Posts Tagged ‘Snakes’


Remember that little ‘ditty’ from childhood?

What are little boys made of?

Frogs and snails

And puppy-dogs’ tails,

That’s what little boys are made of.

It speaks of adventure and investigation and outdoors and curiosity and twinkling eyes and dirt and wonder. Or, if you are a girl (aka. a “sugar and spice and everything nice” kinda girl), you might say it speaks of dirt and gross things and more dirt and lots of ouie stuff!

I am okay with that little ‘ditty’ because it is ‘cute’ … and it says nothing about snakes! (I hate snakes!)

Although, according to Wikepedia (or ‘Earl’ as I like to say … it is so easy to add info. to Wikepedia that I figured that most of the ‘knowledge’ we get from there is actually accumulated by a guy named Earl, who lives with his cousin/wife, in a trailer out in the dessert, where you can see things like buzzards and possum), ‘snakes’ is part of some versions of said ‘ditty’, but I am very okay to say it without.

I had an experience one day while my beast and I were out walking in the sunshine, that made this ‘ditty’ come alive for me. I think I jumped (or was pushed … squirming) into the heart and soul and mind of the author.

The sun was shining bright (I remember the sun! I remember what it feels like … dry, and I remember how it looked … bright, but, right now, it is a fond and distant memory), and a dad and his two sons biked by.

Later on I heard words that make me squirm “Dad, I found a snake” (I swear they are stalking me! All this time I was fearful of getting eaten by a carnivore like a bear, but it’s the reptiles who are really out to get me). Sadly the only ‘fork’ in the path was the snakes tongue, so I had to keep going in the direction of ‘it’ (but the fear in this yellow-bellied reptile almost convinced me to turn around, shortening my walk and forfeiting the ability to ‘eat more later, because I burned all those calories walking’).

When I got close enough to see the boy who had yelled out to his dad (those words that made me shake in my boots), I realized that I knew him, and his brother and his dad.

This boy, at the time, had just enterend high school, and the adjustments of the last few years into adolescence have not been easy for him. He can be quiet, can seem disinterested in life, can be sullen, and walks in a way that communicates ‘please don’t notice me’.

But that day, holding a … snake (thankfully up on a hill, away from the path, where my beast and I were trodding), he was a healthy, fun-loving, adventurous, investigative, outdoorsy, twinkling-eyed, dirty … wonder-filled boy!

And, because of that, because I could see wonder up on ‘them thar hills’, I walked ‘towards’ the snake (and this could be a picture of how sin draws us in … ha! ha! ha! … naa, I would rather think it is evidence that God can use ANY part of His creation to show us beauty, and wonder).

So, I walked up, and saw the ugly, slimy, dirty, gross, ouie reptile, that filled his normally vacant eyes to eyes filled with wonder.

From now on, that little ditty will always say ‘snakes and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails’.

I found wonder in a snake!


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So, I told you yesterday that I had a hiking story. And it comes from the retreat that I wrote about yesterday … so, this could be “Retreat … the Sequel”

On Saturday the weather was … west coast (aka. rain, showers and sprinkles, followed by monsoons).

We started the day with a delicious breakfast of Belgian Waffles, Oatmeal, Fresh Fruit, etc., etc., etc. … none of which did we have to make :D.

Then we had our study time on what is really awesome, and learned that to use the word awesome to describe waffles (no matter how mouth-watering good … mainly because we didn’t have to make them) is really not the way to use ‘awesome’.

The study time was followed by lunch, and it was awesome really good (and we didn’t have to make it).

The afternoon was open to ‘free time’, but there were the options of a craft …

OK I need to segue …

crafts … this is an area of failure for me, in my life.

And, what’s worse, one of my kids LOVES to do crafts.

As a matter of fact, once, after hubby and I had been away,

said (crafty) child says to me, upon our return,

“Mom, look at the crafts our babysitter taught me to do,

do you think that she could teach


how to do crafts?”

