Reunion – Part II: Venom

We arrived at the main ‘gathering’ cabin, where six of my cousins were staying. Many arms came to hug Mom, and help her down the walkway.

Mom settled amongst a pod of cousins on the generous front porch.  Hurricane T had taken a few tentative steps toward the group, but Cousin L did not wait.  Meeting her at the edge of the porch, she wrapped her arms around T, crushing 30 years in seconds.

Cousin L took T over to her brother, P.  More hugs.  P introduced his wife, P, and as they were all three wearing collegiate sports shirts, the conversation took off.

Meanwhile, TK had parked the car, and come down the walkway, standing next to me.  i was about to start introductions and she said “Wait.  Not yet.  Let it happen…”

Cousin L brought the “happen”.  Throwing her arms around TK she said “It is SO good to meet you!  I’ve heard so much about you, and enjoy your pictures on Facebook!  Welcome to the family!”

Waterworks on my part.  TK was a little choked up, too, but kept her composure.  Cousin L brought her to Cousin S, who provided an equally warm welcome to the clan.

Catching T’s eye across the porch, she was also on the verge of losing it.  We were saved by a call to dinner – which meant i needed to escort Mom inside, lest she miss the chance to lead the Buffet Conga Line.

Realizing that the extended family would be taking care of T and TK, i went to the kitchen to sort logistics.  DQ and her clan were there, hanging out and relaxing.

Flying here and there, i tracked arrival times of other family, explained cabin layout, set up the WiFi access code for people who needed it – basically worked the ‘hive’.  i went upstairs to check on bed linens and passed T and DQ at the bottom of the stairs.

Hurricane T:  I really do appreciate all you do for Mom – taking her to doctors appointments is a full-time job…

Continued upstairs – in shock!  How can this be happening?  Was i overly worried about this?

Scooted out the front door a few minutes later to get something from the car, past T and Cousin L, i found DQ on the front porch.  In tears.

daisyfae: What happened?

DQ:  What have I done to her?  Why does she hate me? Is she drunk already?

daisyfae:  She was drinking before we got here, so she’s probably getting lit.  There’s rum in her sippy cup…

DQ:  I’m sitting on the sofa, right in front of her.  She starts telling Cousin L that she’s got a huge problem with Mom’s living situation and everything “going on there”, but that she’s put her concerns aside to come here and be with the family.

daisyfae:  Shit.  It was going well…

DQ:  I know!  She was so nice to me!  What did I DO?!?

daisyfae:  Relax.  Cousin L knows that there is a problem with T.  She knows all you do to take care of Mom.  She is not going to judge you based on what T says… i’ll go shut it down.

Stepped back inside, but the conversation with Hurricane T and Cousin L had already shifted to work-related talk.  DQ and her clan headed out  to their cabin for a break.  i found TK and she went to pinch off Hurricane T for the night, and get her back to our cabin.

By late evening, the dust had settled. Cousin L found me and said “I think I have a better understanding of your challenges…” and i thanked her for the re-direct.  She said she’d be sure to say a few supportive words to DQ at the right time.

Sitting in the living room with DQ, i listened again to her frustration.  Thanked her for sucking it up and avoiding “escalation of hostilities”.

Her husband, BJ, poked his head in the door of the cabin.

BJ:  Hey, can one of you come out here and get a picture of this snake?

DQ and i grabbed cameras and went out to the gravel driveway.

BJ:  Just thought it might be a good idea to see what just bit me on the toe…

We got a couple of blurry pictures as the snake slithered into the undergrowth from the driveway.  We were barefoot, but being very careful to watch our step!  DQ finally got a close-up of the snake, including the head.

Hit the WiFi with my iPad. Confirmed what i’d already suspected.  Copperhead.   He needed medical attention.  Fast…

38 thoughts on “Reunion – Part II: Venom

  1. Holy Mary, mother of pearl. That’s some high-quality drama there. And snakes too! Glad the family’s reception of TK was good, at least. Meanwhile “a pod of cousins” and “there was rum in her sippy cup” are my fave writerly highlights from this part of the saga.

    • it turns out, only Hurricane T was blasted. i’d had a couple beers earlier in the evening, and no one else touched a drop… didn’t think to pour rum on it, though. would have been a waste of rum, methinks…

  2. Rum in the sippy cup got me too – reminder of my wife’s late Grandfather in his late years – his was scotch though. Brave man, he’d been on the beach at the start of D Day went all the way through to the end of the war…

    Snakes. No there is a good reason to stay living in South East England! :-) Hope the medical attention was quick and appropriate and all is ok on that front.

