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Brush with Death


On my first date (with my now wife), I boldly decreed that when I grew up I was going to live in the mountains, own a log cabin, and drive a Shelby Cobra. From that night forward, I decided that I was a mountain man (at least in my mind). A mere 45 years later, my wife and I moved to the mountains. We live in a log cabin, and every Christmas morning I run to look in the driveway. But as of this year, still no Cobra! I grew to love living in the mountains more quickly than even I expected. I honed my skills on driving in the snow, and learned when it was time to sit still in front of a fire. I learned how to winterize our cabin and how to thaw frozen pipes (not necessarily in that order.) It took a little longer to get use to seeing wild life up close and personal in our front yard. The deer, turkeys, foxes, and coyotes were exciting to see and we enjoyed the view from our front porch. But when we saw five bears on our front porch, the term exciting did not really apply.

(The attached picture is for story-telling purposes only. The bears that were at our front door may not have looked exactly like the bear in the picture, but they were still bears. When I think about it, this picture might be of a grizzly bear. The bears on the porch were probably black bears and most of them were cubs, but they can be ferocious if you have berries in your pocket. In all honesty, our Bernese Mountain Dog was probably a little larger than most of the bears, but I tell you, there were bears nonetheless. If they had been rabid, or if I had been out in the yard covered with honey, I could have been in big trouble.

You know, it is these close brushes with death that really make you reevaluate things. Since then, we have seen bears strolling through the yard fairly often. We have seen a mom with four cubs climb over our fenced in yard and play in the back yard. I guess you just get used to stuff. But you can never be too careful. That is why I refuse to carry berries in my pocket to this day!

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