Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hot And Cold

We have certainly faced a roller-coaster ride of temperatures in the last two months. Both record highs and record lows have been recorded here during that time. This week has been about 8 degrees below normal. Now some folks like it hot and others like it cold. Most married couples have opposite preferences. I recently heard Chuck Swindoll say that because of these differences in opinion between he and his wife, they bought an electric blanket with dual controls. She liked it hot and he liked it cold. And that solved the problem for several years. And when her side wouldn't work any longer, they just turned the blanket around and once again she had it hot. Now that is creative problem solving. Somebody recently sent me a guide to temperatures and I though that while everyone seems to be talking about the current temperatures, I should share this with you on my blog. So here goes. 60 degrees Fahrenheit - Californians put their sweaters on. 50 degrees - Miami residents turn on the heat. 45 degrees - Vermont residents go to outdoor concert. 40 degrees - Minnesotans go swimming. 35 degrees - Italian cars don't start. 32 degrees - Distilled water freezes. 30 degrees - Philadelphia landlords turn on the heat. 25 degrees - Canadians go swimming. 20 degrees - Lake Erie water freezes. 15 degrees - French cars don't start. 10 degrees - You need jumper cables to get the car going. 5 degrees - American cars don't start. 0 degrees - Alaskans put on T-shirts. -10 degrees - German cars don't start. -15 degrees - Miami residents cease to exist. -20 degrees - Japanese cars don't start. -25 degrees - You need jumper cables to get the driver going. -30 degrees - Swedish cars don't start. -35 degrees - North Dakotans button the top button. -40 degrees - Alaskans close the bathroom window. -45 degrees - Green Bay Packer fans order hot cocoa at the game. -50 degrees - Lawyers put their hands in their own pockets. -80 degrees - Hades freezes over; Chicago teams sweep all championships! Now I know that the first will never happen, no matter what the temperature, and while the second is possible, I doubt that it will ever happen either. Sorry, Chicago fans.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Finally Done

Gold Medallion Signatures, Affidavits of Domicile, receipt and release letters, short certificates, HUD-1 Settlement Statements, Disclosure Statements, Uniform Trust Act, EIN, Schedule K-1, DNI, Probate, Inheritance Taxes, Short year reports ... and many more. These are some of the things I've learned about in the last two years. And I guess they are things that I never really wanted to learn about. But as an executor I was forced to learn and learn quickly. These are just some of the things that took up a considerable amount of my time during the past two years as we settled both my father's trust and my father-in-law's trust. It was challenging because their deaths came less than two months apart. And it was only three months later that my brother also passed away. And he really wanted to help us, but he was just too ill to do much during those three months. The work was compounded when a lawyer gave us incorrect advice about the one trust and it was a three months into the process when we discovered that we were doing things wrong. So, we had shift into reverse and start all over again. Fortunately the Lord led us to a good local lawyer, a trust administrator, and an accountant who helped me through these months. We really needed all four, despite the cost. Fortunately my father was very organized and that really helped. But before we could do anything, we had to transfer all of his church records and conference records because he was financial secretary for both groups. This alone took several weeks. My father-in-law's trust was rather simple, although we had to make monthly payments from the trust balance to his second wife until she recently passed away. But a week ago we finally signed the final tax forms for both trusts and, unless the IRS finds a mistake, we have essentially closed both of them. I think most of the money went to the folks we had to hire as well as to a real estate salesman, a company we had to hire to make my dad's house suitable to sell, and professionals that we needed for a variety of services during the process. And, of course, there were funeral costs, probate fees, and inheritance taxes to pay as well as local taxes and operating costs for my dad's house. When they say that you can't take it with you, they are correct. But it is also true that you really can't leave much of it either - everybody else will get their share and maybe there will be a little something left for the beneficiaries to share. I never realized how expensive it is to die and I'm not just talking about the funeral expenses which themselves can be out of sight. Living is expensive, but so is dying. But, with the Lord's help we've made it through this long two year process. And, PTL, all of the family members are still good friends, something which can't always be said when many estates are settled. Now all that is left are the good memories and a file cabinet of old records that I must still sort through. There were many sleepless nights for me during these two years as I pondered what to do about many of the decisions that an executor must make. But as I now look back and see how the Lord worked all these things out, all I can do is say "thank you Lord." And I should have known this would happen. God is so good - all the time. Psalm 139:3 "Thou compasseth my path and my lying down and art acquainteth with ALL my ways."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Personal Protest

