Here's some sound advice - if you are going on an overnight trip out of town don't invite a wild bird to come stay in your house while you're gone.
They make for horrible house-sitters.
We decided to visit some family a couple of weeks ago and packed up the car for the ride - which meant leaving some doors open as we loaded up.
Well, we didn't know it when we left but a bird decided to fly in while we weren't paying attention.
We didn't know the bird was there until we returned later the next day - and, boy, was that a surprise.
I was able to shoo it out of the home and we found out later just how much damage it did.
No, it didn't damage any property, it just rudely left its droppings on several places.
I know pretty gross, especially when we were still finding some spots the next day. Luckily, the most damage was done to a window sill, which was easy to clean up.
We are thankful we were only gone for one night. Could you imagine the damage that flying thing could have done if we were gone for a week?
It reminded me of when I was a young kid and I was watching the television show "Batman" with my brother. During that show an actual bat flew around the living room, apparently getting in the home through the garage that night. A neighbor with a huge net was able to snatch the bat up and get it outside.
I hesitated from telling this story about the bird though.
Well, I didn't want people to think I was some crazy, wild bird caretaker and thinking my home was full of bird droppings. I didn't want people in public pointing to a spot on my shirt, claiming it was doo-doo. I decided to write about it after a neighbor said it would be a good story to share in the paper.
Well, our house is all clean and we learned our lesson to never have a wild bird serve as a house-sitter when we're gone.
Rest assured we'll be watching those doors next time we load up the car for a trip.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org