Saturday, May 24, 2008

Surprise!


I have always been too much of a planner to get anybody’s money’s worth out of a surprise. Now, anticipation, I love. I can MAKE money on that. At the lake this weekend, Jeff and I were thrown a couple of unwelcome curve balls-not at all anticipated. After Jeff came home from work on Thursday, we hooked the boat and trailer to the back of our vehicle along with lake gear for two nights and food for seemingly five. It thrills us that Julia and Brighton love the lake and all that goes with it. One of my favorite things to see is Brighton laid back in the water just floating, arms outstretched and eyes squinting in the sun. Julia gets almost as excited about finding a strange shaped pebble on the “lake beach” as she does an unbroken sand dollar on St. George Island. This trip, like all trips, we threw out the anchor close to our favorite shore, tied our oversized tube (nicknamed Big Bertha) to the boat and were about to jump in to play when Jeff sort of tapped me and gave me a look in a certain direction. I began looking for what I already knew I didn’t want to see. Wanting to keep the kids “out of the know”, Jeff and I had our own private freak out shows when we saw not 1, not 2, but 3 snakes. While trying to distract the children things like “Oh my gosh!”, “No way!”, “Sick.”,“What kind are they?”,“Yikes!”,“Creepy!”, “THREE?”, “Right here?”, and last but not least, “What are we going to do all day tomorrow?” stopped just short of our tongues. I am not yet home to research and try to find a reason for their abundance and their boldness and to our dismay, their new found love for our swimming holes.

Curve ball #2: The second night we settled in on the bunk beds with popcorn and hot chocolate to watch an episode of Little House on the Prairie. Jeff projected it on a big screen hung from a rafter of our 16x16 square foot one room cabin. We have started reading the books to the children and about once week or so we read a couple of chapters and then watch an episode with them calling that night a “Little House Night”. (No snickering, please. I actually know a handful of people who read these books and watch these shows who DON’T home school.) How can you go wrong with Little House—Pa and Ma, Mary, Laura and little Carrie? Our surprise? The “D word”! We quickly turned it to “dumb” and for the children’s benefit became incredulous that they used the word “dumb” on Little House on the Prairie. Thankfully, it wasn’t Ma who said it, however, she did call someone a “mean, stubborn old man”. Well, I never. We will cross the 4-letter word bridge at some point, but not just yet.
First surprise: bold “swim right by us” snakes- unexpected and major. Second surprise: profanity from the banks of Plum Creek- not major, just unexpected. I think the worst part is now having to put my censor ears on as we watch the Ingalls family survive drama after drama and wondering if anyone will ever accept our invitation to the lake after reading this post.




"Post- post"-- The next day as we were riding (note- not swimming) around the lake, we saw several turtles on some rocks and decided to take a closer look. As we got closer, this is what we saw. (Picture below.) You will have to click on the picture to see all the, I can hardly type it, SNAKES sunning on the log!! Now you can say all those words that went through our minds! I told the kids I was taking pictures of the turtles and as you can see, all the turtles had slid off the log into the water. My observant children weren't fooled for a minute. Julia adamantly said, "NO YOU ARE NOT! You are taking pictures of snakes!!" (We have sent the pictures to a, for a lack of a better word, snake expert, so maybe he can help tell if they are water moccasins or banded water snakes. We are hoping for the latter.) In all my days on Lake Sinclair and Jeff's on Lake Lanier, we have never seen a snake in the water until this weekend.


14 comments:

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

I'm impressed that you didn't scream! Surely snakes can't get on Big Bertha, right? (I try to underestimate their abilities so as to make them less scary!)

Anonymous said...

Looks like you really hit the jackpot with your snake sighting! My suggestion is that you stay away from shallow water and brushy areas and swim way out deep.

I still say there's no good snake but a dead snake. Mom

nikki said...

wonder what ma and pa would have said if those snakes surprised them?

Tori said...

Hahaha, I wonder, too! Those are definitely lots of surprises. I can completely identify, as I am someone who rarely deals well with a "curve ball". I've never been known as a spontaneous girl, that's for sure.

I cannot believe those snakes! What lake did you visit??

simple musings said...

How terrifying! I love outdoor activities, but I must confess, I also have a serious fear of snakes, bears, mountain lions, etc. I also would be interested to know which lake you were visiting. (You know, so I can never, ever go there!!) ;)

TJ Wilson said...

K - we just experienced the same thing yesterday with a long, skinny black snake slithering by our float at Palo Pinto. When Corbin calmly instructed all the kids to stay on the floats, everyone looked instinctively to the telescopic head skimming the water's surface just a few feet from us. Looked very, very poisonous to me. Ugh.
I agree wholeheartedly with your mom.

Anonymous said...

I think Jeff should have swam right up to the limb and given it a good shaking. Then he could have gotten a better look and identified the snakes and seen if their was more than 1 kind of poisonous death venom monster on that tree. What were you thinking Jeff? The kids would have love to known what kind of death vipers those were.MAN UP, a GA boy would not be scared of a little reptile. geesh bsd

Anonymous said...

I would be making reservations at The Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine for my next weekend adventure after a close call like that!! The only reptile-like sightings you're sure to see there are the snakelike shapes of their indoor water slides!! Now, THAT's my kind of "roughin' it" getaway!!

Priscilla

Krista said...

bits- right!
mom- I knew you would ; )
nik- now THAT is funny
tori- glad to know that about you!
sc- Eagle Mountain Lake
tj- sounds like the PERFECT places to take our kids to play, right?
blake- I am sure if you had been with us, you would have been just the confident boost he needed.
Priscilla- I am with you!

Ronnie said...

I came face to face with a snake in some bushes at Christ Haven when our H2H group was doing yard work. Your picture gave me the willies all over again! Of course, Olivia will love to hear about your snake sightings...she loves snakes!

spaghettipie said...

Okay, all the snakey comments are cracking me up. It's like a good ole Indian Jones movie over here!

Madison Richards said...

Yuck! Snakes are blechy!!

Good job still making it fun for the kids...

P.S. We read all the Little House books to our kids... and I'm not ashamed to say it!

Kathie said...

Aren't you glad you weren't in the water when you first spotted the snakes! yikes. I see lots of them in Lake Arlington when I take the dogs for walks there, they are even crawling on the shore! I am always on snake alert now. bummer. Kath

Bibiana said...

I saw your blog and a few others. I was at Lake Sinclair for ( 2008 )Labor day weekend for the first time. We stayed at a friends cabin that faced the " tower". I was putting hammocks up on the trees and my very active six year old , had gotten in to the boat without my permission. The sun was just setting, but I could see clearly. She started yelling and I ran to get her out of the boat...She told me there was a really big snake. Well, god forgive me, but I didn't believe her. She has been very creative in her stories lately. I was upset that she was in the boat and leaned over off the dock to reach her hand. Once more I looked down and then I saw it. It was huge. It looked like a boa or a python with red and brown markings and was partly under the dock. I would estimate the circumference to that of the top of a small peanutbutter lid.... I live in a small town in Georgia and we have our share of snakes,but this was not a water snake I had ever seen around here. All I can say is there might be non indigenous snakes in that lake and we all need to be watchfull if our our children are swimming there. - take care
Bibiana