The Blob

Sunday, August 31, 2003

What would you do?

I'm struggling with a big challenge: how to help my brother and his 3 1/2 year old son. Here's the scenario: his wife divorced him after my brother discovered she was having an affair. That's bad enough. But she no longer cares for her little boy, and apparently has provided no support since the divorce. My brother is left to be father and mother, and to pay all the bills. To me, that's unforgivable.

And now, the world is closing in on him.

In 30 days, the house, now in foreclosure, will be seized. Everything in his life could change. What would you do?

I'm trying to help him however I can. But I don't have enough money to save him, nor enough ideas. So I started a blog site to get thoughts, support and help from others. Please look at the site and share its URL with others you know. Any help, be it just a thought or words of encouragement, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Night of the bandits

Lately, my wife has had trouble sleeping. Unlike me, she's extremely sensitive to caffeine, even the tiny amount in Starbucks decaf. So it was last night, as she finally quit trying to sleep and instead indulged herself in a late night movie while I snored and drooled blissfully. About 12:30 in the morning, she excitedly rousted me from my slumbers to tell me to come downstairs immediately.

We had visitors. A family of raccoons, to be exact.

I know raccoons can be a nuisance to some, but to us, it was 45 minutes of pure entertainment. My wife first heard noises above her in our back yard, where we have a lattice-covered patio. Switching on the patio light, she was astonished to see little paws poking through the latticework. Then, one by one, the three raccoons, a dad or mom and two very little ones, climbed down to see the light. They boldly came right up to our back window. Dad/mom even gestured that they wanted to open our screen window. Now that's smart.

What was hilarious and cute to us was a total invasion threat to Java, our cat. Her tail got as fat as the raccoons and she repeatedly charged the window. None of this phased the raccoons, not even the little ones. Something tells me they've seen this before.

I wanted so to feed them. But to open our door could have brought trouble. Last year, we were able to roll out apples and grapes on a very hot night, which they enjoyed tremendously. But we throw food out for the critters in the meadow beyond our back yard, so I'm sure they'll do fine.

To see their little masked bandit faces was adorable.

The whole week has been like this. Early Monday morning, I saw a bobcat casually stroll past our back yard. And each morning and dusk, we're serenaded by two owls calling each other. Less pretty but equally interesting are the screeches of a family of sharp-shinned hawks, as they teach a newborn the ways of survival.

But the raccoon family was my favorite. They're welcome any time.