Beware the Ides of March
A loud thump! I woke up quickly, already startled into a sitting position before I opened my eyes. Was the roof coming off? Had someone set off a bomb nearby? Something had definitely gone bump in the night and quite loudly, too. It was, after all, the Ides of March when one must be wary of what might happen.
The Ides of March have long been associated with bad luck, a curse. In ancient Rome the Ides of March was a time of settling debts, religious celebration, or feasting. It was also the day that the soothsayer warned Julius Caesar of his impending downfall. And so the soothsayer spoke truly. Caesar was attacked and stabbed to death soon after. Since that time, people have considered March 15 an unlucky day.
March is the Cruelest Month
I could hear the strong winds of March blowing against the house. We do have a lot of strong winds; we live, as I sometimes say, on a hill on top of a hill. Often, we have found porch cushions and even some parts of light weight furniture in a neighbor’s yard.
The ringing of the doorbell brought me to my senses. I looked to my left for Bruce. Had he heard the thump? Should I go see who was at the door. Bruce wasn’t there! Now things were beginning to get suspicious.
I went through the house looking for Bruce, but he was nowhere. The front door was standing open. I couldn’t see anything amiss out front. I closed and locked the door. The backdoor was closed but unlocked. I looked out back but, in the darkness, I didn’t see anything strange, so I stepped out on the back porch, without turning on the light. Out on the street, I could hear men’s voices and see darkened silhouettes of two men. Could they be connected with the loud thump I had heard? Were they planning to break in and rob us? Had they already robbed us? And where was Bruce? I hurried back inside, locked the back door and headed upstairs.
The Mystery Enters
Halfway up the stairs, I heard the doorbell ringing at the front door. I wasn’t sure whether to call 9-1-1 or see who was relentlessly ringing that bell. I chose the latter. You will never guess who was at the front door. Bruce! I was glad to see him. I opened the door and in walked the love of my life barefoot and wearing only his pajamas.
“What’s with locking me out?”
“I thought we might be robbed or murdered in our bed. The doors were open. There are two men on the street. They have a flashlight.”
“That was me and our across the street neighbor.”
“What are you doing outside in your pajamas?”
“You locked me out.”
“Why were you out in the first place?”
“Come here. I’ll show you.”
He then led me through the house out onto the back porch to show me how our 75 year old pine tree, which had stood taller than our three-story house. It had been knocked over by the blast of wind and was now lying the width of the lot and resting on our neighbor’s car. The tree, the section of fence, and our neighbor’s car were lost. There was our Ides of March curse.
Insurance paid for clearing away the tree. Where the huge tree had stood there was a gaping hole. After the hole was refilled, Bruce did not sow grass seed. Instead he scattered wildflower seeds—the kind that attract butterflies. I had wanted a wildflower garden for a long time. You know, sometimes a curse becomes a blessing.