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Ray "RayFossil" Dykeman

A Squirrel's Tail
There are people with the phobia of having "something" crawl up through the sewer line and getting to them while sitting on the toilet. I have heard this fear expressed when talking about the differences in the sexes. Apparently during trips to use the bathroom at night there are some males that fail to return the seat & lid to the down position so females also may use the facility in the dark.

I had a bird feeder in the front yard next to a big oak tree, which also attracted squirrels to the scattered seeds. There was a female squirrel I considered very friendly, but wild at the same time and made no attempts to tame it. She would let me get almost nose to nose and about my eye level to her on the tree while I mimicked the warning sound they make. I have a picture taken by my friend Patti of us both doing this. It is sad to say that one day the squirrel lost its life in an accident. It was not out in the road by motor traffic either. I was familiar with the consequences to both power distribution equipment and squirrels when they climb from power lines to pole-mounted transformers having previously been in the electrical supply business and a purchasing agent for an electrical contractor. This was truly a bizarre accident and weird experience though.

I had been hearing sounds in my bathroom wall behind my toilet off and on over a two-day period. Patti and me were gone for the entire day somewhere together and stopped back at my place after nightfall. Because of the long drive I asked if she wanted to use the "potty" first and she said, "No, you go ahead." I am very accustomed to the set up of my place so to use the bathroom at night I usually switch on just the single bulb hallway fixture instead of the four bright bulbs over the medicine cabinet. I then step in leaving the door ajar getting plenty of illumination from the hallway light. For some unknown reason this time I turned the light on, went about my business as usual, lifted the seat & lid and looked down to proceed. Patti was sure glad I went first this time. I was shocked to see the large squirrel floating in the water deceased! I didn't say anything at first I was so surprised. I eventually called out to Patti something like; "Patti, you're not going to believe this..." I then backtracked to the living room asking her to turn on her Camcorder she happened to have and follow me as I narrated what had happened. She taped it because I found it just too incredible.

I figured the noise I had heard previously was just a squirrel chewing and gnawing on the vent pipe to sharpen its teeth. Why it stuck its head in and crawled down I will never know. It apparently was trapped more than a day before attempting to escape by going all the way down and swimming up through the water. By the amount of water on the floor it had obviously struggled before drowning. How misfortunate and very tragic an end for the little squirrel no doubt. It was fortunate for my property though that I do keep the seat & lid down as it would have had all day to trash the place trying to escape.

So watch where you sit ladies and gentleman, and men, remember to put the seat down!

(Ray Dykeman - November 1, 2001)

Life's Train Ride
One day we become aware we are riding, heading somewhere straight ahead. We are in a car. We have a view outside the car at the countryside passing by. We may not understand what we are seeing, how we got on, when, or where we are heading. There are people around us, young as we are, or lots older than us.

So we turn to the first person next to us and ask questions; or observe them; or listen to them. We may also look around and see others too. We can get up and move around a bit visiting with them.

The train makes stops and people get on, people get off. Will we see them again? Will we see the person that told us what we were looking at? "That's a cow, that's a tree, the sky, the sun, clouds, mountains, birds, stream, horses, etc."

There is so much to know about...who has the answers to my questions?

Some people get off to go to school, take a job, move to another car away from us. We don't understand the part about the people that get off and never seem to come back.

We now are riding along in this train ride and meeting new passengers and explaining what we have seen out the window, what we believe it means. Why we are on the train. Where the others go and why.

We are not able to make the train go faster, or slower, or when it makes these stops. Are they scheduled? Why is that person sitting over there in front of me now? Where is the lady I was visiting with awhile ago? Will she be back? I so much enjoyed talking to her. What about that man with the gray hair that told all the funny stories and explained how to catch fish in a pond? Will he be back?

Just who is running this big machine, made up from so many parts with so many different passengers on it? How does it run? Who is maintaining it? Where does the power come from? Who is controlling it? How long have I been on this ride? How much longer until we are "there"; where-ever "there" is?

"Are we almost there yet, Daddy?"

Who? What? Why? How? When? Where? ? ? ?

I am a bit afraid sometimes. The person next to me says something about trusting and having faith in the One controlling the train; also about the Power that runs it and the One Conductor. Conductor? Who's that?

"Tickets! Tickets please!", As the Conductor cries aloud as He enters the car.

Tickets? What tickets? What if I don't have one when He gets here? How much are they?

When the Conductor comes to me I am a bit awed by how he looks. I have never seen so powerful a person before. He is clothed in garments like I have never seen before. He is so powerful looking. Now I think I know why He is called the Conductor. He is smiling. He asks, "Do you have a ticket?"

I answer, "I am not sure if I do. How do I get one, and how much does one cost to ride the rest of the way to our Destination?"

He answers, "Do you trust Me enough to tell you that I know the Engineer in control with the Power in His hands? That I know where you are going, and where the others are as well? Do you Love me?"

"Yes, I do." I reply.

Then He says, "Well here is a valid ticket for you. Hold it close to your heart, and I will be with you always. You may ride as long as you wish. I have paid the full price for your ticket with my tears, and my blood. Do you Trust me; will you accept my Gift?"


"Remember Me always. Do not be afraid of where we have been already, the past is behind you. Do not try and take control; for you will not succeed in your efforts to make it to the Final Destination. Do not despair or fear what others may say to you about Me as the Conductor. Do not let Fear cause you to doubt me. For if you exit the moving train on your own you will surely not survive the fall. Trust in me always. Love me. Your ticket from Me is right next to your heart. Always."

(Raymond Dykeman 3/18/01)