When I broke off abruptly from telling you about my adventures in heat and storms, I believe I stopped at the groundhogs. I was watching two of them in a lot behind a McDonalds while Mom was inside using a net book to try to find the family some place to stay that had A/C. Thankfully, Megan was letting me complain to her via the cell phone and had made me laugh two or three times in the process of defusing my crankiness. I was not a pleasant person to be around during this time. I cringe when I think about what I put my family through. Be glad you weren’t on the phone with me. Anyway, these little critters started popping up in the field and so I began narrating their doings to Megan. It was much better than what I had been talking about, that’s for certain.
There were about eight of the furry, well fed fellows by the time they were all out and munching on the clover. The place behind the fast food building where they were congregated was an odd shape. Rectangular, it had a wood on one side and the road on the opposite side. McDonald’s parking lot took the third side and a newly made strip mall across from McDonalds claimed the forth. But between the mall and the wide flat space, was an enormous mound, at least twelve feet tall and probably closer to fifteen feet. It was a short mound, covered in grass and I could not understand why it was there. Drainage? Wind resistance? It made no sense, because it totally blocked the strip mall directly behind it, from view.
I told Megan that I would try to get photos of the ground hogs, but because they were so far away and my phone has a limited camera range, none of them turned out. My going down into the rectangle (each side of it had a mound two feet high before the pavement which meant any rain that came down would fill up the field like a pool before making it to the concrete which is why I figured it was for drainage) to get pictures of the ground hogs scarred the majority of them into the wood. Others disappeared from sight, but I had no idea where they went. I decided to try walking up the mound. It was getting hotter and the breeze, I knew, would be strong atop the hill/mound. My idea was to go and sit up there and continue to talk to Megan while I waited to see where I would be spending the night. From the side of the mound, it was a fairly steep incline but there seemed to be a worn dirt path and the grass was long enough that I could grab at it with my free hand if I needed to. I made it to the top and then, scared a ground-hog. He peeped, and vanished from sight. I laughed to Megan that he had gotten down the hill fast. As she went “Uuuumm” I wandered over to a dark divot in the high grass and dirt on the top of the mound. The breeze was much stiffer there, and it felt lovely. “Hey,” I said, my mind not nearly as quick as hers “I bet that the ground-hog went down into this hole, not down the hill.” She agreed and said the whole hill was probably a warren. I went to get a picture of the entrance to send to her and confirm this when a shrill “AEEEEEE CHA CHA CHA *sneeze*” bellowed out of the hole.
I decided that was either a ‘don’t eat me’ plea, or a ‘cry havoc and loose the hounds of war’ scream, and wisely, decided not to find out which it was. I did not need to be eaten by ground hogs on top of being hot, smelly, and disgruntled. I walked down the other side of the mound, and out into the clover. The long heads of the flowers pinged and thwacked against my knees as I walked back to McDonalds. When I was once more under the trees, I turned around and saw a ground-hog at a hole I hadn’t noticed, at the bottom of the rise. His beady black eyes met my gaze across the field and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, retreat had been the correct choice to make.
Looking back on the entire “ground-hog incident” I can see how the Lord lovingly allowed me to play with some of His creation, and how through the council and sympathy of a good friend, He lifted my bruised spirits. It wasn’t a time of tangible presence or supernatural insight, but it was a moment never the less, that I have secreted away as a time when He rescued me, from myself.
Want to know what happened after the ground-hogs? Next post I’ll show you where we wound up staying!