Our coyote friend came back to take another snooze by the pool. He appears to be a juvenile. Well-fed and healthy. I was out of the house early to play golf, so I don’t know what time the coyote bolted. Dale said he looked out mid-morning, and the coyote was gone.
I think he’s our spirit animal – sent to share a message. Reminding us to not take things too seriously and to seek balance between wisdom and playfulness. As I researched this further, I learned coyote symbolism warns us to beware of the dark side of things and reveals the answers to your problems often come in ways and forms you least expect.
Since the coyote first showed up, we’ve done quite well backing away from COVID arguments, which are principally focused on surviving shopping expeditions and managing territorial issues in the kitchen.
While it’s easy to assume these issues arose from being crushed together during pandemic sheltering, it might also result from being crushed together during my retirement, whereupon I discovered that I liked staying home … which is where Dale likes to hang out, too.
We’ve learned that both of us staying home fighting for space while the world is on fire is a dark place to start when you’re just trying to make dinner.
The thing is, we both like to cook. And with cooking comes control. When I was working, Dale basically had squatters rights in the kitchen, but now he has to share his toys. But it’s not just space or equipment. It’s about choices. What are we going to eat? How are we going to get it? Are you going to use that fresh spinach before it goes bad? Mexican … again?
We had a close call earlier this week, but I managed to defuse the fire with quick action … a skill I’ve been perfecting of late, perhaps with the help of our spirit animal. It involves pressing my lips together and keeping my mouth shut.
The situation was chicken breasts. As you may recall, I defrosted and re-organized the chest freezer. At the time, we only had one chicken breast left, so I put it in a Ziploc with thighs and labeled it, “Chicken Breasts and Thighs.” Makes sense to me.
Normally, Dale likes to buy the frozen chicken breasts individually sealed and you can just cut one off as needed. But when the stay-at-home mandate first started, those were hard to find.
When individually sealed breasts showed up again, Dale purchased a package and put them in the freezer.
I said innocently enough, “When you get the chicken breasts out to thaw, the oldest one is in a labeled Ziploc. Use that one and then cut off one of the new ones.” He did not respond.
Later, as Dale was preparing his kitchen hut for the sacred cooking ritual, I was convinced I personally witnessed him cutting off two portions from the new package of individually sealed breasts.
I wanted to say, “What is so effing hard about using the oldest one first?” But then I thought, oh, the chicken will get eaten one way or the other. Who cares? I did not say a word, and I’ve been quite proud of my restraint. I thought about all the ways to do things and how we almost always go in opposite directions. It’s actually quite funny.
So, I laughed. I thought it would make a funny post and sat down to write. Then I went to the freezer to take some sort of picture to go with. While I was there, I decided to look in the Ziploc. The chicken breast was gone. Only one missing from the other package.
That coyote. He’s a trickster.
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.