Posted in surprises

My ‘Oh My’ Moment

Not this zoo bear!

Dorothy should have been at my house yesterday.  In her red shoes.  On the yellow brick road.  Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion tagging along.

The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favorite movies of all time.   When I was a child, I always watched it every time a television station broadcast it, usually at Thanksgiving.   My kids grew up watching it as well.

We often got a kick out of singing, “Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road,  follow, follow, follow …” in our best munchkin voices.  One of the lines from the movie that has stuck with me over the years is when Dorothy and her odd friends chant, “Lions and tigers and bears…oh my!”

I had an “Oh My!” moment yesterday on Page 1, Chapter 9, in my Opportunity book.  On my front porch.

Hubby arrived home from work, changed his clothes, and ventured off to his civic club meeting.   Home alone for a couple of hours, with just kitty for company,  I decided to phone one of my best friends, Leigh, and chat awhile.  My front porch swing beckoned me, so I grabbed a glass of iced tea, my cell phone, and dialed her.

We chatted and gabbed and talked….as we always do….for quite some time.  Still full daylight, dusk wasn’t falling yet, and I fully intended to stay parked on the swing in the cool evening air discussing life with my long-time friend until one of two things occurred – either darkness descended or hubby came home.

But my porch swing reverie was cut short when I experienced a major “OH MY!” moment.  Right in the middle of an interesting story Leigh was telling, I noticed my cat scurrying from the sidewalk onto the porch.  I thought it was odd that she was kind of slinking along and came immediately to me.  Then I saw it.  OH MY!

A black snout emerged from around the corner where our front porch meets the garage.  My first thought was “Whose big black dog is running loose?”

Then I felt those fingers of fear gripping me and it felt like my heart jumped into my throat when I realized it wasn’t a dog!  That snout belonged to a really large head and that head was attached to an animal way too big to be a canine.    It was a BEAR!

A black bear lumbered into full view about 40 feet or so from where I sat.  OH MY!  I literally froze on the swing, whispered into my cell phone in a tiny, quiet voice, “I’m not going to talk because I’m freaking out right now.”  Leigh said, “What’s wrong?”  And I couldn’t answer as I sat perfectly still, eyes locked on that black creature.

The bear took a couple steps, looked right at me, and back tracked a step or so.  I was terrified it was going to come up on the porch when it took another step forward.  Right then, a neighbor across and down the road from our house, started mowing along his steep driveway.  The noise of his tractor evidently frightened the bear enough that it retreated and disappeared around the corner of my garage.   OH MY!

I gathered up enough wits to grab my iced tea (didn’t want to entice that bear ONTO the porch for something sweet) and to sprint to the front door, rush inside the house – the cat beat me in though! – and lock the door.  Once inside, heart pounding and feeling totally incredulous, I told Leigh, “Oh. My. Gosh.  I just saw a BEAR in my yard!”

And then she freaked out and, good friend that she is, listened as I gushed frantically about what just transpired and how it scared the daylights out of me!   OH MY!  I nervously looked out my windows, but the bear wasn’t in the front yard.  I went to the back of the house, looked out the kitchen windows, still babbling – probably incoherently – to my friend.  No bear there either.

Where did it go?  I can only assume it hurried down the hill behind my house and into the brush.  It seemed gone, but I fought off fear that it would come back.   Leigh was just relieved that I wasn’t going crazy or seriously harmed or something.  She laughed to calm my nerves and jokingly told me at first she couldn’t figure out what she had said that freaked me out so much.  OH MY!

Needless to say, I stayed in the house until hubby came home then repeated my “OH MY” moment for him.   I told him I thought my heart might have finally started beating normally, but that my “OH MY” moment had startled the heck out of me.   He couldn’t believe it either.  We’ve lived in this house for over 11 years now, and we have never, ever seen a bear in our yard – lots of other critters, never a bear!

We suspect this creature of the wild had visited our garden and was making its way to a scrumptious treat on the other side of our house.  That’s where the raspberry bushes are and they just started producing their second crop of berries.

As I’m writing this post, I’m discovering two things.  First, I didn’t have my camera on the porch with me, so I don’t have a picture of my visitor, so this picture I found will suffice (it looked just like this!).

And secondly, I don’t want to feed the bears!!!  I don’t want them visiting my yard or coming so near my house for a free lunch!  I prefer seeing bears from a distance or at the zoo, not a few feet from my front porch swing!