    • i’d asked her to be discreet, so she used an insulated travel mug – we always call them ‘sippy cups’. and based on inventory i’d taken when i returned? she’d apparently killed over half a bottle of good rum between 4pm and 9pm. Ugh. As you know better than most, probably not a good thing…

      Forgot that you don’t have to deal with snakes. what’s the spider situation there? i’m planning my retirement and scouting locations!

  3. I guess it wouldn’t be a redneck love story without somebody gets snakebit. My brother got bitten by one of those as a teenager. Can’t wait for the next installment.

    • a soap opera without the fake boobies and collagen implanted lips! He’s fine — feel a little bad about the cliffhanger, but i’ve been wrangling with how to explain all the stuff that happened…. too much for one post… another episode soon…

    • no copperheads in the trailer park… they start to pop up in mid-southern kentucky. things were going ok — but the magic was that the snake bite shut down the drama that night. next time there’s a flare up? i’m callin’ in the damn snakes!

  4. Oh my…snakes!! Now you pulled me.. Hate them..give me bats, spiders and bees any day but snakes make me scream like the girl I am and run for cover.( unless my hubby or stepson are there and screaming louder than me. than someone, ie..me, will have to deal with the situation) Assuming BJ got the treatment he needed or your post would be taking a different turn.
    I’m enjoying reading about your recon missions while on vacation.

  5. Um… ouch? I think I’d be a little more irritated. You wouldn’t need a picture, you’d have a dead snake. Sure, it was “just following its instincts,” but the same can be said of me. In general, if something bites me, I instinctively kill it. Unless it’s my wife.

    • i was very surprised that he didn’t get angry — this is a guy who is a hunter. owns perhaps 250 guns, crossbows and other assorted weapons. he was wearing flip flops, though – for a walk from the porch to the car, across a gravel driveway, that would normally be reasonable footgear.

      and glad to hear that you let your wife bite. sometimes we just need to do that….

  6. I prefer rum in MY sippy cup too.

    You had to KNOW the “happy happy, joy joy” wouldn’t last!
    Snake bite kit needs to be added to list of “essentials” from now on. :)

    • when we go skiing in the winter, we’ll load our coffee with kahlua, or bailey’s…. and for a festival last weekend, we loaded insulated mugs with beer. i’m not a huge fan of rum, but i suppose it would do in a pinch!

      rather than add the snake bite kit to essentials? i think i’m going to add the poisonous snake. the next time the family starts to get out of line? somebody gets snakebit. that’ll shut down the drama in a heartbeat!

  7. as an under-achieving hack i gots to say i think i know what happnes in the next installment, you talk about how you immediately pulled out a Swiss Army knife, slit the bite wound and began sucking out the venom between shots of tequila, Hurricane T shows up, sippy cup re-filled with bourban and milk and starts shouting “oh i guess this sets Ma’s house back like two more fucking years BJ you big pussy.” i’m right aren’t i.

    • i am rather twisted, but i do not suck toes… and as i’ve said, tequila is not my friend, as it makes me lie and write bad checks (never mind the fact that it makes my clothing disappear). but if i had to script what should have happened next? you nailed the ending! And Hurricane T could have said those exact words! Brilliant!

  8. See that? You’re an old softie. I knew it all along. The tough exterior can be cracked with a well-placed hug. Never thought I’d read “wifi” and “cabin” in the same paragraph. Is the snake bite some kind of literary metaphor? Or is there actual danger? Stay tuned! I love a good cliff hanger.

    • yeah. i’m a softie…. like a bigass loaf of Wonder Bread that’s been left in the trunk of the car for a month, i gotz a hard crust but a squishy innerds… no literary metaphor. that’d be like work. i don’t write no fiction, bitch.. he got bit. foot swelled up like a balloon. hurt. he got better. why me talk like Tarzan? oh, yeah. Bourbon for dinner. [thud]

    • someone needs to write it, that’s for damn sure. when it’s turned into a film, however, i don’t want to give up control over who plays me. she better be fucking hot… damn it…

  9. ..and there’s your drama! Im moving on now. I’m polishing off the last box of Hot Tamales I brought here from the states. This is just starting to get good.

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