I have several pet peeves. One of these is going to my mailbox, finding it packed with mail, and upon sorting it find that most of it is junk mail. Almost daily there is an offer for a credit card or for a subscription to a magazine or a plea for donations. For those over 65, insurance companies continually bombard us with offers for medicare supplement policies. Soon it will be political ads. Then there are the many catalogs. I don't know how the JC Penney Co. stays in business with all the catalogs and flyers we get, almost daily, from them. Now how to you stop "spam" in your snail mail? I wish I could put a spam filter on my mailbox. Unfortunately, I don't think that there is anything that you can really do to stop it. If you've been a longtime reader of my blog you've read about my continuing battle with the Republican National Committee and the Heritage Association who continue to send pleas for money to my dad, at my address, even though he has been dead for 25 months. My return letters to them, sent to them at their expense, have been ignored now for two years, even though my letters have been creative. But I've decided to expand my personal protest to others, who, like them, enclose postage paid return envelopes. Incidentally, most credit card companies include such an envelope. I now take time to write a response on their forms, often as simple as "thank you for your kind offer in your junk mail." Today I received another one from an insurance company warning me that this was their FINAL OFFER. I replied by saying that this was my FINAL REJECTION. Then I take everything they sent, including the envelope that they sent it in, and stuff these into their return envelope. I then tape it shut . This makes it heavier than usual, probably requiring more postage. Without putting a return address on the outside of the envelope, I drop it off at the mailbox so I don't need to pay the postage. Now I think this accomplishes two things. First, the company will need to pay the extra return postage and in my thinking this is a fair cost for bothering me. Second, it raises some extra income for the postal system and it appears that they badly need the funds. Unfortunately, the only thing I know to do with the catalogs, ads, and extra junk mail is to file it - in our circular file. Maybe you want to join me in this personal campaign. It might not accomplish anything, but it does send a signal to them that I am tired of spam snail mail. Now if I could only invent a spam filter for my mailbox. Or, maybe I just have too much time on my hands.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Puzzling Hobby

Spring is here and I guess that will bring a temporary halt to one of my favorite hobbies, putting jigsaw puzzles together. During the cold winter nights we enjoy sitting in front of a warm blazing fire putting puzzles together. We may have completed about ten this winter, some very challenging. But we persevered and completed them. The latest was a map of the United States with each state showing the state flower. It was especially tough because the border wasn't a rectangle with straight edges, it was the outline of the United States. And the 1,000 pieces were small and most had odd shapes. I started it earlier this winter and quit. But we came back to it and conquered! We'll probably still tackle a few more during the months ahead, but somehow it just isn't the same when it gets warmer and the days get longer. My father worked on puzzles by himself until the last year or two before his death. So maybe it is in the genes. But maybe there will be a time to give it up, especially when we get like the lady in the following story that my cousin just sent to me. A little silver-haired lady calls her neighbor and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get started." Her neighbor asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?" The little silver haired lady says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a rooster." Her neighbor decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table. He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster." He takes her hand and says, "Secondly, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then," he said with a deep sigh ............ "Let's put all the Corn Flakes back in the box."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wait, Wait, Wait!

