How One Spunky Little Squirrel Helped Banish The January Blues

The January Blues

Have you ever had a case of the January blues? You know, that kind of blah feeling you get after the fun and excitement of Christmas is over — your calendar is less full, your house looks bare without all of the Christmas decoration, your people have gone home. It’s easy to drift into a case of the blues in January, especially considering the past couple of years we have collectively experienced.

I will admit, most Januarys I do get a case of the blues. This year is different though, and I owe it all to a squirrel.

I start each morning by taking my dog for a walk.  We usually walk over to my mom and dad’s house where we visit for a few minutes. I have a cup of coffee with them and Boone hunts for treats. One morning early in the new year, we had our usual walk and visit then headed home. My thoughts drifted back to Christmas and how much I enjoyed my children being home for a few days, but then they darkened and I began to brood. I wondered when I would see my kids  again. Usually, there is a plan for our next visit, but not this year.

I plodded home, deep in thought. I sensed I was drifting into a case of the January blues like a car might drift into a bank of snow on the side of an icy road. Slow motion. 

An Unexpected Intruder

When we arrived back home, I noticed my husband’s car was gone. He must have left while we were visiting my parents. I opened the back door and was surprised to hear an odd noise. I looked into the family room and saw a squirrel sitting in the window sill. Now, it’s not unusual for a squirrel to be sitting on our window sill. They sit out there, I think, to torment my dog. The thing that was unusual is that the squirrel was sitting on the window sill inside the house rather than outside. It took about three seconds for my brain to register this fact. Yikes!

I quickly slammed the door between the kitchen and family room to keep my dog from getting to the squirrel. I had visions of an epic squirrel chase through my family room and around my still-decorated Christmas tree with all of the shiny glass ornaments. No, thank you.  Poor Mr. Squirrel was running back and forth across the room trying to find the way out. My dog was barking and trying his best to break down the door. And, what was I doing? Well, recording the event on video of course.

All I could think about as I was watching this squirrel, other than how I was going to get him out of the house, was that old song about the squirrel that got loose in the church by Ray Stevens. (The Mississippi Squirrel Revival).

Thankfully, the scared critter didn’t jump on me in the process (although I may have gotten some footage worthy of an award on America’s Funniest Home Videos). While he was on one side of the room, I rushed to the other side and propped open the door to the back yard. After one quick turn around the Christmas tree and a dash across the family room, he discovered his way of escape — out the door and up the branches of the oak tree. I shut the door behind him and requested that, in the future, he please stay outside of my house.

Shaking Things Up

It all happened so fast. The entire event lasted five minutes at the most. But, it completely changed my mood and the trajectory of my day. I mean, I just had to laugh at the thought of a squirrel running around my house. No harm was done. No humans, squirrels, dogs or Christmas trees were harmed. Yeah, it could have been worse but it was simply a funny, unexpected event that shook those January blues right out of my system.

We still have no idea how the squirrel got in the house. My guess is either down the chimney (the damper was open) or through the door when my husband was leaving. It’s a real mystery. I even wonder if God may have orchestrated the whole event to help change my spiraling thought pattern. 

Since that day, Boone has eyed the squirrels in the yard very suspiciously — probably thinking to himself “was it you who invaded my space?”

How about you? Have you ever had something funny or unexpected happen to shake you out of a blue mood? I’d love to hear about it.

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