What the what?!?

Have you ever had moments in life where you think, is this actually happening?

I’ve had my fair share. Some of them good, some not so awesome.

There was the time my flight got delayed on the way back to university after Christmas vacation in Ecuador. I landed in Miami with about three minutes to make my connecting flight. I wasn’t the only passenger in this predicament. In fact, there was a whole bunch of us, but I was the only one NOT a part of the Richardson’s Galapagos Family Reunion of 2003. (I gathered this based on the matching shirts everyone else was wearing. I was wearing a llama wool sweater I had recently purchased, which was too bulky to fit in my suitcase, and which would be perfect for landing in Toronto, Canada in January. This choice would come back to haunt me.)
So there we were, me and the Richardsons, hurrying up the walkway where a gate attendant handed us boarding passes, pointed us in the right direction and simply said, “Run!”

And so we ran. All twenty of us. And at thirty second intervals, the man who I assume was the patriarch of the bunch would stop and yell,“Roll call! Where’s Betty?”


“Cousin Liza?”




“Grandma Sue?”


“Random Girl?”


And then we would keep running. At some point during this mad dash, I caught a glimpse of myself in the floor to ceiling glass windows. There I was , in my llama wool sweater, with my carry-on flapping against the back of my knees as I ran, sweat pouring down my face, my mascara running and my hair beginning to resemble the Muppets Animal after a good head banging session. My skin was peeling from a particularly bad sunburn I had acquired from our few days on the coast. On the other side of the glass was sunshine, palm trees and the sun glaring off the pavement. The sight made me slam on the brakes and stare…until I heard, “Hey random girl, lets go!”

“I cannot believe this is happening”, I thought.

Another particularly surreal moment came while visiting Uzbekistan with my sister. Standing in the hotel lobby waiting for a cab, a drunken man approached my sister with his hands out in front of him like he was ready to grab her. I stepped in front of her, stuck my finger in his face and yelled “Touch her and DIE. I WILL kill you.” I had never felt such protective rage before. More shocking to me than the fact that I had actually uttered those words to a human being was that I had meant them. I think I would have actually physically assaulted him had he taken one more step.

The night my now Hubs told me he liked me ranks as the best “I can’t believe this is happening moment” in my life. I looked at him across the room, and honestly wondered if I had fallen asleep and was dreaming all this up. It was a beautiful moment.

So, yeah. Good and bad surreal moments.

But nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for the “I cannot believe this is happening moment” I had yesterday.

It was a fairly typical afternoon. I had a friend over for coffee and we visited while the boys had quiet time. She stayed and continued to chat while I prepared supper. As she gathered her stuff to leave, I walked her to the door and watched as my boys, who love their Auntie Meghan, gave hugs and said goodbye ten times. As I stood by the backdoor, I heard some strange sounds coming from behind me, where the door to the bathroom/laundry room was open. At first I couldn’t distinguish what the sounds were, but as the boys began their eleventh goodbye, the sound I had been hearing registered as water. It wasn’t exactly running water, but almost sounded like splashing.

Someone must have left the tap running a bit, I thought, or else maybe the washer machine is leaking again? Not wanting to be rude, I  finished saying goodbye to my friend before I turned to investigate what was going on in the bathroom.

As I approached the sink, I could see that the sound wasn’t coming from the tap. A quick glance at the washer and the floor told me that wasn’t the source either. I walked farther into the bathroom, and out of the corner of my eye, realized there was something dark in the toilet bowl. One of the kids must have forgotten to flush, I thought. No sooner had I reached out to push down the handle to flush than the black mass in the toilet…moved.

“Aarrrgh,” I yelled, and jumped back. I stood in the doorway, panting and trying to process what had just happened. I had seen something move…in the toilet. It was black…and large…and……..fuzzy? No, not fuzzy. Furry. It was furry.

Oh dear Jesus, I prayed, help me be brave. I eased my way into the bathroom, took slow big steps in toward the toilet, and ever so carefully peered into the bowl.

You guys. There was a squirrel in the toilet. A SQUIRREL. A WHOLE SQUIRREL. IN MY TOILET!!!!!!

How does this happen? How does a squirrel get in the house? Did it swim up through the pipes? Did it run in when we were coming in the house one day?  Wouldn’t we have noticed? Is there a hole somewhere we haven’t noticed? Once it was in the house, how did  it go unseen? Why did it get in the toilet? Is this seriously happening right now?!?

I quickly shut the door to the bathroom, ran out to the driveway where my friend was about to drive away, and flagged her down. She graciously came inside, verified that there was in fact a squirrel in the toilet, (and I wasn’t losing my mind) and waited with me while I called the Hubs to determine how quickly he would be home to help take care of the matter. At this point the squirrel was either dead or faking dead, and he remained that way until the Hubs got home and put him outside.

It’s been nearly 24 hours since the dreaded occurrence. I have viewed the photo I took over and over because I still can’t quite believe it happened. A squirrel. In. The. Toilet. A once in a lifetime event, surely. And yet…I can’t help but be just a tad anxious that it is going to happen again.

But I suppose if it does it won’t be quite so unbelievable the next time…right?



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