Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lightening bugs

For as long as I can remember, I always knew that summer had finally arrived with the lightening bugs showed up.  For the first couple nights, there were only one or two, but very quickly the yard would be filled with them every night at dusk.  I remember how much fun it was to run around the yard catching them and placing them "safely" in an old jar.

The lightening bugs seemed to show up early this year.  Probably because Maryland doesn't observe spring as an official season, preferring instead to go straight from winter to summer.  Regardless of timing, they still seemed to have peaked in the very middle of summer.  Tonight, they were everywhere.  Fields already illuminated by the light of the full moon in a clear sky, twinkled with their little fluorescent strobes.

I was able to see this tonight because I was driving to an emergency; one that I already knew was not going to end well. The living postcard in front of me as I raced down the country roads made me nostalgic for days gone by.  A time when life wasn't anymore complicated than finding an old jar, and chasing the lightening bugs. 

Monday, July 11, 2011


I spend a significant amount of time driving.  It's part of the job description for "ambulatory veterinarian." Rain or shine you can find me trucking along on my way to appointments.  I drive on interstates and dirt roads; through suburbia housing developments and corn fields.  I drive in DC commuter traffic and small town rush hours... but there is one area unlike any other.  An area that makes my jaw clench and me mentally add 15 minutes to a GPS estimated time of arrival.

My job requires that I drive to, near, and around Gettysburg on a very regular basis.  It is a tiny little town made up of lots of little "antique" shops and an entire subculture of people crowding the streets.  People who are there walk out into the middle of traffic.  People who pack their entire family into an RV in order to inch their way along roads to look at fields.  People who enjoy slamming on their brakes so that they can play Chinese fire drill with their car and a monument. It is during tourist season that PennDOT, in their infinite wisdom, decides to shut down roads, tear out bridges, and leave random road cones/barrels sitting in the middle of streets. 

I successfully navigated Gettysburg again today.  I did not run over anyone, kept my yelling inside the truck, and resisted the urge to perform R-rated sign language. And on the other side of it, I managed to save the llama in the middle of an allergic reaction.  I'm going to call it a win to start on-call week.