by Julie Lavender
“Stubbs is back,” my husband said.
For the third year in a row, the gray squirrel with the short, stubby tail showed up in the fall at our home in Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. My Navy sailor hubby was stationed with the Marines for a tour of duty, and we lived on base near other military families.
The first year we saw the furry rodent that we named Stubbs because of his shortened tail, he’d been attracted to some pecans that my husband stored in the small closet of the carport. My dad shared the pecans with us, and my husband sat in the swing to crack and shell the nuts for homemade pies and cookies.
But Stubbs found the stash and helped himself to the nutty buffet.
Once again, we shared snacks with Stubbs deliberately to entice him to continue his visits.
And by our third and last year at the North Carolina location, Stubbs became so accustomed to us that he would cautiously, at first, take offerings from our hand, and by the end of the fall, my busy, noisy 18-month-old could hand feed him, too.
Though my now thirty-two-year old son has no memory of the stubby-tailed squirrel adventures, he’s heard the stories so many times that he almost believes he has a recollection of the fall fun at Camp LeJeune! (Note: That squirrel-feeding toddler is now the grown up, oldest son on the left in the red flannel shirt!)
What about you? Do you have favorite fall memories with family? Our autumn squirrel escapades were just as brief as his stubby tail, but sometimes those simplest of memories linger the longest in our hearts and minds.
It’s never too early or too late to create lasting memories with those you love.
Happy Fall, ya’ll!
Julie Lavender, author of 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories, loves to make memories with her husband, four adult kids, and grandson. Julie is a journalist, author, former homeschooling mom, grandmommy, and wife of thirty-eight years. Connect with her on social media and at julielavenderwrites.com.