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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I love camping. My kids spent most of the first day jumping in puddles (sewage dump from people's campers) and getting muddy from head to toe. They spent much time playing on the swan-poop-infested beach and swimming in the "non-tested or monitored" reservoir water. It was great.
Most of the time, we had friends with us, but there was a chunk of time in which I was alone on the campground with my kids.
I learned that I am an incompetent camper. I don't know how to start a fire. So our kids had to have plain, ol' PB & J for lunch (instead of the stir fry or hobo pie pizzas that happen when OTHER PEOPLE cook on these trips). And I panic when I see giant snakes like the one in that photo above. My desire to teach my kids to enjoy all sorts of nature always goes straight out the window when I actually encounter creepy crawly creatures like the Blue Racer we experienced yesterday. My kids noticed it first. It was gliding quickly across the grass towards our tent. I scared it away from the tent, (by screaming frantically) and it slithered away from our tent (yeah!) and into our tent bag (shoot!), peering out; ready to attack! I got a huge stick, told my kids to stay back, and....
No, I didn't kill it.
I slipped the stick through the handle of the bag, and carried it, as far away from my body as possible, across many campsites until I saw a guy who looked like he could handle a fierce, poisonous snake.
He was the perfect guy for the job. He said he picked up his first rattlesnake at 7 years of age or so. In seconds, he shook the snake out of my bag, (while I stood on the picnic table near him), wrapped it around his neck, (while I gagged), and called my kids over to touch its "smooth, beautiful skin". Ew. Our kids were in awe. Of the snake andthe brave snake handler.
I was glad when Keith and Diana came back.

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