Paul and I go on a lot of dates. You can do that when you have cats, not kids.
Sometimes we go on a date to Wal Mart.
Sometimes we go on a date to the library.
Sometimes we go on disc golf/running dates.
We recently started doing fishing/running dates.
A few days ago, we had a fishing/reading date.
I had already done my workout. I managed to get up well before my piano lessons and bang out 5 miles (thanks to an awesome pod cast). I was stretched, rolled, and full of coffee and generic raisin brand before my first student walked in the door.
Two hours later, I was done teaching and had the rest of the day to do what I wanted. It's a rough life for a teacher in the summer who has cats, not kids.
Paul decided he wanted to go fishing. Sometimes I just drop him off at the creek nearby, but today I decided to bring a lawn chair and a book to read. He was down with the idea. It was a great way to spend time together doing what we each individually liked.
We parked on Sheepford Road at the Yellow Breeches Park. I don't know where the park is because all I saw was grass. We walked back a short trail along the creek. Paul led the way. I stepped carefully, not wanting to step on/see any/think about snakes.
There was a clearing with two crappy picnic tables, a makeshift fire pit, and empty beer cans strewn about. This was the romantic setting for our fishing/reading date. I sat up my chair and started rummaging through the bad 'o fun I brought along. (Pens, paper, books, camera, Garmin... all kinds of things to entertain me for who knows how long!) Paul got his fishing rod ready (I am sure there is a term for that) and stepped down to the creek.
Then we heard it. The sound of an animal crying. It sort of sounded like a bird, but we weren't sure.
"What was that?" I asked.
"A bird, I think," Paul replied.
We heard it again and I mimicked the sound.
Then I looked across the creek- it was quite wide, deep, and flowing fast. I have really bad vision when it comes to things far away, but I thought I saw something moving on a log in the water that was right next to the bank on the other side of the creek.
"Look over there. What's that?" I pointed.
Paul studied it. "Wow, it kind of looks like a chipmunk, but bigger," he said. A few seconds later, "Oh no, it's a deer!"
It was a deer. A little baby deer stuck in the water making that now horrible sound! He was struggling to keep his head above without getting swept downstream. Luckily the log was sort of helping him stay in one place. He was trying to get his front feet up on the embankment, but he couldn't because not only was it really steep, but it was really slippy and muddy. The little guy was struggling for sure. And every once in awhile, he would make that horrible crying sound.
"What do we do!?" I asked, panicked. I love animals and I couldn't stand to see the little guy in peril. "Should I swim across and help him up?" I asked Paul.
"No, no. He could kick you or bite you or kill you," Paul said.
"Well we can't stay here," I said getting up and putting my things away. "I can't sit here and watch this."
"Oh, believe me, I don't want to stay here either!" Paul said.
We were out of there pretty quickly. Back at the car, I wondered if there was someone I could call. The township? Fish and game commission? An animal search and rescue operation? There had to be someone who could help.
I knew what to do. I texted my friend, Tammy. Tammy's husband, Jeff, (who's number I didn't have), was a conservation officer. I knew he would have the answers. I have run with him a lot in the past, and he was our running group's resident expert on nature and wildlife. He was the person who would answer my question, "Will there be snakes out today?" upon embarking on a trail run.
Tammy gave me Jeff's number, and luckily, he picked up the phone. I quickly explained the situation and he assured me that the deer's momma was probably nearby and would help the little guy as soon as we left. The mom was most likely scared to come help because Paul and I were around. So the best thing to do was to just leave and let the mom take care of things. He said deer are very adaptable.
Hearts still racing, Paul and I drove to a different fishing spot down the road. We needed to relax. We talked a little more about the little deer, but decided to put the topic to rest, and that the momma deer had surely rescued it and they were frolicking in a meadow right now.
All set up at our new location, we were just settling in when I heard it-
Paul's feet had slipped right out from under him in the slick mud (picture a cartoon character slipping on a banana peel) and he fell right on his ass.
"I'm okay!" he assured me. His whole left side was covered in mud. I of course jumped up to make sure he wasn't hurt, only embarrassed.
Then we laughed. Hard. What else was this day going to throw at us!?
Luckily, nothing. He fished (although left side now covered in mud) and I read Amy Poehler's book (loving it so far) for the next two hours.
Paul's good side.
Doesn't she look fabulous!?
"You having fun, babe?" he'd ask me every once in awhile.
"Yeah! Are you?"
"Abolutely!" he assured me.
I love our boring life!