"Let's Leave the Balcony Door Ajar"
Ajar (a•JAR) Partially opened.
It's mid-June and Sandy and I are at Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, where we've enjoyed some beautiful scenery, fine hospitality, and excellent wildlife watching. In less than two full days we've seen an amazing variety of birds, countless deer, and 12 bears, including one big female with twin cubs and another with triplets. The hiking has been loads of fun, and so has the leisurely windshield touring on Skyline Drive.
We have to leave in the morning, but tonight we're ensconced in a comfortable second-floor room in the Rapidan unit at Big Meadows Lodge. We turn in early. The day's activities, which included a hike on the Appalachian Trail, have been a bit taxing.
The room is a tad too stuffy for comfortable sleeping. It's a breezy-cool evening, but not quite enough cool air is coming in through the little screened window. We don't want to turn on the air conditioning unit, since we're enjoying the quiet too much. I suggest that we leave the balcony door ajar.
Sandy objects. She's afraid that a snake might get in. I remind her that the door opens to a second floor balcony, and that we have nothing to fear from a no-shoulders in these particular circumstances.
"What about bats?," she asks. "Won't bats fly in?" I assure her that no bats will fly in.
"How about icky bugs?" I assure her that no icky bugs will get in.
"How about mice?" I reprise my second-floor explanation.
She finally relents, and I leave the balcony door ajar. A cool breeze wafts in, bearing a hint of wood smoke from the campground. Perfectly delightful. We're soon fast asleep.
Not for long, though. With a great "Ker-whack!" the plastic wastebasket near the foot of the bed is upended, spilling sandwich wrappers and the remains of a blackberry cobbler. We bolt awake and I leap from bed. The next ten minutes are, shall we say, "interesting."
An hour later, we're still discussing the evening's events. It's complicated, but the discussion basically goes like this:
"Bob, you are a perfect idiot."
"Nobody's perfect, Sandy. And anyway, you never asked about raccoons."
Postscript: We're home now, but certain aspects of this incident are still being debated. For example, Sandy insists that the masked marauder weighed at least 25 pounds, but I am equally confident that he weighed not an ounce over 24. We also disagree on the perp's exit, which was quite stylish. Sandy says that he was smiling as he finally bolted from his hiding place under the bed, made his way to the door, and turned around to look at us before departing with his treasure. I say that he was laughing.