Without each other for company, some OFs are hand-feeding chipmunks or taming a mink

Occasionally, the Old Men of the Mountain consider the weather and right now, as the scribe squints his tired old eyes at the machine that types on glass, it is Nov. 8 and it is beautiful outside. Not only that but the TV will, or should, be rid of all those political ads. OF course, one OF mentioned the broadcast stations will be missing a source of easy revenue.

The roving reporter reported that there were even fewer at the restaurant than previously. All the OMOTM can’t wait for this “pandemic” to be (more quotes) “over” or a workable “vaccine” found and the group can get back together again, this scribe included. This scribe hopes there is not another “plague” waiting in the wings to come on stage.

During this time of limited travel many of the OMOTM are fixing up their domiciles, or, as some are doing, playing with wild animals. Some have said they are training chipmunks to eat out of their hands, but many of the OMOTM say these things are nothing but rodents and are worse than mice.

However, don’t tell the chipmunks that because, according to the OMOTM, they think the chipmunk enjoys the camaraderie and the free food. On the other hand, one OF is taming a mink. He has a video of the furry critter cavorting on the deck of his pond in back of the OMOTM’s home.

This scribe does not think the mink will ever be tamed but he thinks it is just hanging around for a handout. It must be fun to see such an elusive wild animal behave like this.

One OF years ago told the story of having a skunk adopt his home. The OF said he did not know it was around because there was no odor until one day, when he was getting the tractor out from the garage, a little black nose poked out from behind a piece of plywood leaning against the wall. The OF said he didn’t do anything but back the tractor out.

This procedure went on for about a week. One day the OF said he summed up a little nerve and reached over with his hand out and the skunk approached his hand and took a sniff. From then on, the OF and the skunk were friends.

One day, the OF and his wife were going square dancing and were waiting for the rest of the square to come and pick them up. The other couples seemed to be a little late so the OF went out to see if for some reason they were there waiting for the OF and his wife to come out. And they were, but their concern was the skunk in front of the garage door.

The OF said, as he approached the car after calling to his wife that they were there waiting, the driver lowered his window and said, “Go back! Skunk, skunk! There is a skunk in front of your garage door.”

The OF said, “Oh that! Hang on! I will let it in,” and the OF opened the garage door and the skunk waddled in.

The OF commented that the skunk hung around for about three years and finally just disappeared — one day it was just gone. The OF said it was like losing a cat or a dog — just gone.

The other odd thing is there never was an odor. It is an example, this scribe thinks, that animals adopt us, not the other way around. When anyone gets a cat or a dog, or even a canary, these animals usually just put up with you. We never own them; we just think we do, no matter what they cost.


Gust throws tree into OF’s house

There was some excitement at one of the OMOTM’s home on Monday, Nov. 2, when the winds were so high. At this OMOTM’s place, a gust of wind came through around 12:15 p.m. that drew the attention of the OF and his wife.

The OF said he heard the roar for about an instant (however long that is) then the house shook, and there was a huge crash. The OMOTM’s wife said excitedly, “Look out the bathroom window.”

The OF quickly went to the bathroom window and all the OF said he saw was branches. A huge tree in back of the house blew over and crashed against the house.

What a mess — there was a branch through the roof of a room in back of the house; part of the ceiling was down. The OF went outside and what clutter was seen then. The tree lay on the roof of the 3-season room and up against the main part of the house.

The OF said that he told his wife, “This is not going to be a good day.”

The OF said he then called Pridemark Tree Service, which is owned by the son of one of the OMOTMs and does a lot of work here in the Hilltowns. They were at the OFs home in short order, checked the situation out, and showed up the next day with enough equipment to build the Grand Coulee Dam, and in about four hours had the situation cleared up to the point where everything was safe.

Now comes the cleanup. The OF said that tree appeared healthy and was the air-conditioner for the house in the summer.

At this point in the month, the OFs have made it through the pandemic, political elections, animal activities, uncertain weather, and there is still a lot more to come. Being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet.

“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone,” said Andy Rooney.