To my readers: Here is a fun piece I wrote yesterday. It's a whimsical bit of the ongoing history of this house. I hope you enjoy it.
Have you ever found yourself late at night with a mystery to solve? One that seems a bit frightening, but you need your sleep so you toughen up and go to bed anyway, against your better judgement? I have. Just last night! Here's a story for you.
Last night I was sitting at my desk in my writing studio, finishing a few things on my computer. The second-floor sun porch, where I do my writing, has 7 windows that fill a good part of three sides of the room. It sits snuggled in under a towering hickory tree where squirrels play, nuts fall and welcomed shade guards us from intense summer sun. A huge elm that I can see from where I sit, looms above our back yard amidst the mighty oaks and maples this old neighborhood is known for.
My small lamp lights up my desk area, a cozy little scene.
But I encourage you to not get too comfortable with this idyllic setting because suddenly I hear two bops against the outside of one of the windows. I jump up, my eyes nervously scanning the windows from which the sound seemed to come.
What was that?
Couldn't be a bird; they don't fly around bumping into things at 10:00 at night.
Couldn't be a locust: they don't have enough mass for that amount of bump and there was no crackly wing noise with it.
All I could come to, based on past experience, was that this noise indicated that there was a bat trying to get in our house. Of course, it freaked me out but there was no movement inside the room that would confirm that a bat was indeed there. But when another bump hit, I quickly shut off the light and scurried over to our bedroom.
"There's a bat trying to get in the house, Brian!" I reported anxiously.
We talked through the fact that it is August, the month when we have historically found bats flying around inside our house. I tried to figure out why a bat would be banging into our windows though because they are supposed to have such a great radar system and no bat has ever run into any of us when it is perusing our rooms late at night! (Oh but we do have stories!!)
But that noise.
We decided that the best plan was to sleep with our door closed and a towel stuffed into the open space at the bottom of it. One thing we know for sure is that bats are social because they love to be where we are. If they find a way to get into our house they end up finding and flying around our bedroom, waking my husband who seems to have a "bat radar" of his own, who then wakes me up with a shake. "Deane, I think we have a bat in our room!" (Oh yes, we do have stories.)
In spite of this late night scare, because the door was closed, we slept well. No nightly visitors made me wonder if I maybe had been mistaken and perhaps it was some other weird thing bumping into my window.
I thought that....until I took the clothes to the washer this morning.
There on the dryer, all by itself, with no fanfare but with a LOUD VOICE, sat a little piece of bat poo, confirming my prediction of last night's scare.
I ran upstairs frantically reporting to Brian that I was sure I was right! There was a bat bumping into our window and somehow he found his way in and he was in the basement last night so WHERE IS HE NOW? Bat season has started and, I wondered out loud, when is that bat-man going to come and bat-proof this house?
Brian assured me that we never see bats in the daytime so I could settle down and be in the basement without worry. Right. But I repeated. WHERE IS HE NOW?
Living in a one-hundred-year-old house in the midst of towering hundred-year-old trees and generations of bats who love the space within our walls make for unpredictable nighttime adventures.
The kind I could happily live without.
So, WHERE IS HE NOW?