Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ahhh...the peace, quiet, and wicked of life in the country

I am a country girl at heart.  I'm a born and bred, corn fed Midwesterner.  Growing up, I literally lived amongst the cornfields (or bean fields, whichever rotation the field was in that year).  Mind you, none of the fields were mine (as the state of Illinois frowns on children owning property) or my family's.  Yet I felt it my duty to run unheeded like an ill mannered heathen through the fields every summer like clockwork.  There were monsters to be slayed in the stalks of corn, and forts to be made in the tree line.  Needless to say it was ridiculous hard busy work that kept me out of my mother's hair during the summer months.  Then again, now that I think about it, the farmer who owned the field was also the pig farmer that stunk up the joint every summer and Mom didn't like him much, so I'm pretty sure she didn't really care all that much if I broke a stalk...or twooooowenty?  My mother...the original "don't ask, don't tell".

So when it comes to country living I'm well versed in how wonderful it can be, but also how horribly dangerous, or just plain scary, it can be.

Don't get me wrong, there's something (though I'm not sure what) to be said for the urban lifestyle.  Having lived in Las Vegas for 7 years there is no way that you can't get a feel for all the good, the bad, the ridiculous and the truly stupidly ugly people things that life has to offer in the city.  However, my heart remained in the country all those years (And let me tell you living without a heart?  Not as easy as you might think!).  So when the opportunity arose to move back to the country I jumped at it.  Luckily we were able to get out of Vegas just before the real estate bubble imploded.   When I say we were lucky?  I mean that we could feel the snap of the bubble as we drove out of town...a month longer and we would have been stuck there and financially underwater like so many others.

So I'm back to the Midwest and happy as a pig in shit.  Despite the fact that I am a mobile mosquito buffet, and what the mosquitoes don't get the ticks do.  Then there is the humidity that could drown me just by stepping out my back door.  Other than that, I'm content.

Weeellllllll.....except when I have snakes falling at me from my patio.

What?

Yeah, I said it.

Snake.

**** Please excuse this interruption in the story while I wait for some of my readers to take a hefty dose of their Valium ****

We good now?

Can I continue my story?

Good.

So, as I was saying...snakes falling at me from my patio roof.

Thursday (my bitchiest day of the week) night I was winding down the work day around 11pm.  The husband him and I decided to step out on the patio for a smoke.  So we walk out our sliding glass door, walk down the steps onto the patio.  The husband is already at the other end of the patio when I hear "Thunk!" from behind me.

Me:  "What the fuck was that?"

Husband Him: "What?" (as he turns around to look at me)

Me: "That noise?"

I don't really know what happened.  My eyes hadn't quite adjusted to the dark yet, and turning around to face the door with the light from inside didn't help.  At first it sounded like one of the cats had come to sit next to the door and hit a container we keep next to it to help keep the screen to the sliding glass door closed (I really need new windows).

So, I stand there, looking....looking....looking....  No cat, container hasn't been moved or knocked over, and my eyes suddenly adjusted and I saw the shape of a snake that was on the step that we had just come off of.

Me: "Holy shit! It's a snake!"

Husband Him: "What?!"  (voice cracks a little bit on it's way up an octave - ok not really, but it's good for the effect since he hates snakes)

Me:  "It's a fucking snake.  It just came down from the patio roof."

We proceed to try and wrangle the snake so that we can help it cross over, aaaaannnnnd we lose it.  So we start moving everything on the patio trying to find it.  No snake.  The fucking thing must have vaporized like the ghost it was going to become.

As it turns out, it was a black snake (or a rat snake).  Completely harmless to humans.  They are some of my favorite country friends because they help to keep the rodent population down to a squeak instead of a roar.  Generally, when I see them, I let them go about their way.  They are harmless, and in no way interested in me.

HOWEVER.....

This one was clearly on a mission, and giving me a hug on the patio wasn't it.

See...we have a bird nest up above the sliding glass door in the security lights.  The purple martins make a nest up there every year, have 2 or three babies a couple of times and then they are done and we don't see them until the following spring/summer.

We are on our second batch of babies, and he was clearly working his way to a meal.  We think he was on the wall with the door and when we slid the door shut it knocked him loose and he fell.  I told the husband him that he was going to be back because he's hungry.

Finally I went back in for my bath, the husband him came in and grabbed the flashlight I had been using while we moved stuff, and said....

Husband Him: "I'm going out for another smoke.  If you hear me scream......" 

Now for those of you that don't speak or are familiar with Husband Him speak let me break it down for you...

Part 1 - "I'm going out for another smoke" is code for I'm going out to obsess about where the snake could have gone.    

Part 2 - "If you hear me scream" is code for I found the snake and you better haul ass out here and help me kill the sonofabitich! and, NO, I don't fucking care if you are nekkid and dripping wet with bubbles flying!

No screaming ensued, and, when I finished, I took the flashlight with me and went out for another smoke.  By this time it's been about an hour and half or so, since the snake first surprised the hell out of me.  I go out the sliding glass door, light up my smoke, flash the flashlight around the patio to make sure that I don't see him working his way back to the nest.  No snake.  Good deal!  Then I had a thought....maybe I had better flash the light up by the nest to make sure he's not already back up there.

Guess what?????

Working his way to a midnight snack.  If you look at the rim of the nest (clicking the picture to make it bigger) that gray fluff is one of the babies

Yep!  He was back, and probably closer than he was when he fell off the wall the first time.

The part of the window that he's over in this picture is actually the door that slides.  The left side is the stationary window.  So I sidle very slowly over to the stationary window where I can peer at the husband him inside through the curtain and I tap lightly on the window to get his attention.  He looks up at me and I point up.  He walks over to the door and tries to see the snake from the inside, and then asks if he should come out.

Duh!  Yeah!

So I told him to use the regular door on the other side of that patio to come out.

Husband Him:  "You want to get your camera for a picture for your blog first?"

He knows me so well....

Me:  "Yeah, I guess.  Did you leave the other door unlocked for me to get in?"

Husband Him:  "Ummmmmm.......hmmmm." *laughs at self*

Me:  "Thanks for that!"  *me not laughing*

He knows me, but apparently isn't overly sensitive to the state of my mental health.  Which, if you think about it, is kind of ironic since the state of my mental health directly affects the husband him's happiness-o-meter. MEN!

Needless to say, the snake is no more.  I guess I should say, probably is no more.  What was left of him probably became some bird's breakfast after the sun rose.  The baby birds are safe, and getting fat and about ready to leave the nest.  Then there is the fact that I can walk out my door and not worry about a snake landing on my head.  I consider it a plus for everyone involved.  Well, except maybe for the snake.

Ahhh...the country life.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Well, I might consider trading it for a couple of hours for a PF Chang's, but other than that.....

Jewell  =)  xo

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