"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bear Today, Gone Tomorrow

I'm happy to report that I met my writing goals. And a good thing, too, because I'm spending a few days in "official mode."

Returned from the Big Lake in order to attend a meeting of the Suncook River Restoration Task Force, a group of state reps, state and federal officials, who must decide how to repair (and fund the repair) of our "broken" river. It abruptly and disastrously changed its course during the Mother's Day Floods of May, 2006 and caused severe flooding in the Patriot's Day Flood of April, 2007. Yes, my district has suffered more than its share of natural disasters...most recently the terrible tornado.

There was a message waiting for me from the Governor's office, notifying me of the Governor's disaster recovery briefing for representatives in tornado-affected towns. That takes place tomorrow.

Today I had a very kind telephone call from the Speaker of the House, expressing her sympathy and good wishes as the community struggles with the recovery.

After my task force meeting yesterday, the Chap and I met for a scrummy Mexican meal at the restaurant in the old town jail. It was packed--we didn't realise the mid-week after-work crowd was so large--so we didn't get a table in one of the jail cells.

We headed for home in our separate cars. He had to stop for diesel (ouch, talk about pain at the pump!) so I beat him home. I finished unloading some lake things from my car and was about to feed the dogs when the Chap raced into the house all excited.

"Check your bird feeders to see if they're intact. I just saw a bear walking up the road! Right in front of my car. It walked up the road then turned and went into our woods."

Because it wasn't even dark yet, this was a daytime bear sighting--unprecedented at the Lodge. We hoped it would come out into the yard before darkness fell. The dogs were very antsy, clearly they smelled something interesting out there. I wandered from window to window with camera in hand.

But the bear did not return.

It must have been on or around our property when I drove in--lurking somewhere. I was so jealous that the Chap saw it and I didn't.

In the night I had a dream about bears.

Our yard was covered with them. Two large ones were rolling around on the big deck. There were 13 medium-sized ones scattered about on the lawn. And there were 2 very young ones toddling around. Also, there was a dead guy, a stranger in a plaid jacket and a baseball cap, stretched out on the grass near the 13 bears.

Despite the presence of the corpse, I stepped outside to get the paper and bring the feeders in. I kept telling myself as long as I didn't get near the little bears, I'd probably be all right and the big bears wouldn't charge me like they'd done the dead man.

Ruth and Jewel tried to follow me onto the deck and I chased them back inside. "Don't let the bears see you!" The 2 really big bears were right there near the door, but they didn't seem to mind my being there.

But I decided to go back into the house.

Then I woke up.

I think it's been a couple of hundred years since a black bear killed a person in NH. (No time to look up the stats, must practise mandolin before my lesson.) So I'm assuming my dream isn't prophetic.

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