The readers of this Chronicle are no doubt beginning to think that encounters with deer are the only thing we ever talk about around here. After all, today’s entry is at least the third entry in which deer have featured prominently.

It’s true that I can’t resist writing about our frequent visits from brother/sister deer: deer are such sweet and cheery reminders of the beauty of this world in which we are so blessed to live.

This evening’s visit happened shortly after 5 pm, as sunset mellowed into the sapphire shadows of dusk. I approached the window to draw the blinds for the night, stepping on a perpetually creaky floorboard and watching in amazement as the two deer nibbling at the snow in the parking lot stopped, popped up their heads, and swiveled their necks like periscopes to meet my gaze through the as-yet-uncovered window. How, I wondered, could their hearing possibly be good enough to have detected the creaky floorboard in my room several yards away, up a flight of stairs, and through a brick wall? God be praised in the marvels of Creation!

Brother / sister deer stood and observed me with blatant curiosity for some time (if their vision is as good as their hearing, they surely had no trouble seeing me in the rapidly fading light), but they did not skitter off in fear. Indeed, they eventually returned their attention to the snow, until another minuscule sound – the sound of a third, then a fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eventually eighth deer approaching – caused them to pop their heads up so quickly that they almost crashed into each other. They looked at each other for a few moments with a whut-YOU-doin’-here? kind of expression, glanced briefly at the incoming deer, then resumed nibbling at the snow. They are delightful visitors, indeed.

If only our entire week had been filled with such charming events! Alas, the week has been sprinkled with unpleasant surprises: Marge is experiencing difficulties (to put it mildly) with her phone; Jackie K’s computer repeatedly insists on issuing seemingly nonsensical error messages; Cecilia had a very startling encounter with a hibernating bat in the attic of her house; Tracy is patiently awaiting a root canal, and Kim and I have both engaged in ice-related skirmishes, which neither of us won. On a happier note: Fr. Bob made it home safely from his journey to visit his sister in Minnesota!

We look forward to a less eventful week as February rolls onto the calendar.

In the meantime, we rejoice in the simple gift of a friendly visit from brother / sister deer. And we continue to marvel at our charming visitors’ aural acuity.

Deo Gratias!