(my, silent, response, ‘NO’)

… and a hike, and a nap, and games to play, and (because it was a ‘woman’s’ retreat … chocolate to eat). So, I did the craft (photo of that tomorrow), had a nap, ate the chocolate, and took a hike, because the sun had come out.

The hike was described to me this way, ‘it take about an hour and starts out muddy, it’s pretty easy in the beginning, then gets more steep towards the top’. I was up for the challenge, besides, the sun decided to shine and it gave me the opportunity for an intake of Vitamin D. Besides, I love the great outdoors! I just have a problem with the great outdoors that is fast enough, big enough and hungry enough to eat me (is this sounding familiar from my post “Walking Alone in a Wonder-filled Life”?). So, hiking with a group should eliminate this fear … right?

Because I have such strong feelings towards … wet weather, I donned my water-proof jacket, to ensure that it would, indeed, not rain (had I not brought my jacket, Murphy would have guaranteed a 60 minute down-poor, equal only to Noah’s flood).

Sure enough, the path was muddy, in the beginning. But certainly passable.

Then it got steeper and steeper … a good challenge to my ‘maturing’ body. I enjoyed the increase in heart rate, and oxygen intake. And I was having a delightful conversation with a young woman (when I was still able to breath … huff and puff … from the steepness of the path) … life was indeed … good.

Then it happened. The worst thing that anyone could EVER say to me (next to, ‘there is a bear behind, in front of or beside you’), “watch out for the snake.”

Well, if you have ever wanted to see fear personified, you should have been on that hike with me.

I looked up, not down, because I knew that if I had actually seen the snake at me feet, I would have fainted, and then it would, certainly, have crawled on top of me and waited on my chest, peering into my eyes so that, once I came to, it would have killed me, so that I would know it was killing me.

Then I moved my feet in a manner similar to a leprechaun’s dance on St. Patty’s Day, while, of course moving forward, in hopes that my forward was the snakes backward.

OK I need to segue …

I HATE snakes!

If you ask hubby, he will tell you that

when I am having a dream/nightmare/night terror

about snakes

you DO NOT want to be the person sleeping beside me.

What is ‘just a dream’

to him

Is VERY REAL to me,

and I will do, and scream, what I must to ensure

that I get freed from the snake.

… enough said …

(but, this might be a future post)

Then I stopped, a good many feet ‘forward’ looking to my companion, who at about the age of sixteen, was laughing hysterically (probably wishing she had caught all of my antics on video so she could broadcast them on YouTube, or enter the video into an Americas Best Video Contest. She laughed even longer than my psychosis lasted!)

Finally she pointed out the snake, and it was … dead! (I was hearing the Hallelujah chorus all through my being). The snake was headless! … now, it didn’t have to be headless to be dead, but, in my psychotic episode, God knew I need undeniable proof that the snake was really dead, otherwise, I might still be up on that mountain!

So, back to the hike …

Once our four fellow hikers arrived, and ‘admired’ the dead snake (I am confident the only snake to be admired is a dead one), we continued on. Our leader said, ‘now the path gets steep’.

Well I thought my head would spin like in the Poltergeist movie. Because I was pretty confident that I had already done the ‘steep’ part of the trail! My heart rate actually had no where to increase when I experienced the fear of the snake!

So, off we trod … after all I had faced the fear of the snake, whats a steep hill?

Well this hill needed a bungy cord! It was a path that has trees along it … so that you can grab them and pull yourself up. Man, was I missing my ‘eager beaver beast’ who would have hauled my sorry butt up that hill!

But, we made it, and it was spectacular! There was an, enormous hawk glide by … but I was thinking eagle (I have a rather vivid imagination 😉 … like you didn’t know that already) …

“those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

and that, is what retreat is all about.

P.S.: For those who understand what a fear of snakes is like, would you believe that, even though it was headless, and must have been dead for awhile, it was still moving a bit when we came down the mountain … now that is the stuff that nightmares are made of!




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