7.20.2008

Going Bananas

This morning I was sitting out on the patio, in the shade, in a quiet, pensive mood, contemplating all the things that I still need to get done before Cappy gets off the boat this coming Thursday, and then the things that we will be plunged into doing as soon as he 'hits da bank'. We have his family's annual reunion aka "Jambalaya" which is coming up in the next few weeks. I drew a deep sigh, trying to savor the downtime of the still morning before I knew I'd have to get busy. Something caught my eye in the clear blue sky. Oh my goodness; it was an hummingbird who was hovering around the big dark purple banana 'flower'. He was feeding at it! I didn't know they could find nectar on a banana palm; but there he was, and in his doing so, knocked a loose leaf off it, which sent it floating to the ground. As I was watching, suddenly I noticed the bananas, which I hadn't noticed before that. How could I not have seen them? This year the bunches are huge! I guess sometimes I'm guilty of not actually focusing on the details of what I'm looking at; just kind of mindlessly enjoying the quiet of the view as a whole. I wasn't clearly awake either, hence the cup of coffee...my one and only cup of rich, sweet, creamy coffee that I enjoy every morning.
I've been having a problem; waking up in the middle of the night lately, for whatever reason, and can't get back to sleep, so I put on the tv with the sleeper button on, so I can, hopefully, be lulled back into dreamland. It just so happened that Larry King was interviewing a panel of people who were discussing UFO's, of all things. Pushing off sleep, I listened to what they had to say. Nothing new...the same old debate. It brought back memories of one morning in the Spring of 1966, around five o'clock a.m. when it was still pitch dark outside. I had gotten up to get the baby a bottle, padded through the darkened kitchen to the sink, began washing my hands when I noticed, out the window, lights on the pipeline on the nearby hill. We lived wayyyyy back in the woods, a mile from the nearest neighbor, and never, but never saw any activity on the clearing of the pipeline. I was still half asleep, but I thought it must be some kind of vehicle because I could see a row of windows that were lit up. I shrugged. Oh well, I guess they have to work on the pipeline sometime; they are getting an early start this morning. But just as I was about to walk away, an extremely bright light began strobing through it's windows shining around and around (and now it was obvious the thing had windows all around it, and that it seemed to be a rounded structure, rather than flat-sided). It lit up the trees in the woods and the entire kitchen, nearly blinding me, each time it made it's pass! Scared the daylights outa me! I ran to get somebody else to come take a look at it, but they wouldn't be roused. I'd never seen anything like it, and wanted to make sure I wasn't seeing things, even tho I was seeing things. I couldn't get anybody out of bed, so I ran back to the kitchen to see what was going on now. It was still strobing, and I was still shaking in my ...well, not boots, ...barefeet. I stood there ramrod still watching when suddenly this HUGE white beam shot straight up into the black sky. What??? I leaned over to the window to look up to see how far it was shining, but there was no end to it, and no diffusion...that is, for instance, when there's a new car lot opening, they'll hire these spotlights to shine out all over the sky. The farther up, the more scattered and 'faded' the light becomes. This beam of light was razor sharp from the bottom to the top; wherever that was. Again, I'd never seen anything like it, so ran yelling again, saying, "You've got to get up...you've GOT to get up...this is something very weird, and scarey!!!" Nothing. No amount of tugging or yelling or persuading could separate them from their pillow. Back to the kitchen I ran, just in time to see whatever it was that had been sitting a block away on that hill, slowly lifting straight up into the air, the huge beam now shut off, but the lights, once again silently, but surely strobing around and around. My screaming, "it's getting away!" (?!?) finally got enough attention to bring the person, slowly dragging out of the bedroom, to the kitchen window to see what was going on. By then, the 'vehicle' had leveled off, had shut off it's strobe light and was just gliding away, with nothing more than a red blinking light winking back at me. "You woke me up for that?? It's just an airplane; I'm going back to bed". Hmmmm. I know what I saw, but just chalked it up to an "oh welll", got back to life and forgot about it.