Now here is a puzzle for you to consider. Two patients limp into different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement. The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day, and has a time booked for surgery the following week. The second sees his family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waits twelve weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray which isn't reviewed for another two weeks, and finally has his surgery scheduled for three months from then. Why the different treatment for the two patients? Hold on, I'll get to the answer shortly. First, let me say that I believe that we have the best medical system in the world, despite its many problems. And I think that we in Lancaster County are blessed with good doctors and surgeons and we are also not far from outstanding care in Hershey, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. And I really hope that we don't lose this when "Obama Care" really clicks in. But, having said that, there are some things that bother me. I remember the days before appointments, when sitting in a doctor's office waiting to be seen, for several hours, was very common. It was a joy waiting with sick people and crying babies. Actually, I am old enough to also remember when doctors made house calls. But today we need appointments, if you can get one soon. Last week I tried to make an appointment with our family practice and was told that since it wasn't an emergency they could give me one ... next week. A few years ago I needed to see a specialist in Philadelphia and I had to wait over four months to get an appointment. It would have been even longer if my ENT had not been a friend of the specialist. I recently needed an appointment with a local specialist and found that the earliest I could be seen by him would be a month, but only then at one of their remote locations. Wait, wait, wait. I also am bothered by doctors who are always off schedule. Now I realize that emergencies do happen and some patients need more time, but their are certain doctors who are always 30 - 60 minutes behind. I could name them for you, but I won't. Wait, wait, wait. Then there are the problems of getting results. My wife recently had a major test and we had to go to a different location for the imaging. At our normal location we often have the results the same day and if not, always by the next day. This time it took over three days and two phone calls from our doctor to secure the results. There are few things more difficult than waiting for test results which might be very serious. Wait, wait, wait. I've heard many other horror stories about very sick folks waiting to get appointments or results. It just shouldn't be that way, but I guess good doctors are in demand. So I guess the moral of this blog is that if you have a serious need, just go directly to the er where you will wait, wait, wait to be seen. Or call the doctor or specialist for an appointment and just wait, wait, wait. to be seen. And then if you are concerned about the results of medical tests, just be prepared - yes, you've got it - to wait, wait, wait. But better than that, go to the great physician, the Lord Jesus Christ. He's always there - no waiting for an appointment with him. Now sometimes we might wait for an answer, but when that happens it is always for our good. And we always know that the answer will be right, no second opinions needed. He certainly is not like our earthly doctors who are really just "practicing physicians". Psalm 5:3 (NIV) "In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Now the answer to my original puzzle. Why the different treatment for the two patients? ... The first is a Golden Retriever ... The second is a Senior Citizen. Thanks for waiting for that answer.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Faithful and Dedicated

This is my 312th blog. Unfortunately, too many of them have been about good friends who have died. My father-in-law used to say that it was hard to get older and see all of your friends move to heaven. Fortunately I haven't reached that point yet, but so many of my friends are now enjoying their new home in heaven and I miss them. This past week it was a dear friend of ours, June Zellers, who changed addresses and is now enjoying heaven. June and her late husband Norman were responsible for bringing Dianne and I together when I was a college freshman attending their church in Sunbury. She and Dianne played the piano and organ together for several years there. Norm and I sang in a male quartet every Sunday morning on the radio for four years and three summers while I went to Susquehanna and Bucknell. We remained close friends over the years and did many things together. June was an "old-school" believer who was committed to the work of the Lord. She was faithful in ministry and was always at church whenever the church was open for services - morning and night on Sunday, twice a week for prayer meetings, and at all the special services and events. It's hard to find such dedication and faithfulness among believers today. She taught adult Sunday School classes for years and was active in almost every church ministry. She was loved by all, especially the children in church who prayed for her when she was hurting from a variety of physical ailments. She had a heart for others, especially their spiritual needs. And as we heard at her funeral, her family - children (2), grandchildren (6), and great grandchildren (11) and their spouses - were a priority for her. Her greatest desire was that all of them would come to know the Lord. And today they are faithfully serving the Lord. She prayed for them daily. When they had needs or needed encouragement, they called her. When they needed a lecture, she called them. And daily she also communicated with them ... are you ready for this ... through Facebook! What a legacy! I think her prayer and desire for her life were summed up in a song, written by Steve Green, that was sung at her funeral on Saturday.

