The content and opinions expressed in this blog are mine. They do not represent the US Government or US Peace Corps - Jud Dolphin

Wednesday, October 19

What A Day - October 18, 2016

I'm grateful for my garden apartment. While I was still in Ukraine, I saw it listed on a real estate blog.

Wow,” I thought. “I can live in the city and still be close to nature.” You see, while my apartment is a 16 story concrete building, it's less than a block from access to Rock Creek - a park that snakes its way through the District and up into Maryland farmland. It's a refuge from concrete and asphalt for many animals and fauna. 
My apartment looks out on a patio through a floor to ceiling glass doors and side panels. 

I can see flowers in my small garden and a beautiful dogwood tree. It's a perfect spot to enjoy morning coffee while my pair of cardinals sing or the humming birds check out the feeder. 

A couple of Springs ago, a mother duck hatched her brood here.  What a sight to see - Little fluffs peeping after one another - until the animal rescue came and returned them to Rock Creek.

I often say with a smile, “Life is easy on Veazey,” It's a rhyme in honor of my street – Veazey Terrace. “Life is easy on Veazey Terrace.” It's a wonderful place to live.

But then today happened.

It's about 7:45 am. My alarm has already gone off and I'm still under snooze control. Suddenly I hear a loud crash and a clatter. What? I'm uncertain about jumping out of bed to see what is the matter. 

Actually, I have an impulse to pull the sheets up over my head and stay safe
Now I hear a sloshing sound from the bathroom. I call out, “Hello!” And again, “Hello!” There's no response. What could it be?

I walk towards the door and notice blood on the floor. “Oh my, what's happened?” I poke my head half-way out of the doorway and suddenly see in my bathroom a full grown deer.  

He's big.  He's taller than I am with those antlers towering overhead. In a flash, he spots me. 

Quickly the frightened intruder turns leaping across my living room through the shards of glass while dripping blood on the floor. One, two, three bounds and then a jump. He's gone out through the huge hole in what was once my solid plate-glass door.

Wow, what's just happened,” I think. I scan my living room. 

Broken glass crunches under my feet. I step over to my hallway entrance and dining area. Walls and floors are smudged with blood. 

I take a closer look at the bathroom. It looks like a crime scene. I'm in shocked.

I make two calls. I reach out to my friend Sally for support and contact the building management for help. Both respond quickly, thank goodness. With friends near, I transition from shock to clean-up mode. It'll take most of the day. Blood dries quickly and cakes on hard if you ever need to know.

Apparently the deer had found his way to the strip of land that runs along the patios on my side of the building. Workmen coming for repairs spooked the deer. He ran down the strip of land to the last patio...mine. It's a dead end with no way out.

The deer must have seen the reflection of the dogwood tree in my glass door thinking it was a way back to Rock Creek.  So with a leap and a bound, he cut his way into my apartment.

I'm feeling grateful when I consider all that might have happened. What if he had turned into my bedroom instead of the bathroom? What if he had lashed-out at me?  What if he had slashed through the living room instead of leaping outside again? 

Sure it's a mess. But it can be cleaned up and the glass door can be replaced. I'm safe.

What an experience!  I'm very aware of how life can change in a moment.  While life is not always easy on Veazey, I still can enjoy my morning coffee on the patio and listen to my cardinals sing.

But what about the deer?  When you think about it, it's people, like me and my kind, who have intruded into his space.   

I wonder if the cuts were deep?  Did he survive?  As the repairmen arrive with new glass,  I keep thinking, "I hope he makes it."   


  1. Oh my goodness gracious!! I'm glad you're safe. What an adventure.

  2. Glad your safe Jud! have to admit I also thought about the deer. That's where my mind goes sometimes.

  3. WHAT an experience Jud! Now that I am working at the hilltown high school, many mornings deer cross my path as I drive the 37 miles. I swear they are getting bigger!

  4. Hey man,, I have following this blog for some time now and i can't seem to get enough of it. You have really built something here. I wish you tons more success.