Unsent Letters #3

A collection of letters I’ve written…but will never send, for a variety of reasons.

Dear January,

You’re acting very strange this year. I mean here we are, in the third week of what is usually one of the coldest and snowiest months of the year and we have…rain. Lots of rain. And highs in the 50s. What’s up with that? Look, I’m not saying I want ice storms and sub-zero wind chills or anything. But the gray, rainy days are getting a little old. And I bought my kid new snow boots that aren’t getting very much use.

Here’s an idea. How about we have a lovely 2-inch snowfall overnight (when no one is out on the roads) and then wake up to the sun shining on the fresh-fallen snow? Just for a change of pace. Sound good? Okay then, it’s a deal.

Weary & waterlogged

Dear Neighborhood Raccoon Family,

Here’s the thing: those feeders full of seeds that we hang from our deck? NOT FOR YOU. They are for the local songbirds, and maybe a woodpecker or two. But definitely not for any raccoons. Last year, I could leave the feeders out all night and they would remain undisturbed, and ready for the earliest of early-birds to visit them. But this year…no. You discovered our deck.

Remember that night I opened the door to the deck and scared one of you and he jumped 15 feet to the ground? Or that other night when Chad went out on the deck only to discover two of you creeping along the railing toward our bird feeders? Not cool.

So I started putting the feeders in a huge Rubbermaid tub overnight, thinking that would be the end of it and our seeds would remain untouched. But no. You spent weeks figuring out how to open the container. Yeah, you’re clever. But we are not amused. And we are also not interested in feeding our entire stash of seeds to a couple of industrious midnight power-munchers.

This battle is not over. In case you haven’t noticed, the feeder-holding tub now has bungee cords around it overnight. Ha! Let’s see you figure those out.

Okay not really. I don’t want you to figure those out. I want you to decide that there is nothing here for you and move along. Okay? Okay.

The neighborhood feeder of birds, but not raccoons

Dear Science Project,

You’ve been great, really. L. and I are halfway into a month of studying the germination and growth of bean and corn plants and we really couldn’t have asked for better subjects. You are growing beautifully, providing L. with the perfect progress to observe, draw, and chart. We know more about cotyledons, leaf nodes, and radicles than most non-botanists out there.

But I just need to warn you: look out for the cats. Last November, when we were studying radish sprouts, the cats ate a discouraging percentage of our experiments. Of course, they waited until our backs were turned, and the results were devastating. Who knew that house cats liked radishes?

I can’t say whether they like corn and beans, and I’ve been doing my best to keep you out of their reach. But these cats are shifty. They might just be waiting for the opportune moment to hunt you down and nibble those photosynthesizing leaves of yours.

We’ll do our best to protect you. But all the same: watch your back. The cats cannot be trusted.

Your admirers and would-be protectors


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