I sat down to work at 7am in my home office recently, just like I do any given weekday morning.
Sipping my coffee, I checked my emails. I made notes on the projects I’d be working on that day. I gave myself a funny Facebook status.
It was the usual morning routine.
Then, as I started getting into the day’s first web design tasks, the electricity in the house flashed off and on. No biggie, I thought to myself. I watched the wi-fi indicator on my laptop change from being connected to our wireless network, to no connection, to back online as the router reset itself.
I continued to work for exactly 2 more minutes.
Then the electricity flickered again.
And the router had to reset itself again.
“You have got to be kidding me,” I thought to myself 20 minutes later as the electricity continued to flicker off and on every 2 minutes. And then conked out entirely. Turns out a bus had hit an electricity pole down the street, knocking out power all around our small town Georgia neighborhood. (No one was seriously hurt.)
When you have a power outage at a regular day job, most likely you’re stuck at work waiting for the power to come back on. It might be back in 20 minutes, no need to send everyone home! In the meantime, you get to pass the time with your co-workers playing awesome old school games like “Heads Up Seven Up”.
When you’re self employed, you get to decide that you can pick up your projects tomorrow and take the day off with your son.
Phil and I hightailed it to Savannah’s Oatland Island Wildlife Center, which is one of our favorite places ever. It’s like a zoo, but it’s built more for the animals than for you and me. The animals aren’t served up on an easy to see platter in a tiny enclosure like they are at most zoos. At Oatland Island, the enclosures are huge, and full of natural cover for the animals to hang out in. You’re lucky if you see them.
We went to the farm area first, and checked out chickens, geese, bunnies, as well as a huge pig, cow, and donkey.
As we worked our way back to the trail that would take us to Phil’s favorite exhibit, the wolves, we talked about the wild dogs. We decided that if a wolf howled at us, we would howl back. That’s how you make friends with wolves, everyone. (Disclaimer: Please don’t really try that.)
We stopped at the bison exhibit, where both animals were walking around. I’ve been to Oatland Island a bunch of times over the years, and the big ol’ beasts are usually just laying there like bumps on a log.
Huge, hairy bumps on a log.
Phil and I continued down the sunny forest trail. We chatted, he picked up sticks, and it was just so good to be there without any agenda.
We spent 30 minutes in the cabin at the wolf exhibit. It’s a building with one wall that’s all darkened windows – you can watch the wolves, and sometimes see them come right up to the glass, but they can’t see you. We saw wolves napping in the sun, and we saw them drinking from their stream. We saw them plotting their escape as they watched the door they surely get fed through.
Every couple of minutes, Phil would walk around inside the cabin. He’d point out the armadillo skeleton and tell me it couldn’t hurt him. He checked out little snakes and critters in terrariums nestled in the walls. He returned to the window to sit down and watch his wolves.
My heart caught in my throat as we left the wolf exhibit; I found our boardwalk plaque. My husband Josh had bought one of the personalized boards on the boardwalk to surprise us when we all moved here this summer. He’s been out of town for a couple of months… It was kind of hard, but awesome at the same time, to see it.
The waterworks continued when we got to the bear exhibit. It’s blocked off, and a toy marks what used to live there. That stuffed bear gets me every time. It commemorates Baby Bear, a 28 year old black bear that passed away at Oatland Island in 2008. That bear meant a lot to the people that love Oatland Island – I know I remember drawing him when I was in art school.
At that point Phil snapped me back to reality. He was hungry. Really hungry.
Like feed me now I’m about to flip out hungry.
And the only snacks we had were in the car.
I picked up that 25 pound toddler and almost sprinted through the woods to the parking lot. We didn’t even make it to half of the animals at Oatland Island, but by the time I’d finished my half mile toddler run, I knew we were done for the day.
I went through the Sonic drive-thru to get some drinks for the long ride home, and made a long call to my husband between Tybee Island and Guyton.
It sure beat waiting for the electricity to come back on.