Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can you feel it?

Did you feel the change? Did you?!?

I know the official first day of fall, according to the calendar, is still several weeks away. But, according to my expert opinion, the first day was earlier this week - on Tuesday.

Several years ago, I became aware of the shift in the weather that occurs as summer releases its hold and fall is allowed to creep in - and I've been able to observe it every year since. The wind blows the strongest during the spring, but it blows a little in the fall, as well. We were enjoying hot, still summer days until Tuesday. Out of the blue, it was crazy windy. Did you notice? And now, if you are still, you can feel that there's a decided change in the air. It's crisp. There's a sharpness that wasn't there before. You can especially feel it in the mornings and evenings, when the heat of the day is not quite so intense.

Aagh...fall! It's my favorite time of year. I'm praying this year it'll be a few weeks longer than normal, because it's always over far too soon. you think Starbucks would go ahead and make a few pumpkin spice lattes for us just a few weeks early, or will we have to wait?

Monday, August 23, 2010

SARAH - Big & Brave

Our usual Sunday morning routine goes something like this:

1) Roll out of bed as late as possible - which means about 6:45, since Owen isn't allowed out of bed until 7:00.
2) Get the boys fed, dressed and ready to leave for church.
3) Get Zach fed, dressed and ready to leave for church.
4) I throw clothes on and toss everything else I need in a bag so I can put myself together at my parents' house.
5) Drop Zach off at church so he can do music practice until it's time for services to begin.
6) While Zach is busy with that, the boys and I go to my parents' house to hang out/get ready/etc until it's time to go back to church.

Since I'm the mom and the driver, I get to choose the route the boys and I take from Edgewood to Moriarty. During the summer, I insist on Dinkle Road. Once you pass the squatty trailers and other small-town stuff, you get to the most amazing farmland. I don't know what it is, but the sight of all those sunflowers, wild grasses and tasseled corn fields sets my heart to swooning. It's beautiful! Takes me back to childhood days of exploring country roads with my brother and sister on our bicycles. We pretended to be the Dukes of Hazard--I was Daisy.


On our way back to church yesterday, I spotted a snake sunning itself on the other side of the road. Since we had plenty of time before church was going to start (and because I figured the boys would think it was cool), I decided we should turn around to check and see if it was a rattler. I told the boys that if it was a bull snake, we were going to leave it alone, but that if it was a rattler we'd run over it. It was a big, 'ol rattler. Darn it.

As a side note, you should probably know that I have a fairly big problem with dead things. They creep me out. Coming across a dead bird in the yard, attending a funeral, it really doesn't matter. It makes me uncomfortable - I really don't like dead things.

Being the ferocious, protective Momma Bear that I am, though, I've often thought about situations in which I'd have to kill a snake in order to keep my boys safe. I know my mom has had to do it, with a shovel, no less. She's one tough lady, but surely I could do the same. So, I felt pretty fortunate that my first run-in with a snake was going down with me behind the wheels of nearly two tons of steel.

Ha! Succumb to my rubber, vile creature!

I backed up the car, took a deep breath, and hit the gas. I was TOTALLY unprepared for actually feeling and hearing the THUMP THUMP of the tires going over the snake. Ugh! (Shudder!) The little fuzzy hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention and, when I checked my side-view mirror and saw it flip, flop and flail its way off into the grass, a huge chill ran down my spine. I forgot about that part. Ick. Did I mention that dead things bother me? Well, dead things that can still move bother me even more.

My smarty-pants Caleb insisted that since it moved off into the grass it wasn't dead.

Caleb: "Mom missed it."

Mom: "No, Caleb, we most certainly did hit it - didn't you feel the THUMP THUMP?"

I had to explain to him how some things can still move a little, even after they're dead. I think he was equally as grossed out, because he didn't accost me with his usual barrage of follow-up questions.


The experience probably could have been trivial, but not for me. I was super-brave driving my big, 'ol car over that yucky snake. Since it unnerved me so, I'm not feeling quite so capable if I ever have to face one without 2 feet of ground clearance and an entire SUV between us. I think I may change my strategy. No more daydreams of shovel-wielding grandeur for me. No way, Jose. I think the boys and I will just run and hide. From here on out, taking care of snakes is most definitely a daddy job.

(Thank God for daddies!)