(1) We're pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road,
And those who've gone before us line the way.
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary,
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace.
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us, Let us leave to those behind us,
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful!

(2) After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone,
And our children sift through all we've left behind.
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover,
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find.
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful!

June, be assured that your desire has been fulfilled. Those of us who come behind you have seen your faithful life and have been challenged and stirred by your legacy. We will miss you, but we know that you are much happier now in your new home, without all the physical problems with which you lived without a complaint. And, please say hi to Norm.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A "God Thing" Cycle

My sister-in-law recently shared with us a story about my brother's last hour on earth that I had not heard before. When they arrived at the emergency room that morning she didn't yet realize that he was dying. One of her pastors took her aside to try to prepare her for what was going to happen. While they were doing this, a friend of theirs was with my brother. She asked him what she could do to help him and he asked her just to quote scripture to him. After quoting several passages from memory she stopped. My brother asked her to continue and she did so until his wife and the pastor returned. It was not surprising to me that my brother wanted to hear God's Word in his final hours. The scriptures had been such a comfort to him during his last months as displayed in e-mail prayer updates that many of us received regularly from him. It was interesting to me that God had this friend there at this critical time and that she had memorized so many passages that she could share with him during his time of need. Since hearing this story we've wondered if we could have done that if we had been asked. How much scripture have we learned by heart? How much have we retained? We never know when the scriptures we have memorized will be needed by us or for the needs of others. That is one of the reasons we so strongly support the Awana ministry which promotes Bible memorization with children. But there is more to this story about my brother. When we were growing up in Lititz, for years my mother had a weekly Child Evangelism Good News Club in our basement. As teenagers we helped her teach Bible lessons and scripture verses to many children from the neighborhood. One of these children just happened to be the lady who ministered to my brother with the scripture that morning in the hospital. After my mother was killed in an auto accident years ago, this lady wrote a beautiful letter to our family in which she shared how much this club had meant to her. There she was introduced to Jesus. There she learned to memorize scripture weekly. Now we can't help but wonder how much a part my brother actually had in her experience during these key years in her life when love for God's Word was planted in her heart. I believe it was a "God Thing" that completed this cycle from those days in Lititz to those final moments in the hospital. We should never underestimate the importance of teaching God's Word to children. And we should never underestimate the power of His Word in our lives, both daily and at critical points. Here are a few key scriptures to think about today. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom" (Col. 3:16). "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 2:14-17) "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Ps 119:9-11) "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119:105).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Storm Arrives

