Fleeting Moments

Wildlife Photography by Gary Gray

Today is Thursday. By 6:30 am, I’ve fed the dog, loaded the dishwasher and greeted the new sunrise on the porch. Everyone else is still sleeping. Fifteen minutes later, I’m sitting in my office holding my coffee mug, staring at the computer screen.

“What to write today?” I’m thinking. I sip more coffee. I think this same thought every day that begins in front of the computer.

I’ll start with a photograph. That usually gets the chocks removed from the wheels.  The fox activity in the neighborhood has been picking up, I’m thinking a fox photo might help direct my mind.

I find a photo of a Red Fox running across an open field near Red Feathers. In it’s mouth is a field mouse. A fleeting moment, out of the blue. I’m lucky to have witnessed it and even more lucky to have photographed it. The moment came and went in less than 30 seconds.

Sipping my coffee, I’m down to the last and it’s no longer warm.

“I have something to work with” I’m thinking. “Fleeting moments. Yeah, fleeting moments is a good theme.” My thoughts progress as I scoot away from my desk with coffee cup in hand.

As I walk downstairs, the front door comes in to view and I see the bottom half of my daughter-in-law’s car in the driveway. Trudy has been watching the kids this week but I wasn’t expecting them today.

“Oh, surprise. Always the last to find out.” I’m thinking as I open the front door to let her and my grand-daughter in.

As they enter the house, Trudy appears from the kitchen. Doobie runs to the door and tangles himself in the group trying to coax Ava into playing. The noise went from silent to a crescendo of confusion in less than 5 seconds.

I’m receiving fragments of the conversation at this point so I decide to proceed down the hall into the kitchen to refill my coffee mug. Doobie and Ava dart by me. Trudy and Chelsea are right behind me. The noise level hasn’t decreased.

“Do you have your wallet?” Trudy directs her attention to me. I’m in my sweats and my hair looks like I’ve slept in a wind-tunnel.

“Ahhh, no. It’s upstairs.” I reply.

“Chelsea needs ones.” Trudy says.

More sentence fragments enter my ears, thoughts are coagulating. Something about Chelsea needing three, one dollar bills for Noah at school this morning, which apparently wasn’t known about until Noah got to school.

No worries, three dollars should be possible. The school is a couple of blocks from our house, so coming here is a lot easier than driving to a bank machine and getting $20 and then trying to break it. School is starting.

I return to the kitchen with my wallet which contained a single dollar bill. I proudly pull it out and hand it to Chelsea.

“If you ever talk about me behind my back Chelsea, please tell them that I’m the kind of guy who would give you his last dollar.” I grinned like a hobo who just found a bottle of whiskey.

Trudy and Chelsea continue talking. More fragments assemble. Chelsea is embarrassed. Doobie is still running and jumping, tipping the trash bin, smacking his head. Ava is somewhere down there tangled up with Doobie.

Trudy takes the dollar bill from Chelsea and hands her a twenty.

“You didn’t have enough ones?” I ask. “I only have the one.”

Trudy stares at me for a second and hands me the dollar bill.

“Here, give it to Chelsea” Her hair is in worse shape than mine.

“I just did.” I say, wondering what just happened.

“Oh. Well, she probably won’t need it then.” She says

I place the single bill back into my wallet and move towards the coffee pot.

Fifteen minutes later.

Chelsea and Ava and Doobie are all about their business. Mom is downstairs getting her coffee. Trudy and I are sitting on the back porch enjoying the nice morning, waking up from our stupors.

“So, you take the dollar from Chelsea, give it to me and tell me to give it to her?” I said in a low, almost laughing tone.

“I don’t think my mind was working yet.” Trudy replies. She starts laughing and continues laughing.

“This may be the all time best blonde moment you’ve had.” I say.

She laughs harder. I laugh with her. The sun is up. The coffee is hot.

Fleeting Moments.