Reminders come in many different forms.
Sometimes it's a list. Sometimes it's a person. Sometimes an event or story.
Lists only work for me if I remember to look at the list. People are good reminders, if they remember to remind you and events or stories are usually accidental reminders.
Yesterday I had an accidental reminder. One of my college friends wrote on her FB account about gently relocating a flying squirrel that was eyeing her attic (already inhabited by hard-partying squirrels.) I imagine that my friend looked out her window one day and spotted this squirrel looking at her attic space with a glint in its eye, with a tape measure in one paw and a copy of Better Nests and Burrows grasped in the other. Her story led her to share how she had previously captured a bat in her kitchen, been bitten and suffered the subsequent (Yes, really that painful) Rabies shots.
And that story is what reminded me of my own bat story.
When we were just a family of three, and J wasn't quite 2 yet, we lived outside of Philadelphia, PA in an apartment where my mostly nice neighbors were the only thing going for it. :) One night I awoke and saw a bird flying in our bedroom. I woke up my husband and told him. He flipped on the light to prove to me that I was dreaming. Instead, he dove back under the covers. "IT'S A BAT!"
Being a huge wimp, my first thought was to call directory assistance and ask for the non-emergency police number. (At least I didn't call 911!) I wanted a trained professional, animal wrangling type person to come and capture the bat (who had hotwinged it to parts of my home unknown when the husband turned on the light.) At this point, I should point out that my husband was willing to seek and remove the critter...I just wanted reinforcements..in case it came with friends, ya know!
A kind policeman arrived with a net to capture our creature. He searched in all our closets and everything...no bat. (Later I wondered if they were so eager to search because evidently the previous tenant was a drug dealer. I have other funny stories about how we discovered that, but I'll save that for another time. :) )
We figured it had gone out the way it came, through our bathroom vent, which was now hanging by a wire. We got the maintenance people to fix the vent. They were supposed to get a pest management company in immediately to be sure there wasn't an attic full of bats hanging out there.
That night, we were lying on the living room floor (because I was too skeeved out in my bedroom) when the bat made an appearance and began to make swooping laps around our living room and kitchen, occasionally resting by hanging upside down from our blinds. EEK! I took J and hightailed it to my awesome neighbor's house (Thanks Andrea!)...and she went upstairs to see our "pet". Being a Friday night, the police were kind of busy so we called our maintenance guy. Before he arrived though a police officer stopped by and caught our friend in a brown paper sandwich bag. (It's like a cave and they will fly right in!) Shortly after, our extremely inebriated maintenance man arrived, weaving and slurring as he carried a net he had fashioned from a broom and a pair of purple sweatpants. (Oh how I wish I had captured that sight on film.!)
[At this point, in our area rabies shots were not recommended for such an experience. A few years later, when we were living in upstate NY, the same experience would have resulted in a strong recommendation to get rabies shots. Also, bats were/ still are? protected, so they can be relocated but not harmed.]
Looking back I think, "what wimps we were!" (OK *I* was a wimp...the husband wanted to just capture the thing but noooo..I had to call in the troops!) And I laugh at how freaked out I was. I also admit that I still get very creeped out by the idea of having any critters (other than my two legged beasties) in my home.
My outdoorsy friend is much braver than I could dream of being. I wonder if I can get over my shrieking wimpiness. I'd like to. Is it mind over matter? I mean I can birth children, change some scary diapers ..and live with people of the male species...that should have toughened me up a little bit...right?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And really I know that this is true. It's good to remember that though, especially when I'm feeling a little less than brave, or strong or confident.
I hope you remember it too!