Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Tonight I am participating in "Blogapalooza" with my large blogging group at ChicagoNow. Once a month we are all given the same topic at 9pm and have exactly one hour to write, edit and publish a blog. As I am typically not a night person and definitely not a nighttime writer, I was not sure if I would ever participate. But, for some reason, I thought I would give it a try this evening.

Tonight's topic is to write about a time where I either helped someone or where someone helped me. So... Here goes!

Interestingly, while hopefully both of the above occur many times throughout a singular day, it took me several minutes to decide what to write about on this topic. Like, as in, I couldn't think of one thing. Yikes!

I actually kept thinking that it had to be some type of profound assistance. After drawing a total blank on that, yes, seriously a TOTAL blank, I suddenly remembered the last time that I felt really scared—heart-racing, looking over my shoulder scared—and I knew that I had my story.

Two summers ago I was staying all by myself in our remote cabin in Wisconsin overnight. This was already a bit scary to me, and I had never done it before. There are only about three neighbors, and we must go a mile and a half down a dirt road to get to one of them.

Anyhoo, I decided to walk that dirt road for exercise in the middle of the day thinking that a long walk was just what I needed after a huge coffee and large danish earlier that morning.

As I walked along enjoying the quiet (and oh the quiet deep in the Northwoods), I was feeling completely relaxed.

All of a sudden without any warning, I saw something black out of the corner of my left eye swhoosh through the trees. And with that one swoosh, I felt a palpable fear overtake my previously calm demeanor, but continued forward for several more steps.

I'm not sure why, but I felt compelled to turn around and look behind me on the road, and what I saw increased the rate of my already rapidly beating heart.

Staring at me from several yards away was a large black bear. Yes, a bear, and I was all alone with the nearest house now about a mile away.

So, what's a gal to do? Scream like a banshee? Play dead? I couldn't remember what the proper etiquette was for an unarmed  solo encounter with a black bear. So, I turned around and walked several steps forward as quickly as possible, and then ran like hell.

I am not a runner (not even a slow jogger as I am a walker, people, A WALKER), but somehow I made it all the way to the end of the road. The problem though was that I was too afraid to turn around and go home. So I thought I was stuck with basically woods and one empty house on all sides of me.

But luckily, a man in a truck appeared and began pulling into our "neighbor's" house. He has an excavating business and was getting ready to do some work there. And while I didn't relish the idea of asking a total stranger to give me a ride back to my cabin, it was either him or the bear. I was still shaking with a racing heart so I chose an enclosed truck and him.

Turns out this man could not have been nicer. He readily offered me a ride back, and we chatted amiably about bears and life in the Northwoods the entire way.

While this was not a huge event, I honestly have rarely been as physically scared in my entire life. Thankfully, a nice guy was in the right place at the right time to help me. He had a good vibe, and I trusted him immediately to get me safely home.

Funny how we interact with people often throughout a day, but it can be difficult to pinpoint all of the helpful exchanges that actually take place. It was really nice to be able to take a few minutes tonight to contemplate assistance and what it means to the human tapestry.


Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY!

Warmth and LOVE,


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