Week 5 of Welcome to My World blog challenge.
Under the morning form of bright sunlight, I turned on the outdoor faucet, and then held the long-handled watering wand at the base of my potted Zinnias. The leaves wiggled. I moved the wand. A small snake poked its head out from among the leaves.
I jerked back. My heart raced. My mind flipped through what-to-do tips when one encounters a serpent. Then I realized it was a harmless gopher snake.
This hasn’t always been the case.
In my memoir’s WIP (work in progress), I share a dream come true of fleeing life in town for open space with my husband and two young children. Set among breathtaking rolling hills, I tell a tender and sometimes hilarious story. There was a swarm of grasshoppers, an army of frogs, a full-scale vole invasion, and rattlesnakes. Yaks!
But there were wonderful compensations where we found deep satisfaction (and still do) with life in the country.
Today, it’s rare to see rattlers on our property. This hasn’t stopped me from using outdoor precautions. Like Sherlock Holmes inspecting a murder scene, I scan the surfaces surrounding me. I use long-handled wands, and poke an old broom stick in dark places where visibility is nil.
On a recent evening walk with my husband, I spotted a skinny two-foot snake stretched out on the side of the road. “Stop,” I hollered, and then pointed a few feet ahead of us.
The snake froze.
Joe moved to the side to examine its tail.
I cautioned him to stay back.
He moved closer. Oh, the fearless will of my country dude.
He reassured me it didn’t have rattles even though it resembled a rattler. Some gopher snakes have similar splotchy dark markings on their backs, yellow or brownish coloration and large heads.
Like the Queen of Prudence, I insisted we turn back.
Practicing safety measures is something most of us do daily, whether we realize it. While chopping food, we curve our fingertips in toward our palm to avoid cutting them off. We look both ways before crossing the street. We train our children to put their toys away when they’re done playing with them. Have you ever thrust your toe into a Tonka truck or stepped on a Lego®?
Good safety practice is essential.
We know this by our own mess ups…and by the first colossal mistake made by the first human couple, Adam and Eve. What they did (touched and ate of the forbidden fruit) and didn’t do (seek God’s wisdom first) changed humanity.
Every action produces an outcome.
How about you? Are you practicing skills that will help to avoid life-changing ripples or a painful blow to the toe? Do you have some practical, easy tips to share? We’d love to read them in the comments.
Oh yes to the lego tragedy! More times than I care to count.
As for your question, I think the tip I have to share is probably relevant to everyone reading this post. Behave as if you have been infected with COVID!
And no, I don’t mean spend the day in bed! You’re not SICK with it. You’re pretending you have been INFECTED with it.
We started with this policy when the pandemic first began. Oh, we go out now that protocols have lifted (for the meantime) but we always wear our masks when outside, as well as inside when we have a visitor. (And yes, they have to as well.) We never have more people in the house than we can with social distancing. etc etc. We never go into a crowd or enter a busy shop.
You know the drill. If everyone behaved that way, guess what? No third wave … or fourth wave … wherever you are. So that’s my tip for the day. Thanks for this post, Dianne. Good one.
Shirley, thanks for your tip. It’s vital that we continue to practice safety across the globe.
This post made me smile 🙂
I am one of those rather safe than sorry kind of people. I don’t go on roller-coasters, I don’t jump out of planes or off cliffs and I don’t trust any spider. You get the idea. But that does not mean I’m not brave. I’m careful, not scared. People don’t always understand the difference. Like you said, every action produces an outcome 😉
Thanks for clarifying the difference. So glad you stopped by, Madeleine.
Oh yes, I totally get the being wary of snakes, I would still have freaked out finding a gopher snake in the garden! Yes, it is something I think we learn over time, prevention or being aware of places and circumstances that could lead us into harm or danger. I will not walk on the streets of Washington DC at night unless accompanied by my son! There are certainly places of spiritual danger if we do not test them against the word of God and trusted Christian friends as well.
Settling in a bit more in our new home and tackling the outside, I have begun to face the overgrown ivy on one side of the house. It is on the ground and up into the trees. With snake and tarantula season near, I want to finish this project soon. I rake a little at a time, pull away the dead ivy and the uproot the new, constantly on the lookout for any movement in the leaves that I am not creating. The only creatures I have encountered so far in this project are small and not harmful. Great post Dianne!
Ivy…beautiful if cared for properly, but its roots can destroy a wall. I’m glad you watch for hidden creatures. Tarantulas would be scary. Yaks!
Michele, ivy is a tough vine to get rid of but I’m glad you’re taking steps to make it safer living with Texas snakes and tarantulas. Yaks!