You probably don't recall, but several months ago I wrote about the major financial storm that was about to hit school districts. Part of it was because of the deficit in the state pension plans which have been underfunded by the state legislature for many years. I predicted that state legislators would continue to ignore this crisis and pass the ball to local school districts and to future generations. Unfortunately, I was correct and our legislators did pass a law which did little to solve the problem except pass it on to our grandchildren to solve. In addition, schools are now being hit by the loss of stimulus funds and probably major reductions in state subsidies since the state is millions in debt itself. I read that school districts in this state need over one billion dollars just to break even. York, for example, needs $15 million - for just this year. And as I predicted the slashing has begun. Administrators have taken pay freezes - teachers have not been willing to do so and can't be forced to do so because of their union contracts. Teachers who retire or resign are not being replaced. Where it can be done legally, teacher jobs are being eliminated. Programs are being cut. And the worst is yet to come. I predict that within a few years schools will be much different than they are now. But what I find interesting is that parents who have failed to see this coming are now forming citizen groups to fight the cutbacks. In the Steelton-Highspire District, a few years ago bus routes were expanded with stimulus funds. Now without these funds the district wants to drop this expansion because of its debt and parents have organized to fight this, pleading hardship. Times have changed. I remember when I was in second grade in Elizabethtown having to walk about a mile to and from school, sometimes four times a day, because there were no busses or cafeteria available. I guess I survived. In another area district plans were announced to layoff 12 to 15 teachers because of the deficit and also because of a decline in enrollment. Parents then organized to fight this decision because their kids might face larger class sizes. And this gets nasty. The board approved the layoffs on Monday night despite protests from students and parents. One Senior citizen in attendance thanked the board for this action. An adult protester then yelled at him to "shut up!" I think the next area to face the cuts will be the arts - music, drama, and art. These teachers are already organizing to fight this. At a school concert we attended, the music teachers urged us to contact school board members to tell them how important music is for our children. After buying tickets online for a local high school musical, I received an e-mail from the head of the drama department telling me that the school might drop the high school fall play because of its cost. We were urged to contact the board and administration to protest this decision. He wasn't too happy when I wrote back to him telling him that if admission fees couldn't cover the cost of the production, then I supported dropping it. I suggested that a solution was for the teachers who direct it to donate their time for the play rather than expect a stipend with an annual raise. In a reply he told me that I would be taken off their mailing list. If you read some of my recent blogs, you know what I think of current teacher salaries, benefits, and unions. I spent 39 years as a public educator and much of that time I had to work a number of extra jobs to be able to support my family. But now things have changed and it is time to freeze salaries and benefits. But the union won't let that happen. I've always enjoyed the fight song "On Wisconsin". Maybe more states need to start singing and following that. It will be interesting to see what happens. How will school boards deal with their major deficit and the public pressure to maintain programs? What cuts will come next? Will teachers do anything besides take higher salaries, or protest, or strike? The sad thing is that nobody wants to pay higher taxes and everybody wants government to cut expenditures - just don't let it affect me - not my social security or medicare or unemployment benefits or the arts - and certainly not sports! I guess we all just want to have our cake and eat it to.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sleepless in Millersville (and not Seattle)!

I just heard the clock chime three times. It's 3 am. I've heard it chime every 15 minutes most of the night. It is one of those sleepless nights that most of us face at times. I've experienced such nights when I've eaten the wrong things before going to bed. I've reached the point that caffeine will keep me awake. But there was no caffeine this time ... Sometimes the problem is physical. I have lived with back problems for years and at times the pain and discomfort make it impossible for me to stay in bed. Instead I often head for my recliner and the heating pad. But there are no physical problems tonight ... Sometimes it is concern for a sick loved one. I remember the nights walking with sick kids thinking the morning would never come. I remember the kids, or my wife, finally falling asleep with a fever or a cough and then I would lay there praying that they would sleep even for a few hours. But no loved one is ill tonight ... Sometimes it is the excitement of a big event the next day, like the first day of school, or a trip. As a student and a teacher, I always had trouble sleeping the night before school began. Often for me it would be the concern of oversleeping and being late for the first day or for an event or a trip. But there is nothing major planned for the morning, except going for a blood test, and that shouldn't keep me awake ... Sometimes it is concerns or worries that keep us sleepless. Now I know that worry is a sin and I admit that is one of the sins that I battle. I can vividly recall the night before my father died that I was awake all night "worrying" about how bad his health had become and how we would get him to the hospital in the morning for his scheduled transfusion. But the Lord took care of that. I worry about the results of medical tests. I worry about problems with the house. I worry about my children and my grandchildren. And I certainly know better and, despite my actions, I do trust the Lord. And He has never failed. But I don't know that I am worrying about anything tonight ... Sometimes the weather keeps us awake. Heavy storms with heavy lightening and thunder or strong winds can keep me sleepless. But things are calm here tonight in Millersville ... Sometimes we can't sleep because of bad news that we've received or because of the actions of others. Been there, done that. But not tonight ... Sometimes we can't sleep because of decisions to be made. What should we do? Those times can be very difficult until we finally find peace. But I don't have any major decisions to make, at least not in the near future ... Sometimes as we get older we can't sleep because of naps we take during the day. I guess that could be a problem at times for me and I did take an afternoon nap today. That is one of the perks of being retired ... And then sometimes there just doesn't seem to be a reason why we can't sleep. And that really seems to be the case tonight. There are three things that I often do on nights like this. Sometimes I head to my recliner to change position. Quite often I turn on the radio and listen to the beautiful Christian music on WDAC. I've grown up with that station and the Lord often calms my soul with music. Didn't David play the harp for Saul to relax him? But the major thing I do is pray. My best prayer times are nights like this when I can cover my regular prayer list and then pray about many of the people and needs that I often miss during the day. These are special times. I wonder if the Lord might keep me awake at times so I spend these hours, uninterrupted, with Him. Maybe He does. And it is good to know that He doesn't sleep. Psalm 121:4 reminds us "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." And as far as worry goes, Psalm 4:8 reminds us "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety." I just heard the clock chime four. So with that, I think that I will go and "lay me down in peace and sleep". Sweet dreams! Sleep tight! And as we used to say before it could be a reality, don't let the bedbugs bite!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Am Losing!

