I recently moved to the city from the suburbs of Chicago. I’ve been waiting for most of my adult life to be back in the city. I have always loved it! As a matter of fact, when I used to drive into the city, I felt a surge of excitement just seeing the skyline in the distance.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved my suburban life. I raised two wonderful daughters there and wouldn’t change anything about those years. I had a nice home with a healthy, productive peach tree that gave me fruit, birds and squirrels that would eat the fruit and leave the pits all over my lawn. Mind you…while the squirrels were pests that ate my fruit, I lived rather “harmoniously” with them.
Fast forward to my city life. I have turned into the screaming, mad woman of the neighborhood. I HATE squirrels. City squirrels are mean little things. It turns out that we have the only food source for squirrels in the entire Chicago Metro area. Our chestnut tree feeds more squirrels than you can possibly imagine. They run between the front of my house, back of my house and over our roof (I’m insisting that they are stopping on our roof and depositing the nuts in my attic). When we are out on our deck, (which happens to be the highway for all Chicagoland squirrels), they will sit there and scream at you until you move off the deck so that they can pass through. Did you know that squirrels make an annoying screeching noise? Have you heard this??
My new neighbor must hate me. Twice now, I was screaming at the squirrels to, “Get the &*^@! out of here!” While that might sound crazy to some, please note I didn’t see my neighbor both times (and of course she didn’t see the squirrel).
We resorted to buying an owl with a rotating head to try and scare the squirrels. Yes…we have an exorcist owl. I don’t know if it has managed to scare the squirrels but it does make for interesting dinner conversation when friends come over.
So I’m trying to take the situation a little lighter. As I’ve gotten older in my business, I have done some self-exploring and have come to understand that I can’t manage everything and sometimes, I have to learn to pick my battles. When having troubles at work, I try to put things into buckets.
- Things that I can change and what I am going to do to make change happen
- Things I can’t change and what I am going to do to deal with it
So, unless I buy a lot more owls with rotating heads and place them strategically around the house, I think that I am just going to have to share my space.
A few weeks ago, I spent 4 painful hours sweeping all of the chestnuts and their shells from the sidewalk and lawn. Mind you, I am not a gardener and didn’t enjoy it, but it was getting hard to walk on the sidewalk. As I finally finished the last scoop into the 5th bag, I looked behind me and the lawn was covered with chestnuts and shells again……It seems that the squirrels have a sense of humor too.
Oh, by the way did you know January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day?