'Til... Six years, and three babies later, since we only had one car, I had to wait all day to be able to go do my grocery shopping. By the time I finished it was almost time for the store to close at 9. I loaded the bags into the car and headed on home in the dark of night. We still lived in the same house, way back in the hills of the western part of the state, near Cuba, NY. I had a lot of winding roads to travel, but it usually only took about twenty minutes to get home. As I was coming to a familiar farm which sits on a little bluff, where the road dips down before heading through the 'flats', I noticed what I thought was a big commercial airliner flying just over the top of the trees in the same direction I was headed, just behind the darkened farmhouse. You never EVER see big airplanes like that in our neck of the woods. The reason I thought it was an airplane was because I could see a long row of windows that were lit up. I had to keep my eyes on the dark road and my hands gripped on the steering-wheel, for the curves, but it suddenly dawned on me that I was about to see a major airplane collision...that thing must be going to crash!!! I couldn't stop on the curve, plus it went out of view behind the trees to my right. As I drove down the little hill, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to get in the way of the crash landing so, slowed down, to see where it was. The field was clear...no trees...no airplane...where did it go? I pulled over and stopped. I rolled down my window and heard absolutely nothing. It couldn't have flown away that fast...it had been coming this way; I should be able to see it...where in the heck did it go?! I leaned over and looked up out the passenger window and saw it. It was closer now, but standing perfectly still, hovering a stone's throw from my car, just above the bare trees. How could an airplane stand still like that? But just then, shocked, I realized, as the blinding light began strobing again, it was the same thing I had seen years before. Oh no! And me here by myself! The farmhouse was dark and seemed deserted. My mind was racing as I tried to figure out what to do when the thing suddenly started to slowly, silently lower. I screamed and put the car in gear, screeched the tires til they were smoking and roared out of there, groceries flying around in the backseat and sped home, taking every curve on two wheels. When I got in the door, I looked at the clock so I'd know what time this all happened, and it was 11:30 something....(??!) Everybody had gone to bed, but I tried to get somebody awake to tell them what I had seen, but once again, there was no rousing anyone out of their sleep. Frustrated, I called a family friend, who, so said, had seen UFO's before. I guess I had gotten them out of bed, as well, and they were totally unimpressed. "Yeah-yeah-yeah, well, you'd have to see something a lot better than that for it to really be anything"...(like what?) Of course nobody else found it remarkable either, so I just let it go again.

Until. About another five years or so later, I was driving through a dark part of Wellsville, NY on my way to a prayer meeting around seven o'clock in the evening. I happened to notice some lights in the sky, which were low and headed my way. I didn't think much about it, but, kept going, and noticed...hey! This wasn't an airplane, either! I pulled over and parked on the side of the street, got out and began watching. This was different from the other two I'd witnessed. This thing appeared to be massively huge, because of the way it blocked the stars as it passed in front of them. There were three amber 'running lights', with a separate red light off to the side. This time I was determined to get witnesses. I ran to the nearest house, banged loudly on the door til someone answered. A man in his mid-thirties opened the door, and I started yelling "Look at that! LOOK at that!" and pointed toward the sky over that way. He only stood there looking at a weirdo who had been pounding on his door and now stood there practically foaming at the mouth. I finally got him and his wife to run out and watch it pass over us. By then there were several people standing in the middle of the dark street, on the sidewalks, everywhere just gaping up at the silent blackness with the 'running lights' ever so slowly moving along in the sky, not that far above our heads toward us. As it passed over the noiseless crowd, the sound of absolute nothingness was scarey. Who knew what could happen at most any second. We all stood there frozen, in awe, hearts racing, breathless. The moments were raw and powerful. Anything was possible. It kept moving and moving and moving, as we pivoted, our faces glued to it's presence, we turned to watch it, until the trees in the neighborhood blocked our view. All at once it was if everyone drew a collected breath, then began chattering excitedly about what they had just seen and several of them started running down the street to get another view. It was over and I'd seen enough, so I went about my business and entered the prayer meeting late. When I told them what I'd seen, they wailed, "Why didn't you come and get us...it's only just down the street! What did the lights look like?" I guess it's because I had been immersed in raising five children and watched enough Sesame Street to last a lifetime, that I blurted out that they were shaped like Kermit the Frog's eyes. They looked at me kind of funny, maybe trying to remember what in the heck a particular Muppet's eyes looked like. We got on with the meeting, but on the way home I stopped at the State Police to inquire as to whether anyone had reported seeing this UFO, and maybe learn if it was some kind of military aircraft. By then I had resumed my composure, enough to think I could make an intelligent query about it. Still, the guys behind the desk seemed bemused, exchanged glances with each other and chortled, "nooo, we haven't had any reports of a UFO sighting tonight". When they asked about what the lights looked like, I mentioned again, that the only way I could describe them was the shape of Kermit the Frog's eyes. Well, I shouldnta done that. I suppose you can imagine the impression that had on them, even when I told them I had witnesses 'this time'. Smarting, I stomped back to my car, vowing to never see anything out of the ordinary in the sky, even if I did see anything out of the ordinary in the sky. It was the middle of the 1970's, so I speculated that our government, or some government might be advanced enough now to put most anything up there. And, see? now, even after all these years, Ol' Larry King's guests, who are supposed to be on the cutting edge of such things...are still arguing the pros and cons about the validity of the whole subject. I turned off the tv, grumbled, "I know what I saw", then fell asleep, finally.

Now, this morning, after a fresh dousing of coffee, I'm seein' humming birds, bananas, and nuts. (Did I mention our pecans are growing too? ) See? Even without Cappy being home, I'm growing bananas and nuts! I think he can't get home too soon; a month is too long to be without dat man.
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