Life is not always picture perfect and you don’t always come out smelling like a rose. Sometimes, no matter how hard you prepare, random things will happen that will throw your life into utter chaos. Then, just when you think order can never be restored, two seemingly random events work together to put it all back together again. The following is about such events.

A very large clear bag filled with other clear bags appeared in my driveway one night. This package of bags sat atop our truck bed and was very noticeable. I would pull in and see the bags and tell myself as soon as I see my husband, I must ask him what the bag of bags is for. Yet everyday, I would forget to ask. So this cycle continued for a week or so.

Then one day, I remembered to ask. “Honey, what is that giant bag of bags for?” He said they were a gift from a customer. “For what?” I asked. “I have no idea.” replied my husband. All my husband knew was that the customer said he had been saving the bags for us for quite some time. He told my husband he thought he might need them one day.

We had no where to store these bags but clearly, my husband could not refuse the gift, so the bags remained on the truck bed. Before long we forgot about them and went on with our hectic daily routine.

Weeks later, we were awoken from a sound sleep at 4 AM to an overwhelming smell of something that slightly resembled skunk. I say slightly because the odor we were experiencing was so bad that we had no frame of reference for it.

We leaped out of bed to find our rat terrier dripping in skunk musk and running frantically through the house jumping from one couch to another and into our bed, all the while rubbing her face into anything that would soak up the skunk oil.

Illustration of dog facing away presenting his rear end to two little skunks by artist Luba Sharapan
Illustration by Luba Sharapan

Covering my mouth and nose, I ran from room to room looking for some relief but the whole house was engulfed in this foul odor! Until now I onlythought I knew what skunk smelled like. My husband found the smell so offensive, he was rendered ill three times before he got a hold of our dog to give her a bath.

By 5 AM, just like an animal in the wilderness that runs from skunk spray, so did we. As we evacuated the house we grabbed our clothes from the back of the closest and opened all the windows in hopes that this would air out the house. The next eight hours were spent trying to salvage our day at the same time trying to rid ourselves of the skunk smell that followed us like a cloud.

Upon returning to our home we quickly realized the situation was far worse than we had anticipated. We suited up in gloves and masks and went about the task of getting the smell out of the house.

We had the blessing of having friends loan us magic deodorizing machines that would run for the next couple of days. The dogs were being cleaned up and boarded at our veterinarian’s kennel. Even so, we had a lot of decisions to make and a lot of work to do before the house was cleared of this disgusting stench.

First decision was to throw out anything our dog vigorously rubbed on. To the dumpster went two couches, one recliner, two high-backed chairs and OUR BED.

Next, we had to clear the house of all clothing, linens, blankets, towels and curtains and take them to get professionally cleaned. After over twenty five years of marriage and three children we had a lot of stuff to sort through.

We proceeded to make piles on the front lawn. Towels in one pile; blankets in another. White clothes in one pile; curtains in yet another, and so on and so on.

As we stood on the front porch looking at the mountains of clothing, linens, blankets and towels, we realized we had no containers to put them in to transport them to the cleaners, when, all of a sudden, we remembered the gift of the giant bag of bags! The bags were heavy duty and were large enough to even accommodate the blankets.

So, one by one, we filled each bag with a selected pile. The dark clothes went into one bag while the white dedicates were put into another. The curtains and tablecloths had a bag and two piles of blankets filled two more bags.

We continued this process until we came to our last pile of clothes. And with our very last pile, we used our very last bag.

One giant bag for every pile. What were the odds? My husband, who is sometimes a skeptic of the mysteries of life, even had to scratch his head at this one.

The random act of a skunk invasion to our home combined with the random act of one caring customer, who saved bags for us because he thought we might need them one day. Out of Chaos came order.

I could not have planned it, if I tried. Makes me wonder how random it all really is… Life is Mysterious, after all.

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