All things considered, it was a pretty incredible weekend around here. Not only did I see a few adorable baby animals (more on that in a minute!), I got to drive Craney!
I was tooling around on the lawn mower, since the grass was getting taller than Chupa. Gene went to move Craney from where he had parked it on the grass by the chicken coop so I could mow that section, and he waved me over and said he was going to take Craney for a spin. Then he asked if I wanted to try driving!
At first I said no, since history has shown that at times my lack of depth perception is rivaled only by lack of common sense. But I decided I’d at least go with him, since I’d never even sat in the cab while it was moving. After 10 miles or so of watching him change gears, and seeing as it was only 5 of them, I decided to give it a go.
I haven’t driven a standard transmission since around 2007, but it’s true what they say – once you’ve learned, you never forget. Gene stopped on a straight part of the highway, we changed spots, and I gave it a go! At one point I had a mini-freak out, since it felt like we were going way too fast. Then I looked down at the speedometer, and realized I was poking along at a grandmotherly 25 mph, a full 30 mph below the speed limit. But after awhile, I got a lot more comfortable, and even pulled it into our driveway! That part was a little terrifying, as there’s a ditch on both sides capable of swallowing a semi. For real – just ask the unfortunate fellow who drove the moving truck when we first got here.
At any rate, I was feeling pretty proud of myself, and started musing that perhaps the most important name had been left off the “Hunter’s Crane Service” business cards I had just ordered, and that from now on I could drive him to and from the work sites, but first we would need to install some sort of step ladder situation because the cab is a bit of a climb. Then I hopped back on the riding mower, and promptly ran it straight into the Geesie’s wading pool. The spigot we use to drain it got sheared in half, water started pouring everywhere, and I could practically hear my ego start to deflate. Then I managed to get the mower stuck on rocks no less than twice, which Gene had to come pull off and restart for me. The third time I bellowed, “Honeeeeeeeeey, something’s wrong with the mower!,” he suggested that perhaps I stick with writing, and leave the driving of 16,000 lb trucks to him.
In other news, my monarch eggs hatched! That of course necessitated a trip back to Jennifer’s so that I could dig up a larger milkweed plant for them to munch in the Sanctuary. Ironically, I ended up driving there at a stately speed of 25 mph even though I was in the Vermin Wagon, because drinking from a coffee cup is almost impossible given the state of our roads. But I wasn’t about to leave it behind.
Just as I turned onto the dirt road by their place, I spotted some movement in the tall grass. I stopped to see what it would turn out to be, and out waltzed a tiny baby skunk! It was only about 8 inches long, and beyond cute. Like stuffed animal/Disney movie level cute. I actually shut my hand in the car door, such was my haste to get out and shove a camera in its face.
He was actually fearless, surprising given his tiny size. He ran straight up to me, bounced around for a bit, and then started waddling off. Although his tail was straight up, he never turned his Southern end in my direction, so I figured he was just playing when he started jumping directly at my phone. And my shoes. All while making an adorable screeching noise. I was a little worried (but relieved at the same time) that mama skunk didn’t seem to be around. So I called Gene, and had barely even started to get out “So I found this baby skunk and there’s no mama anywhere – ” before he’s all, “No. Just no. No skunks! It’s mom will find him as soon as you walk away.” Sigh.