Friday, September 18, 2009

On Down The Road


This is the road that leads from the highway to my front door. In 8 years of living on this place, it has become a salvation of sorts. I walk this road to clear my head, to sort out my life, to find direction, meaning and logic.
Sometimes I walk alone, sometimes the boys ride their bikes in front of me. Often I push a stroller with a trail of up 3 short dogs walking behind. We have four in all. Bo doesn't follow. She patrols. When I walk on down the road, Bo, our snake-alterting, black-mouthed Curr is always along. She's saved our bacon more than once with her "snake" bark, a specific sound she makes only when one is around. She's herded the kids and I away from the rattler in the grass where I would have walked right past it. I DON'T go without her, especially this time of year.

This road is the safest place to walk because it is cleared out, unlike hiking in the canyon. A few weeks back, our friend, Joe, killed two while he was hunting. Last year, there was one stretched out right in front of the house. I thought Chad had run over it when it came home from work, closer inspection (and a near heart-attack later) revealed he had not. It hadn't been there when he'd come home 15 minutes before!

Yes, this is snake country. We've had them in the barn, curled up right by the step (waaaaaay too close for me!) and several on the road. I am much better around them now than I used to be. There is a process called a phobia cure that I worked with in Journey training. We did these for "practice" and while I didn't think it would really work, I know now that they are 70% clinically effective the first time! Each time you do a process the percentage increases. How do I know? Last year when my fun friends put a snake skin in my purse after golf league and I reached in to get my keys, all I did was scream.........I didn't pass out! When I saw the rattler on the road last year, I calmly and casually walked up just a few inches away, I didn't know it was a rattler until I saw the tail sticking up. Even then I didn't freak out (partly because I thought it was already dead!) I can tell I might need an update, when Joe showed Pryce and I the ones he got, I felt a little shiver go up my spine. I don't love snakes and they only surprise me when I don't expect them to be where they already are. I do respect them, I respect anything with fangs! They are moving this time of year, yet another sign that it is fall.
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