On Skunks and Romance
When I first got out of The Marine Corps back in 1977, I was waiting to start school and offered to go on an exploratory mission for my parents who were close to retirement in Colorado. They were thinking about retiring in Montana, so I offered to travel up there and check out the area for them. I found a 10 acre piece of virgin forest ground near Polson Montana, overlooking beautiful Flathead Lake and Turtle Lake. I was given permission to camp out on the property for a few days, so I pitched my tent (in the dark) in a small meadow then proceeded to drive to Kalispell, about 60 miles away, to attend a church dance that I had heard about.
I met a beautiful native American girl there, and we hit it off and she invited me to her house so we left early and went to her property in the woods just outside of Kalispell. It was a little metal single wide trailer, but it was dark and very windy, so I didn't see much of the property. We went inside and she started a movie, but we had kissing on our minds, so we were in the midst of that when we heard a noise outside the door that really scared her. Being the big, tough Marine who feared nothing (yeah, right) I said, "I'll check it out for you." I strode to the front door and eased it opened, peeking outside. The wind was howling, and it was pitch black, but I could see a small dead piece of brush rubbing up against her metal garbage can just beside her front steps. I reached down and grabbed it and lifted it up to show her, but noticed that piece of brush had teeth and eyes on the other end! I had grabbed a skunk by the tail and lifted it off the ground and it wasn't liking it, trying to twist around and bite me. I hollered and flung it away from me and slammed the door. My little Indian maiden was screaming, "What is it? What is it?" I was laughing so hard I was in tears. I had always heard that you could pick a skunk up by the tail and it couldn't spray you, but didn't think I would ever put it to the test.
The skunk incident kinda spoiled the romance, so I was making the 50+ mile drive back to my tent, alternately cursing the skunk, and laughing my head off, then spent the night in a downpour of rain with my tent leaking badly, and bears growling and roaring all around me. (I pitched my tent in the dark, in the middle of a berry patch)
This experience taught me many things. Sometimes life doesn't hand you the things that you expect it to. Sometimes you're not as tough or as smart as you think you are. Even so, life is a wonder. Look around you and see the beauty and the amazing things the world has to offer. Live your life to the fullest. Enjoy your friends and family to the fullest. Work hard, but play hard and love with every fiber of your being. Time moves with the speed of a locomotive. Don't be afraid to try. Use the gifts that God has given you. Above all....laugh at yourself and relax. It's all good.