Expect the unexpected

natural-valleys-rock

I enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer. I seem to relax and appreciate what God has created outside on adventures…animals, flowers, rocks, trees, skylines, stars, etc. There is such beauty, color and uniqueness in each and every living thing. Our family enjoys feeding our background birds and growing vegetables in the gardens. Our bird feeders seem to attract other critters such as our backyard squirrels which are quite entertaining scampering through the trees. All was well until one day when the squirrels thought they were clever and crawled up the pole to the bird feeders and ate the sunflower seeds which they enjoyed all too much.

We have since chased the squirrels out of the bird feeders numerous times to the point where it annoyed Anabelle (my daughter). She would pound the glass door which scares them and they leave the feeders. Then the daring squirrels started digging in my husband’s garden which infuriated him because he was not growing vegetables for the squirrels. My husband and daughter come up with a plan that they would setup a live trap to catch the squirrels. It was a solid plan and Anabelle baited the trap with sunflower seeds. They were both pretty proud of themselves!

We went to bed that night and Anabelle was dreaming about the squirrels she was going to catch. I got up that morning and had forgotten about the trap until the morning coffee had kicked in. I went to my kitchen window to check the trap and behold….

This was not a pleasant surprise! “Surely not a skunk,” I thought to myself. Daylight came and it was for SURE a skunk. What in the world am I going to do with a skunk right near my kitchen window and back door? Well, Anabelle woke up and I showed her the critter she caught and she had an uh oh look on her face. “That’s not a squirrel, that’s a skunk.” Really…

When you are stuck in a situation you have never experienced before I tend think of individuals with maturity and experience in the circumstances at hand. I called an outdoors man, Steve. I asked how in the world was I going to get rid of the skunk without getting sprayed with pungent perfume? He said to put a blanket over the skunk trap, pick up the trap and take it to his house. Solid plan from an experienced outdoorsmen but I was neither experienced or outdoor woman concerning this matter. “Take him at his word and stick to the plan,” I thought. Then I prayed..”Please God help me be quick and not frighten this skunk!”

blanketI got brave during the day when the skunk hid in back section of the trap and was taking a nap. I rushed in the shop for a blanket. I slowly, carefully and prayerfully proceeded to the trap. Placed the blanket gently over the top and then I RAN to the shop. Whew! Step 1 done. Step 2: Get the skunk to the truck and oh buy the way…not get sprayed. I seized an opportunity at 7 pm. I was sweating like a pig and it was pitch dark that night. I picked up the cage slowly and prayerfully. Over a hundred yards will determine my fate of a victory or smelling sort of like a sharp, ammonia-like, VERY strong-smelling nuisance sort of thing, that resists attempts to make it go away. A nightmare in the making!

I picked up the cage carefully and in the most gentle walk I could muster I proceeded to the truck.

Isn’t life like this experience? Sometimes you encounter unexpected events, surprises, difficulties and troubles that you have not experienced before. How do you handle those circumstances?

  1. Seek God’s direction in prayer. In this situation God brought Steve’s name to mind and boy did I seek and trust in his experience.
  2. Seek council from mature Christians for guidance, direction and advice.
  3. Follow through with daily prayer, devotion and action throughout the circumstance.

One of my go to verses to seek guidance is Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

skinnedSo what about the skunk? I successfully arrived at the truck and didn’t get sprayed. Made the delivery to Steve’s house where he removed the trap, uncovered it and disposed of the skunk. I am so thankful for Steve and his experience skunks and the outdoors. The skunk was skinned and drying the fur by none other the Steve the outdoorsman! Thanks so much Steve for the help!

If you ever get sprayed by one of these critters, I’m sorry but there is hope to rid yourself of the smell. Myth busters recommends after testing numerous options the following mixture for application to remove the smell.

 

 

  • 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at any pharmacy)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap

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