Hello, my name is Mama’s Empty Nest. And I have a habit I need to confess.
Yes, I am a what iffer. I’m one of those people who always thinks “what if?” I’m sure I’ve driven my kids insane by telling them to plan ahead, be prepared for any emergency because what if this, that or the other thing happens?
You know, keep a blanket in your car trunk because what if you get caught in a snow storm. Carry a bottle of water with you because what if you’re stranded somewhere and the temperature soars. Make sure you have batteries for your flashlight and while you’re at it, stock up on some matches and candles because what if the power goes out.
I’m like the female version of the quintessential Boy Scout. Be Prepared. That’s my motto. And I can’t blame it on scouting because I never did join Girl Scouts. It seems I was just made this way and I really can’t stop myself from thinking it. Perhaps I need to join WIA (What Iffers Anonymous)!
Just the other day, I caught myself saying “what if?” Early in the summer season, hubby’s garden plot starts sprouting good stuff; leaf lettuce and spinach already grow in abundance. The strawberry patch yielded two quarts of delicious red berries in two days’ time, and there are plenty more to be picked.
Sunday evening, hubby and I leisurely lounged on our deck, watching the sun start to sink lower into the horizon, basking in a balmy breeze and cool temperatures. Then I decided to visit the berry patch and noticed more ripe, juicy berries needed plucked.
I didn’t want to take time to change from my sandals into socks and tennis shoes, so I stepped among the thickly woven plants. Of course when you pick strawberries, you have to bend over and search underneath all the leaves for the fruit.
And that’s when it happened. A thought jumped into my mind as suddenly as a flash of lightning lights up the sky. What if there was a snake hiding underneath those leaves? I stood up immediately, voiced my thought to hubby, who looked a smidge alarmed. (I’ll clue you in on that in a minute!)
I looked at my feet bared in sandals and gave a little shudder. The thought of a garden snake slithering out of hiding across my toes or my hand as I checked for strawberries gave me the willies. I’m guessing the idea probably unsettled my husband just as much.
It’s true I don’t like spiders and snakes. My hubby gladly protects me from spiders and other critters, but he positively loathes and fears snakes. I learned that fact early in our marriage.
As newlyweds, we lived in the southwest – rattlesnake territory. One weekend we decided to take a walk through a wooded area near our apartment. As we were maneuvering along the trail, a small snake (although not a rattler, fortunately) suddenly appeared out of the brush and scurried out onto the path in front of us.
His unexpected appearance startled me so that I literally froze. I just stood there, mouth gaping open, staring at the snake, unable to move. When I finally came to my senses, I realized that my strong, valiant military husband was gone. Gone! Left me standing there in a staring contest with a snake!
One sight of that slithering reptile and my hubby hightailed it out of the woods. As fast as he could. By the time I conjured up the good sense to join him, I realized he was already standing in the apartment complex parking lot.
I’ve never let him forget that story and it has provided some good-natured fun-poking over the years. But the story illustrates how much he hates those creatures. His first thought was “get the heck out of here” and I can’t blame him. I still jokingly rib him for not protecting me from that reptile or at least grabbing my hand and dragging me with him. Oh well, he reminds me, even the extremely brave and adventurous Indiana Jones had a fear of snakes.
I’m happy to report we did not see a snake in our garden the other day, but I suspect from now on, I may have to take the hoe with me just in case…you know… what if?? When I was growing up, I remember my mother took care of garden snakes that way. She was fearless and chopped their heads off with the hoe.
I tried this once when a tiny snake surprised me, but by the time I found the hoe in the garage and went back to do some serious damage to him, he had long disappeared. That experience just provided more fodder for my “what if” scenario….see what I mean? Be prepared!
And that reminds me on this 7th page of Chapter 6 in my book called Opportunity, I need to become more like my mother. If I could just make a coconut cream pie from scratch like her, my hubby would be thrilled. For now, he’ll just have to be happy with my good intentions of “taking care” of the little garden snakes, as long as he protects me from all the other stuff. But if we ever meet a big snake, we’ll both be “out of here!”