Snakes on the Trail

Had a wonderful evening with old/reconnected friends last weekend. My big crush* from 7th grade was in town visiting his twin sister, and she hosted a gathering…

We’re all in our late 40’s / early 50’s. Been there, done that, mostly…

As i was bashing cookies nibbling on crudités in the kitchen, i overheard a conversation between Twin Sister and SC, another 50-something woman.

SC: I’ve never been particularly outdoorsy, but really enjoyed going out backpacking this summer.  Never knew what it was like!  I even walked up on a rattlesnake during one of our hikes! What really got me was that I wasn’t terrified – I just sort of stood there and said “Well. Now what?”

TS: Honey, you’ve raised kids, right? What the hell could that rattlesnake do to you that teenagers didn’t? I’d be standing there saying “A rattle? Seriously? That’s all you got? Bring it, little fella! I’ve raised kids. You got nothin’, mother fucker!”

photo sourced here

* This is the lovely man who had a stroke in 2010.  We’d had a grand time visiting the summer before, when he took me to a weekend music festival, rather than skin me and turn me into a girl suit.  The latest adventure for him?  Heart attack, and bypass surgery just over a month ago.  He spent a week with his twin as part of his rehab, and is doing remarkably well!  Still some issues from the stroke, but his speech is improved post-heart attack. 

39 thoughts on “Snakes on the Trail

    • i don’t think there’s a correlation! you’ve tackled challenges that are much more difficult than snakes… my achilles heel is spiders. i don’t care how tough i am, i will always hate those damned things…

      • I had to chuckle here. My smaller portion is with you about spiders and given a chance either drowns them in insect spray or flattens them. He is fine with snakes. I am fine with spiders and move them rather than kill them. And I am the one that got fanged by a spider and grew a hand nearly as big as my head.

    • rattlers don’t swallow. they poison. you’d have to develop your body chemistry to be fatally toxic to snakes. i used to feel that way about bees – when i got stung, the bee died. but i like bees, so now it just seems like a pointless death…

  1. Obviously a woman with experience… Most rattlesnakes will depart the scene rather than mix it up with a person – especially if you give it an out. Most teenagers will enter the fray willingly…

  2. I’m very relieved to find evidence all over the blogs that teenagers are, in fact, as horrible as my daughter is now. I thought I was just being a bad mother, I’d welcome a rattlesnake swap right about now.

    • Hi Cindy! Thanks for stopping by! When mine were teens, i had many, many headaches. Not just that they were being awful, just that the overlapping area between their “wing spreading” and my “containment zone” was huge. it gets better. hang in there…

  3. The link to the Impulsivity post has given me a lovely confirming sense of the way that people who are prepared to take chances and presume the best of people will have the best experiences.

    • i manage risk aggressively. i always have an exit strategy. not to say i’m not taking risks… i also manage expectations aggressively. it helps that i am not looking for anything specific in my life. i just go… and see what happens. for now, anyway.

  4. In my case, at 50, I’m just damned tired to do anything *but* stand there.

    During our honeymoon holiday in so. Illinois in ’08, we took a hike down “Snake Road”. Being a northerner an’ all, I didn’t really put two and two together, so I was quite surprised when a “stick” we walked up on turned out to be a furious little rattler. Wife was the one saw it first. She wasn’t for going on after that, so we turned back.

    • “Tired” is a big part of my low-reactivity. i just can’t be bothered with a lot of shit these days… takes too much brain space and energy to get worked up!

      if i had run into the rattler, i can assure you that i’d have been quite happy to change my plans and turn right back around. a cold beer is just as nice as a good walk.

  5. I used to live in rattlesnake country. And one day walked out to my car to suddenly see a “rope” lying near it take off. Scared me, it did. Now I live in an area that has no venomous snakes, and just wave as I pass them by. Or maybe it’s just because I’m old, and order them off my lawn.

    • you have earned the right to order the serpents around! other than spiders, i have a general ‘co-exist’ rule in my world… unless something is trying to kill me, then all bets are off!

  6. Not really bothered by snakes out in the bush. But not keen on any venomous ones that might happen to enter my space. When on call for Parks and Wildlife we used to get lots of calls to “come and get this *&**#in’ snake!” Our first responder? A teenager! Yep, he had a licence and was one of the best.

  7. I hate snakes…Hate hate hate. When I was a kid my mother cut off the head of a supposed garter snake that came out from under our wood pile at us. It actually had a square head and was some kinda venomous thing that is very rare in Northern Ohio….I will kill any bug..even if I scream like a sissy first, all for show mind you, just trying to get my hubby to man up…but then…wham…that bug is gone.. A girls gotta take care of herself and after having teens, this girl can take care of any snake or bug, even if I do scream like a girl first.

    • when there is someone else around, i will gladly allow him or her to dispose of a spider. the cat has a fine habit of playing with them until i can get a large shoe. but if i’m on my own? i will do the deed….

  8. I don’t mind snakes. I’ve even been bitten a couple of times and still don’t mind. Of course, my view might be coloured by the fact that practically no European snakes are even more than modestly poisonous and no-one has died of snake bite in France for about 50 years.

  9. The Geezer quail hunts a lot. In Florida that means he sees Rattlesnakes a lot. He uses snake repellent, #8 birdshot administerred with a 12 guage. Very effective. They are good eatin’ though his wife gets the creeps seeing the meat even after it’s skinned, cleaned, etc.
    It fries up into nice white pieces of meat. Tasts just like chicken.

    • as always, it’s good to get a dog’s point of view. we truly do need more dog blogs… Nice to know that The Geezer shares! You should be treated well – a talking/writing dog is a special breed!

    • when i visit, i will need to do a little homework on the local legless population… snakes don’t really bother me, but perhaps in your part of the world, they should!

    • we all have our weakness, it seems…. centipedes (the little ones) aren’t bad. it’s the million-legged, fast moving ones with bodies as long as a pencil that i hate… used to get those in my old house! yearrrrrgh!

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