Home > Funny, healing, hope, perserverence, safety, self-worth > Vacation and a very tired squirrel

Vacation and a very tired squirrel

Greetings gentle readers,

I am presently away vacationing at Disney World with my family (both girls are home from college for the summer so we’re starting out with a traditional family trip to Disney World on which my older daughter will be celebrating her 21st birthday. We have several fun things planned, only a few of which will be embarrassing. :)) We’re having a really lovely time. My husband has been working really horrible hours, due to a refuel outage, of 14 hour days, six days a week and literally got home at 7:30 on Friday night and we left at 2 AM Saturday morning. So it’s good getting to see him for longer than 20 minutes at a time, not to mention just enjoying having everyone together. The truth is, it’s nice to be away and not be worrying about anything. And naps, naps are wonderful. 🙂 So I just wanted to let everyone know I am off recharging my batteries, so things may be a little slow around here for a bit, but I’ll be back all the better for the break.

I do want to share one funny story before I go, as in 26 years of coming to Walt Disney World, this was a first. We’re Disney Vacation club members and we’re staying at Bay Lake Towers which is part of the Contemporary resort, which is on the main monorail that goes to the Magic Kingdom. We had come back to the hotel in the afternoon to take a break (remember those wonderful naps I mentioned? :)) and were heading back into the Magic Kingdom as we had dinner reservations for 6:30. The plan was to have dinner, then see the Electrical Light Parade and the fireworks (both of which were stunning I might add), so we hopped on the monorail. Things were going swimmingly up until we left the Grand Floridian Hotel, which is the last stop on the monorail before the Magic Kingdom station. We pulled out of the station, but going VERY slowly. A standard announcement came over the intercom about having to operate at a reduced speed. That’s not all that unusual, as sometimes you need to slow for a monorail approaching in the opposite direction. But there was no monorail going the other way. And we continued to move VERY slowly. The actual driver came on over the intercom system and explained the situation. A squirrel was on the track in front of the monorail and despite beeping at him, he just kept running along the track. Kid you not, we were following a squirrel. And we kept following a squirrel. The driver kept coming back on the intercom with increasingly chagrined reports of the squirrel’s progress in front of us. Eventually, the chagrin turned to amusement and then outright laughter. At one point, when we were rounding a curve, everyone in our car was standing on one side, watching the progress of the gallant little guy, who evidently was also training for a marathon. We eventually arrived at the Magic Kingdom, to see all the conductors and drivers from the other monorail pointing and taking pictures. We pulled into the station, when suddenly cheering and applause broke out on the platform; the squirrel had leapt off the monorail unto the station platform. Our whole car erupted in applause and cheers; everyone had become caught up in this little squirrel’s struggle to out race a (admittedly slow moving) monorail. No one seemed to mind the extra time it took to get to where we were going. We were just glad the little guy had safely made it. When we got out of our car, the squirrel was collapsed, completely spent, underneath a rail, being watched over by a couple of conductors. (We later learned that he made it safely back into the trees.)

We went on to the restaurant and presented ourselves at the check in desk. My husband told the woman behind the desk that we probably had the strangest excuse for being late she had ever gotten, and told her what had happened. When we were seated, they placed a reservation slip on our table. To our complete delight, the slip said this in the Comments section: “got stuck on the monorail following a very brave squirrel!” They let us have a copy. 🙂

Here’s the thing that hit me later, and why I’m writing about this. We so often see ourselves as small pathetic creatures, struggling for progress, but only managing to get in the way of everyone and slowing things down. We assume that the people watching us are annoyed and frustrated, or even worse laughing at us. The next time you feel this way, I want you to imagine that instead, the people looking on see a gallant struggle against almost impossible circumstances, and are pulling for us, concerned for us, cheering us on. And when we collapse, completely spent, they believe we deserve to rest after such an incredible achievement and that there is relief followed by cheers and applause when we reach safety.

Copyright 2012 All rights reserved

  1. NextInLine
    May 30, 2012 at 1:59 am

    You amaze me, every entry, every word. I love what you write, how you write and your heart that is in it and sees what others might easily miss.You are a gift!


    • June 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you for such warm encouragement, it means more than you can know. I appreciate you taking the time.


  2. chewingtaffy
    May 30, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I love it!!! Enjoy disney…one of my favorite places of all time!!!!


    • June 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks Taffy (Can I call you Taffy? :)) It really is a magical place, isn’t it? It’s funny, I don’t really care about going on the rides these days, I just love being there. Although I have also realized I prefer a cooler time of year. 🙂 We have a lot of wonderful family memories created there and this trip was no exception. Glad to know you share the love. 🙂


  3. Little Blond Girl
    May 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    What a great reminder, especially while struggling right now and feeling very lost (and squirrely!).
    Have a great vacation!


    • June 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      So glad it was timely! I was actually struggling with a lot of shame during the vacation because between the heat and humidity making it difficult to breathe (I have asthma) and being out of shape and overweight, I was having a tough time getting around and felt like I was holding the family back. That gallant squirrel was a good reminder for me also.


  4. May 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Ah, I loved that story! And it’s a very touching reminder, too. Thanks for a wonderful post. 🙂 Have a great time!


    • June 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks Kashley! It can help to remember when we’re running flat out with large things looming behind us, that there are people pulling for us. And we did have a great time, thanks!


  5. Starrynights
    June 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Love this!! And living out in the country, I can vouch for squirrels that do indeed run along in front of your vehicle and think nothing of their lives or your velocity! I love the little critters. 🙂

    We often wondered why, when they’re already over on one side of the road, they risk becoming roadkill by running across as a car approaches. Apparently when they sense a threat, they run home – to whichever side of the road their home is on, regardless of the danger. Kinda neat when you think about it.

    Anyway, love your story and the analogy from it. I will remember your spent little squirrel and his valiant effort next time I feel like I’m letting someone down! 🙂


    • June 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks Starry,
      I had no idea a squirrel would do that, you should have seen the little guy. It must have been so scary but he just kept going. We were really glad to hear later he made it safely back into the trees. Poor thing had a long trip home, but it was probably easier for him without a monorail on his tail. It was really amazing to see how his courage spoke to everyone. Must admit though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animal look so spent as that little guy panting under the rail when we got off. 🙂


  6. June 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    You have made me miss Disney World terribly! My family and I used to visit quite often (now not so much)! The squirrel story was fantastic – that little critter forced everyone to slow down and enjoy the ride.

    Great post, as always!


    • June 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks Amanda, hope it brought back good memories for you! I really appreciated that squirrel, my whole family loved that we had a new Disney memory, especially since it was actually officially documented. 🙂


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