And I’ll tell you another thing….it’s bad enough being startled by a bear….but if I see a lion in my yard…or a tiger….I’m moving!!  Lions and tigers AND bears??  OH MY!  Dorothy, move over, I’m coming back to Kansas.



Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view gorgeous sunsets off our own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

15 thoughts on “My ‘Oh My’ Moment

  1. This is so funny Mama – your bear story and my bear story – and your reference to “Dorothy” and the garage and OH MY! Twin experiences written in much the same way. I love it and thanks for sharing! Dor


    1. I know!! When I read your story this morning, my bear experience came rushing back! 😉 I was so flabbergasted to actually see a bear coming around the corner of our garage that I yell/whispered into the phone, “OH MY GOSH!” and then I decided to be quiet so the bear wouldn’t see me. My friend couldn’t figure out what in the world happened. AND I was so startled I didn’t even think about getting the camera out to document such a sight!


  2. I don’t think I would have been able to be so calm! That would have been more than just an “oh my” moment at my house. Profanities I’m sure would have passed these lips. I had to fight off a momma deer once that attacked my Golden Retriever, but never a bear. Thank you so much for stopping by the other day and saying hi. As far as my parenting? Well, I had a good teacher. *wink, wink*


    1. Fighting off a deer? Oh, I think that’s pretty brave too! Is this a bad confession to make? If that bear had gone for my cat, as much as I love her, I would have let the ol’ bear have her. No fighting off bear to save the cat for me! Sorry, Callie. Yep, seems to me you definitely had a good teacher for those parenting skills. 🙂


  3. On My is right! I would have been scared out of my wits!!!! Glad all is ok and that the bear left you alone. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. We had black bears in our back yard when we were living in northern Pennsylvania, but only at a distance, never up close like you… AND, I was always inside when they showed up, usually following the creek that bordered our VERY LARGE back yard. Yup, glad to know that you are ok.


    1. Thanks, Cecilia. Everyone keeps telling me that bears are more afraid of us than we should be of them, but I don’t know if I believe that. I hope to never see a bear that close ever again. I’ve seen them at a distance before when I was a kid and up in the northern part of the state too, but never around the corner of my house! Someone at church just told us today that they saw a mountain lion near their farm but they’ve never seen a bear. I’m not sure which is worse! 😉


  4. Lions and Tigers and Bears..I love that line too! One night in Darien, Connecticut I pulled into our driveway and saw a black bobcat or black panther. No one believed me and I must have sat in the car for a good 20 minutes before getting out and running into the house. I called the police, but they just took the information, and that was it. I had not been drinking – but I can tell you that I know what I saw. I’m glad it wasn’t a black bear! What an experience while sitting on your front porch! Thank you for sharing it.


  5. Yikes! The hazards of living in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll have to thank your neighbor for starting up the tractor or put up a sign “Beware Bears”. I’ll have to tell my mother your story. It was very well written. You have a gift.


    1. Yikes is right! I think I need more than a sign though to keep the critters away! Georgette, we don’t live in the Pacific Northwest (we used to about 13 years ago). I’ve probably confused my readers with my tales from all over the place because before that, we lived in the Midwest, and before that we lived in the Southwest. Okay, now that I have everyone confused but me, I’ll tell you we currently live in the Northeast in our home state (Pennsylvania) where black bears roam! And if you followed that, you deserve a medal! 😉


  6. Why do you need a dog when you have that incredibly brave cat? LOL! My heart is still pounding after reading this, Mama. Bears are making appearances everywhere these days. We’ve had two in Virginia Beach in the past several months, right in busy neighborhoods close to the beach. I feel sorry that their habitat is shrinking, but not sorry enough that I want them to move right in here with me! Glad you are safe!


    1. Yeah, that cat who wanted in the house faster than me. 😀 It took forever for my heart to start beating normally and for me to calm down. And I’m with you, I don’t feel sorry enough for the bears to have them move into my yard. That’s really scary that they’re trekking to the beach where you live! We are in a very rural area, so it’s not that unexpected here I guess, but in the city? Yikes! My friend, who I was on my cell with, lives in a more mountainous area than I do, but she said they’ve never seen a bear on their property. They did, however, see one walking through the streets of their town one day with a police car following it. That painted a funny picture in my mind!


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