “scared spitless”!)
I cautiously walked down my side of Care’s Corner to assess the ‘remodel’ job. We figure between the work the beavers have been doing, added to the high water from this year’s record snow melt reced, it started re-depositing the gravel bar that was washed out in the floods of 2004 and 2006, thus undercutting the bank. As I looked closer, we may have more “natural bridges” across the river. Too bad the high waters washed the other “cottonwood bridge” to get to the other/other side of Care’s Corner, washed parallel to the bank in high water! We could have finally walked across all sides of our property without wearing waders or waiting for winter freeze and snowmachines!
I headed back up to the house, trying to calm down…….yeah right. That’s when Bubba and Noel, the cat began acting like Tom and Jerry, chasing each other around the house, barking, howls, claws and fur flying. I opened the door to let them take it outside. I turned around to put my sandals on to go referee only to find no sign of Bubba. 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes……panic starts to settle in. I find the cat sitting on top of a wood pile, tail whapping – usually meaning Bubba is close. Bubba? Bubba?? BUBBA? I could hear a whimper but couldn’t figure where it was coming from. A panic call to Bill – he said he was on his way home. By this time I’m sobbing, and I finally shriek at the cat: WHERE IS BUBBA? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH HIM? Noel bolted for the house. I followed. When I opened the door only to have Noel head for our bedroom, which he rarely goes, now that it is Bubba’s domain.
I hear a whimper, and a bulge under MY brown comforter emerge with a sheepish look…..oops!! SOMEone got caught red-handed! The deal is, he and Bill get the king-size bed, I get the hospital bed next to it give a girl a break, will ya? A tearful call to Bill to say Bubba was safe and sound (asleep). I guess Noel isn’t the ‘evil demon’ we playfully call him (for now, anyway!)
I step outside to heave a sigh of relief and whisper a prayer of thanks…..to be rewarded with the sunset you see (mind you this is at 11pm Alaska Standard Time!) As I said: Never a dull moment at Care’s Corner!
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.