Yes, I admit it. I am losing the battle. It is the same battle that many homeowners, like me, who love to feed the birds, fight constantly. It's the battle against the squirrels. It's almost unfair. They have all the advantages– they are smarter than I am and they are so athletic. My fight with them has gone on for years and I've tried every legal tactic that I can think of, and I keep losing. I'd love to get a shotgun, but then I'd probably be fined or thrown in jail, and they'd just keep on feeding. I think my bird feeders have become the buffet for all area squirrels. I think some of the squirrels might even be carrying signs that say, "Kauffman Buffet, this way!" I've tried to block their path to the feeders with rolling pieces of pipe – unsuccessful. I've tried to grease their path with Vasoline and even Vicks – unsuccessful. However, it did make my hands very sticky and smelly. I bought a squirrel-proof feeder in which, because of the spring action, the holes would close when a squirrel would get on it – they broke the springs and chewed the plastic and then dumped the feed on the ground for their friends. I bought a second one and placed it farther from the tree. They learned to get on that one as well and tilt it in such a way that the feed again fell on the ground. That one is still hanging there – empty. Finally I bought a bigger and stronger squirrel proof feeder that has protected openings that are to prevent the squirrels from getting to the food. But again, they learned to tilt the feeder and pour the food on the ground. Finally I bought a squirrel baffle and placed it above the squirrel proof feeder. As advertised, when a squirrel would try to get around it, it would tilt and they would slide off. I was sure that this would work. But it didn't. Our athletic squirrels learned to take a long jump from the trunk of the tree and land right on the feeder. If it were gymnastics, they would probably earn a 10 for this event. It is bad enough that they beat me and get the food that I buy for our birds. But it is even worse that they sit in the trees with a smirk on their faces when they see me. I think I can even hear them saying, "Sir, you are really a loser. You can't beat us no matter how you try. So give in and admit the loss. And while you are at it, please improve the quality of our meal and add some peanuts." But, while they are beating me, I do have one final weapon. I have a squirrel trap. And it works, except for the time that I caught a skunk. But that is a story for another day. Now I must remember to close it at night. A few weeks ago I quickly caught two. Victory? For a few days it appeared that I had finally won. Then I found the food spilled again. But I didn't give up. I caught two more. Now I assumed that I was finally the winner! Then one morning I looked out and saw two more enjoying the buffet. I think they may even have waved to me. Did they find their way back home? I hear that is quite possible, even though I've taken them several miles away and across the Conestoga River. I would love to paint their tails to see if they are the same ones, but that might get me arrested. Then I would really lose. So, instead, I am keeping the trap set and hauling them away. Maybe they would enjoy York County, across the Susquehanna River. I am losing, but the battle isn't over. Stay tuned.
P.S. - I caught number five yesterday but he is still in Lancaster County. He wasn't willing to pay for my gas for a taxi ride to York County! And guess what - one was back this morning enjoying my food. And the trap is now reset with fresh peanut butter. I won't give up ... yet.