Sleeping With The OohAhCawCawOoh Birds

Sleeping With The OohAhCawCawOoh Birds


The epic ordeal is finally over. The movers showed up yesterday at 8am, as promised, and began unloading the first of the two moving trucks. And it went well. Our first day of island life had begun. What a pleasure this was going to be…

We’ve relocated several times over the past few years and this last crew wound up being the best of all. Of course, you’ve all read about the first leg of the move and the horror-story that was. But the guys from Mayflower totally transformed the experience.

They were great—walking-on-water-great, especially when compared to Satan’s Movers, the company we first hired (we just opened one of their “professionally packed” boxes—a cast iron frying pan packed on top of glassware). I guess I should’ve realized things weren’t exactly right when I saw the pitchfork-and-flames logo on the side of the trucks.

Yesterday was long. While the movers did their thing, a guy from the pool company was here replacing a pump (I was anxious to get into the pool after all was said and done). I mean, after all we’d been through for the past few weeks (I thought it had been a few years until I consulted a calendar) we deserved to relax in the pool, right?

Well, the moving trucks pulled away with me waving frantically to my new heroes, and the next thing I heard was, “That’ll be $522.” But, it was worth it, right? Sure, we’d already spent $2,000 on the pool…but it’s worth it, right?

So, while the little robot was hard at work scurrying about at the bottom the pool, cleaning and whatever else it does, I went inside to prepare for a much-desired dip. BUT…a large black cloud suddenly appeared from nowhere, and with it came lightning that zigged and zagged all around our house. It was a storm of epic proportions. Then I wondered…had Satan’s Movers followed the Mayflower guys to our new home? Was it Satan himself, the head mover, who was sending down the jagged bolts of electricity? Was he punishing me for firing them?

By the time the storm had dissipated it was nearly dark, and around these parts darkness brings out massive clouds of mosquitoes. And I’m talking…well, they’re out in epic proportions. So a swim was out. I’d have to wait until the next day. But, even during the rains, the wind, the thunder and lightning and mosquito swarm, the little pool robot never flinched. It was still puttering about. As I stood at the back door door gazing at the new pool, I found myself wishing that, I, too, could be a little pool robot, swimming without a care in the world.

Sure, I pouted for a while, but soon found myself enjoying the new surroundings. I also realized that I was extremely tired, and ready for some much-needed sleep. So…after a nice, hot shower I went to bed (two mattresses on the floor). I snuggled in, covered up, and closed my eyes. Yes indeed. I was ready for some total darkness and total quiet. Two things that island life promises. And it was delivering. It was graveyard still outside.

Well, I’d been in bed for only thirty seconds when, just mere feet outside our bedroom window, I heard a very loud (air-horn-loud), “OohAhCawCawOoh!” I sat up, trying to figure out what the heck could make a noise like that. Then it did it again. “OohAhCawCawOoh!” And again. “OohAhCawCawOoh!” And then the same sound came from the opposite side of the house. “OohAhCawCawOoh!” And then, it came from points all around the back yard. “OohAhCawCawOoh!” “OohAhCawCawOoh!” “OohAhCawCawOoh!”

And me, being the astute investigator that I am, realized it must be birds making those sounds. The clue that brought me to that conclusion was that the sounds were being broadcast from tree canopies. Clever, huh?

The bird sounds were coming from the palm trees and live oaks that are in and surround our yard. I felt as if we were in an old Hitchcock movie. So I laid there, eyes wide open and as tired as I could be, with my body screaming for sleep, listening to what must be a roosting flock of OohAhCawCawOoh birds, sent directly to me, courtesy of Satan’s Movers—more payback for firing them.


Images of the crew of the S.S. Minnow flashed across the back of my eyelids as I finally began to drift off to sleep…Trapped on an island for years…No way off…Headhunters…Bowling with coconuts…The Professor and…Movie stars… Hey, that’s right. Sandra Bullock has a home here. I wonder if she hears the OohAhCawCawOoh birds?





12 replies
  1. SusanG
    SusanG says:

    Lee – I feel your pain. I was awakened this morning to the cacophany of not one, but SIX Sandhill cranes battling it out over my birdfeeder. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the call of a Sandhill crane – but it can be heard for three miles. (Seriously. Google it. There are Youtube vidoes of how obnoxious these birds are.) And these were outside my bedroom window at dawn. On a Sunday morning. Ugh.

    Enjoy the new house!


  2. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Dave – Yep, that’s sort of what it was like. But here, you really don’t want to run outside. I feel like I’m living in the middle of a zoo, never knowing what’s lurking around the yard.

    Sheila – We had a similar experience when we moved from Seattle to Ohio. We had to ship my wife’s Volvo (just paid it off) via the mover’s transport.

    Well, the driver wrecked and totaled the car, and they didn’t bother to tell us. When it didn’t show up on time I started calling, but no one was answering. Finally, I got someone a few days later, but they wouldn’t tell me anything. So, I started calling a few police agencies along the route, and lo and behold I got a trooper who tracked them down. Anyway, long story short, they weren’t willing to settle and demanded that we still pay for transporting the car (they wanted their insurance company to pay us). AND, they held our furniture hostage until we paid them for transporting a car that never arrived.

    Insurance finally settled, but not for what the car was worth. I called an attorney in the Seattle area who told me he’d handle the case for $3,000. But that was $1,000 more than the mover charged to haul/wreck the car.

    I guess I shouldn’t mention a company’s name on a public blog, especially if it’s about something they did that was bad, so I won’t tell you that it was Jordan River Movers from the Seattle area of Washington (Kirkland, Washington, I think).

  3. Dave Swords
    Dave Swords says:

    Lee, I had to laugh at the part of your story that described you first hearing the birds while in bed. It reminded me of “My Cousin, Vinny,” when Joe Pescii, the New Yorker, is asleep in a cain in the woods of Alabama when a screech owl cuts loose outside. After sitting up with a “W.T.F.!” he runs out on the front porch in his scivvies and unloads a .357 magnum.

    Sort of like Melanie’s idea.

  4. Sheila Lowe
    Sheila Lowe says:

    Lee, Satan’s Movers must have a branch in Arkansas. Your story brought back some less-than-pleasant memories of my ex-husband moving back here to California. After a MONTH(!) of calling these jokers to find out where his stuff was, the truck finally showed up on a Friday at 6pm and proceeded to ransom it for an additional $2 grand. The money had to be paid right then by AmEx, or his possessions would go forever into moving hell.

    It wasn’t a big surprise to find somebody else’s crappy old TV, broken rocking chair, and picnic basket among the ex’s stuff. I sometimes wonder who got his box of financial paperwork and classic record albums.

  5. Deborah McCann
    Deborah McCann says:

    Ahh..the Florida afternoon rain storms. How well I remember these.

    The birds will just become background noise for you soon enough.

  6. Wil A. Emerson
    Wil A. Emerson says:

    Gotta love the bonuses from Mother Nature. I’ll send you my Loons to complete the ochestra…believe me your bones will tingle, hairs on end..screeches and cries will make you shiver. Enjoy your island adventure, Gilligan.

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