Friend of the Squirrel

Less than a mile from my home is a Quaker church. This particular church was instrumental in the Underground Railroad. The Society of Friends in my opinion are the original hippies. They are pacifists who love everybody. In my 20s I attended several SoF meetings and enjoyed the people and the services even though my own theological beliefs didn’t align to their own. I have never met a Quaker who I didn’t like. My neighborhood was built in the 1960s and most of the residents on my street are the original home’s owner. Several of them attend the local Friend’s Meeting.


Our street dead ends into 20 wooded acres that are owned by the city. There are no thru streets and unless you live on this street there is really no cause for you to drive down it. It is a long street that dead-ends to nothing. Because we have such little vehicle traffic we have lots of runners, mothers pushing strollers and elderly people walking dogs. My neighbors are all retired but the street behind us boasts lots of young families.


Recently the homes at the top of the street closer to the main road have had signs made and put in their front yard. “PLEASE SLOW DOWN” the signs read in black lettering on white backgrounds. Over 20 houses sport these signs in an almost prophetic and menacing way. I am wondering why a dead end street needs these signs. My husband wonders why no one offered us one. I point out only two houses are past us on the street so it would be a bit of a waste to post a sign in our yard.


A few weekends ago I am sitting in my living room when one of my neighbors who I know drives an 1980s Volvo wagon with a bumper sticker that promotes the Friend’s’ Meeting around the corner knocks on the door. The car also has at least half a dozen other stickers for various animal and human right groups so I have liked this woman even though we have only waved at one another. Her gray hair is in a single braid that hits her waist and she has on Birkenstocks she probably bought when she bought the Volvo. She is not following a new trend. She is what I call a granola hippy granny and probably what I will be when I am her age.


She wants me to sign a petition to have the speed limit lowered on our street to 20 mph. I agree to sign because that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. I ask if there have been issues at the top of the street with people speeding.


“We have had a lot of squirrel fatalities this year.”


Today I saw our new 20 mph signs are going up. Long live the squirrels.



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