To admit that I’m easily distracted requires a few caveats:
I haven’t always been this way.
I am aware that I am this way.
I’ve tried to not be this way.
Still, sometimes, I just have trouble focusing on the tasks at hand.
This is especially true when I’m on a deadline and should be reading, editing and organizing articles for the next issue of the newspaper.
The typical meme for folks easily distracted usually features squirrels – the small furry creatures that abound in our Lowcountry and in so many other suburban locales. Seemingly, they are everywhere.
Our local squirrels are mostly the Eastern gray squirrel variety, small and furry, with fluffy tails. They are excellent gymnasts, jumping and flipping easily from tree limb to rooftop, managing to squirm their way onto to an occasional bird feeder to rob the sunflower seeds. I know this because I watch them often.
They enjoy acorns from our many oaks trees, often burying them to either find later or to grow new trees. I know this because our yard is full of tiny oak tree sprouts.
Squirrels also love raw peanuts. I know this because that’s what we feed them. We’ve spent hundreds of dollars on large bags of peanuts from the farm supply store, and we begin to panic when our stash dwindles. (Full disclosure: I have been known to order a small bag of nuts via Instacart.)
The little darlings have become a huge distraction for me over the past 18 months – ever since I started working from home. My office, which was formerly a bedroom, is at the front of house, the single window offering full view of the yard, the street – and the front door. (The Amazon lady doesn’t even ring the bell anymore – she waves at me.)
It’s also Squirrel Central. The door to my husband’s art studio (AKA the garage) is close by, and the savvy squirrels know that’s where he keeps the bucket of peanuts.
Amos has been trying for years to get them to eat out of his hand. (OK, so have I.) He has given them names – Double D, Big Mama, Nicki (who has a nick on both ears).
Brittanica says gray squirrels in suburban areas are “regarded as aesthetic or as a minor annoyance.” National Geographic Kids informs us that there are “more than 200 species of squirrels living all around the world.”
I know this because, as I was (distracted and) watching squirrels outside my office window, I became curious and did an internet search.
For some people, squirrels are a gift from nature to add to the ambiance of our yards, while for others, they are a nuisance. (I don’t understand the “others.”)
How appropriate that in Brevard, N.C., our favorite vacation spot in the mountains, several years ago we discovered white squirrels! There are various stories about how they got there, including one tale about a circus train wreck, but truth is, no one really knows. Nevertheless, they are fun to watch.
I sometimes wish that we had white squirrels here in our yard. But that would likely cause problems, and I’d never fini