IT’S EXCITING living in the country! Last night at 12:45AM, I was awakened by the sound of a window screen crashing to the floor. I ran to my bedroom door, clutching my cell phone to call 911, looked toward the kitchen, and saw a shadowy shape moving across my kitchen floor. At first I thought it was a cat, but no, it was a raccoon, a 25-pounder if he (or she) was a pound. He must have been on the roof and fallen through the open living room skylight.
I’ve dealt with squirrels in the house before, in Brooklyn — never easy, because they panic and bounce off the walls. This raccoon was fairly calm, although when he saw me, he jumped onto the kitchen counter and started trying to climb the open shelves, laden with glassware. Remarkably, he didn’t break a thing. Using the screen as a shield and a prod, I managed to steer him toward the front door, talking to him sweetly the whole time. I opened it, and out he ran.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much after that adrenaline rush. I’m just glad he dropped in when I was at home. Imagine the destruction he could have caused inside the house for a day or two. I have five skylights and had been leaving them open for ventilation. No more.
That was the start of a no good very bad day. I hit a dozen yard sales in the morning. None lived up to their descriptions in the East Hampton Star (“amazing,” etc.) I was focused on finding two things: a rectangular table and chairs for the porch (thinking 1940s wooden kitchen set with an enamel tabletop) and some kind of pantry cabinet. Found neither; bought nothing.
Later, I got pulled over for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign in East Hampton village. Did I get off with a warning? No — I got a $185 ticket and two points on my license. “Here’s what you do,” the cop said. “Go down to the courthouse and plead not guilty. They’ll plea bargain, and since you have a clean record, they won’t give you the points, just the fine.” Thank you very much, officer. Actually, I have another outstanding summons, a parking violation (for facing the wrong way in a parking lot; someone has to explain that to me). At last I can take care of both at once, and make that trip to the courthouse worth my while.
Ah well, chalk it up to a newbie’s wake-up calls to the ways of “the prettiest village in America,” a title also claimed by Woodstock, VT; Wicasset, ME; and Sausalito, CA, among others.