We All Crave A Sense of Normalcy

For the last several years, a sign that spring was coming was a return of a duck couple to our backyard.  Mr. and Mrs. Duck, as we creatively named them, have been regular visitors to the Gale backyard for years.  My wife waxes poetically at how chivalrous Mr. Duck is, always looking out for Mrs. Duck.  We look forward to them returning every year.  They arrived a little late but came back again this year.

The ducks apparently forgot my wife loves all animals.  When my mother passed away two and a half years ago, my wife decided we should take her two golden retrievers.  Our dog and I probably should be in counseling but that’s a subject for another day. 

For those of you unfamiliar with golden retrievers, a few facts:

  1. They shed a lot.  I mean A LOT.  Vacuums (plural) run nonstop in our house and still can’t keep up. 
  2. They are bird dogs. 

For the last two years, the goldens (and to some extent, our dog, a lab/beagle mix) have been fascinated by the ducks.  We regularly scanned the yard to make sure the ducks (and other animals) were not around before letting the dogs out.  The dogs are all around ten years old (I say we run a dog geriatric center but again, topic for another day.) and don’t move like they used to.  One of the goldens, Tucker, is still in great shape and has bursts of energy.

Two weeks ago, the ducks were frolicking in our yard.  The dogs had to go out.  My wife and I both checked and it looked like the ducks flew away.  I let the dogs out.  (Yes, this incident is completely my fault.)  Within seconds, I heard my wife screaming.  Tucker got the male duck.  I ran out there and got Tuck away from the duck.  He just laid there.  I bent down to get a closer look and the duck hissed at me, a good sign.  After a few minutes, he got up, noticeably limping, but he was able to move.  He hobbled over to a bush for cover.  My wife held a vigil looking outside all night to make sure another animal did not attack Mr. Duck.

The next morning, he hobbled away.  Mrs. Duck returned, but no Mr. Duck.  We feared for the worst.  Three days later, they both appeared.  Mr. Duck still hobbles, but he can fly.  Normalcy has returned, except for maybe Tucker.  He doesn’t understand why he got yelled at for getting a duck.

Imagine the fun a juvenile father and a fourteen-year-old boy can have with, “The Tuck got a duck.”  Even my wife now laughs at our song, though she tries to hide it.  Until Mr. Duck returned, she didn’t find us very funny. 

We’ve been hearing about a “new normal” since the financial crisis and even more now.  Yes, there’s a new normal.  But anything you can do to give your family, colleagues, employees, and customers a sense of their old normal will be appreciated.  We all crave connectivity.  We all crave normalcy.  I hope the ducks return to your life. 

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