Meeting Miss Lovey is an experience not soon forgotten

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By Lee Scoot

What better activity on a cool Sunday afternoon than to join friends for an afternoon of football?

Recently, our friends, Chris and John, invited us over not just for football, but drinks and companionship too. It was one of those gorgeous fall days, upper 60s, blue sky and cool breeze. While we were sitting there watching the game, a commercial came on and Chris said, “Oh, there’s Miss Lovey. Come out to the screened porch and see her.”

Now this couple’s house sits next to a beautiful pond along a golf course green.  Outside their screened porch there is a stone patio which is surrounded with flowers and shrubbery; nature’s own fence.

As I started out the patio door, Chris said, “Oh no. Just stay here. You don’t want to wake her up.”

She pointed to a spot between the pond and the flowers.

“Who?” I asked.

“Lovey,” she said, grinning.

There, spread out on the bank, was a 10-foot alligator sunning. I stepped back on the porch quickly, but Lovey did not move.

“How long has she been there sunning?” I asked.

“About six hours.” said Chris. “We adopted her when we first bought the house. We have an agreement. We leave her alone and she leaves us alone.”

I surmised that Lovey must have known it was a Sunday afternoon and decided she needed a day of rest too.

Like many communities, ours has been full of people using chainsaws and blowers to clear away debris. But on a Sunday afternoon, when people deserved a break, it seemed like a perfect time for Lovey to relax.

As we observed her, I thought of the many hours I have spent relaxing on a beach or pool sunning myself. How many times have I opened my eyes and just said, “Not yet. I just need a few more minutes?”

I connected with Lovey at that moment.

She continued to rest as the football game played on that day. I think the open windows, along with the sound of the football announcer’s voices reciting each play, lulled her to sleep as has happened to my spouse on numerous occasions. Even the golfers playing through did not faze her.

So, a word of caution: If you get invited to Chris and John’s, be sure to meet Lovey, but please do not get off the porch.