Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Here is my sister and myself climbing around rocks in Tonto National Forest when we were kids.

Sooooo, no more word on how the FHA inspection/appraisal went yet. I know I say this all the time, but I hate not knowing a thing one way or the other. I do NOT need any room to create scenarios in my head. From an early age I've been way too familiar with the worst case scenario, so when I'm not sure, that's the first place I go. As a way to stop doing that, I thought I might just take my mind off of it all, by doing a little writing exercise. I decided I'd write about the first topic I read about on a blog today and that happened to be Tara at Eclectic Spaghetti where she talked about snakes.

It's not something I think a lot about anymore, but I grew up in Arizona where I often came in contact with poisonous creatures. One of my first memories was with my family being in the Superstition Mountains. My dad was holding me, so I had to be 4 or under, if he was still around. All I really recall was being terrified of snakes and not letting him put me down. He was really annoyed and tried to calm me down, but when that didn't work, he still held me and didn't make me walk around where the rattlesnakes could get at me.

Once when I was around 9, a rattlesnake wandered (or more accurately, slithered) onto our street. It must have been after work, because all the dads were home. All it took was for the kids to go home and report the snake finding, and suddenly there were 5 or 6 dads out on the street with bats, sticks and one even had a hammer. They wailed on that poor snake for what seemed like hours. It couldn't have still been alive, but from what my mom tried to explain to me, it was still moving because its nerves were somehow still functioning. It was so horrible and brutal, but none of us kids could stop watching it.

When I was 19, I dropped out of college and moved to California to do environmental work. Mostly, I worked on the Salmon Restoration Project, but once in a while we'd get pulled to do wildland firefighting or cut fire lines to prevent said fires. One day we were cutting fire lines in a park that was closed due to a rattlesnake infestation. We were told to be very careful and stay on trails and make sure we traveled in packs so we could all keep an eye and ear out for snakes.

I know this is going to shock the hell out of all of you, but I have a bit of an impetuous nature. Weird. A group of us girls were heading to a new site, and I didn't really feel like taking a trail that wound all around a hill, when I could just run up it that much faster. So, as I bounded up the hill, all the girls in my group started screaming. Like an idiot, I stopped and turned around to see what all the hubub was about. I looked down to see that I had just jumped over a nest of baby rattlesnakes. Baby rattlesnake are that much more dangerous than adult rattlesnakes, because they haven't learned how to control their venom yet. When they bite you, they give everything they have. I was inches away from the nest and very carefully continued up the hill. I never left my group or the trail for the rest of our job there. Wouldn't it be cool if I didn't always have to learn the hard way?

10 comments:

NoRegrets said...

nah, then you wouldn't have a great story...

Ananda girl said...

Oh my goodness! You were so lucky. That's a great story and I love the memory of your dad holding you to help you feel safe.

I agree waiting is too hard. This has been the slowest week ever! But this time tomorrow maybe laura b. will be with DR. Yay! And you will hear about your house... good news and on Friday I go out. Then we will all say... wow, what a great week that was. (Please!)

Remiman said...

Churlita,
A nest of baby rattlers? I'd of had a heart attack right on the spot.

My imagination always runs to the wrong side initially too.

Brando said...

All I can say is Yikes.

One of the great things about modern life is, most days, you don't have to worry about getting bitten by something poisonous.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

First of all I love the picture it's so ethereal - and reminds me a bit of those photos of the little Irish girls with the fairies at the turn of the century.

As much as I love animals, snakes are the one creature I really cannot abide and then add poison to the equation and forget it. You are dang lucky you didn't get wailed on woman!

Tara said...

Jeez, nothing like a bit of close-call danger to get the heart pumping! I didn't know that about baby rattlesnakes.

I love how people are told to stay on the paths to avoid snakes, but snakes don't follow the same rules. Rude.

AlienCG said...

I have only ran across the odd garter or corn snake over in these parts. Nothing poisonous up here unless you're allergic to stinging bugs.

Susan said...

The thought of snakes makes me feel ill.

booda baby said...

cool for you, maybe, but what would WE do? and how would i ever learn anything about snakes? Unless you're a snakathologist, I think it takes being happy with risks in order to learn something about those thingies.

Churlita said...

Nor,

Yeah. I suppose everyone likes to watch a train wreck. Ha ha.

Ananda,

I can't wait to hear how your date goes. Thank god you have dates so I have someone to live vicariously through.

Rel,

I know I've said this many times, but I wish I had an off switch to turn off emotions or scenario building when I needed it.

Lady,

Thanks. One of my uncles took that> I like it too because it's kind of creepy looking.

Brando,

Especially when you live in colder climates like you in the UP. See? That's one good thing about being that far North.

Tara,

Exactly. Stupid rule braking snakes.

AlineCG,

That's how it is in Iowa too. I suppose we can get Lymes disease or West Nile though.

Susan,

I don't mind the non-poisonous kinds.

Booda Baby,

I'm usually only a risk taker when I'm too stupid to think before I act. When I think about things, I'm a lot more cautious.