So, there I was, flying to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby when I found myself seated next to a lovely woman named Pamela from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For all the flying I do, I rarely engage in chatting with the seat neighbors unless they prove to be extra interesting or charming or if, perchance, I am feeling likewise. Truly, the planets have to be aligned for this and they lined right up for this trip.
Pamela was traveling to Atlanta with her buddies to check out an interior decorating show but she hates to fly, has terrible fears about it. And so, out came the tiny bottles of vodka. I loved her immediately.
In my effort to distract her from the flight and all its inherent risks to life and limb, I asked Pamela about her life in Jackson Hole and she regaled me with stories about beauty and wildlife. She told me about Eli, a young moose - still living with his mother - who hangs out in their backyard. (Young moose stay with their moms the first two years of life.)
Eli has not only gotten used to Pamela and her husband, but has grown curious and gets excited when their car pulls in the driveway. Moose are not known for their interest in humans but Eli is different, he's got that youthful curiousity that is so adorable on all young creatures. Eli's mom, however, hangs back just enough to keep an eye on things and clearly disapproves of his human friendships.
One special day, Eli got curious enough to stick his entire head in Pamela's kitchen window. She even got to scratch both sides of his prominent nose and to her, the experience summed up life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming just perfectly.
I made Pamela promise to send me the photo and she obliged. Then she sent me an update today:
"I am glad you liked the picture of Eli. He’s a sweet little moose for sure. I had to push him off my deck the other day because he was eating my geraniums and he got pretty upset with me. He gave me a dirty look over his shoulder, put his ears down, looked disgusted and totally offended. He stuck his nose in the air, walked down the steps and did not look back. Very un-Eli like. Good thing I’ve seen enough moose to know when one is being overdramatic. He’s just getting spoiled. I told him that he needs to learn to be a moose and eat the willows instead. He hasn’t been back in many days. I thought he would get over the geranium thing but you know how moose tend to hold grudges."
Oh, the joys of travel! Sometimes talking to your neighbor in 17E pays off ...