If it slithers, creeps or crawls …

Apparently my kids never got the memo about my strong dislike for nature.

It should be noted that I live in the country with a creek running behind my house, surrounded by farmland.

For most, this would be paradise. And 80 percent of the time it IS paradise.

Until I start seeing creatures that slither, creep along and otherwise scare the living daylights out of me.

Last night was perfect for a stroll through the park. Trees, fishing ponds and benches dot the two-mile loop of the paved path.

It was perfect until I saw something flopping out of the corner of my eye near the tree-line.

I screamed and did that pathetic “girly move” where I moved my hands up and down in a super quick motion while jumping in place. I was trying to make the creature more afraid of me.

I looked like an idiot.

My friends walking behind us quipped up, “You OK??”

“Yup, sure am … it was a bird!” I said picking up the pace.

Later that same evening, while sitting on our deck underneath the pergola with twinkling white lights, our son presented us with a gift.

The tiniest frog known to man-kind.

I moved away in my chair. My husband gathered the small frog in between his two fingers and put it on my friend’s toe.

She also screamed.

And all of us live within a country-block of each other. You’d think by now we’d know what to expect living out here.

Snakes are slithering through our yards. A craw-daddy with large claws has taken up residence in a mud-hole behind our basketball hoop. The coyotes hold nightly conventions in the woods behind our house.

Two weeks ago, while on her riding lawn mower, my friend ran over a snake.

This week, I almost stepped on a snake in our yard.

And granted these snakes are mostly your small, yard snakes that eat bugs, but a snake is a snake is a snake.

Why did I think moving to the country would be an ideal environment to raise our children?

And now we have tiny frogs that are multiplying in and around our house at lightning speed. And our son has a keen eye to find them.

“Hey mom!! Quick!! GET ME A JAR!”

Then he plopped the frog inside. I thought it was dead … until it hopped … and scared me half-to-death.

I hate living out here in BFE.

The author, Melissa Linebrink, was recently awarded first place in 2017 Ohio’s Best Journalism in the “Best Overall Blog” category. She also placed first in the same category in 2016 for her blog, “Parenthood: The New Crazy Train.”




Gramma Barb reflects on her time stranded in BFE


Today’s blog is written by guest author, Gramma Barb Naymik, who will share her views of the past 48-plus hours being stranded at her daughters’ house in BFE.

“Well, the thing is, I never thought my daughter, Melissa Linebrink, had an easy life in BFE.  I realized after she had the twins, that she was a country mom and did her best each day to just get by and not go crazy, entertaining 3 children and being the best mom ever!

Little did I know when she begged us to return to stay overnight for her birthday, that we would be stranded with her for 2 days!  I am talking TWO FULL DAYS of endless activities with 3 children.  The day begins early with grandchildren waking you from a deep sleep by jumping on your bed and telling you to “Wake Up”!!  Just as our tired bodies reach the top of the steps to the kitchen, we are greeted with “Gramma, Grampa – do you want to play Old Maid?  To which we politely reply, “We need our coffee first!”  Then the day actually begins with “Bend and Stretch” exercises done with the twins, followed by 2-3 dances of the Hokey Pokey (Gramma Barb does this while Grampa Jim has his coffee).

Day One has officially begun.

Next comes “Can we play a game of Pick-up Sticks?”  YES!  Once that is over, the twins want to play Old Maid which is a hilarious game to play with them especially if they get stuck with the Old Maid.  It is supposed to be a secret but we always know when one of them has the Old Maid!  The next highlight of Day One being stranded in BFE is LUNCH!   Oh what can we have?  What would you like?  For Melissa, it is a big like having live-in nannies.  . . but after the 2nd day, the novelty has worn off (are you going home today, she’s thinking!)

In the afternoon, there is quiet time, which means the twins are planted in front of the TV and the adults are resting . … not napping, but resting with ears wide open!  Next highlight of BFE is when the newspaper arrives and we get to work on puzzles and read the newspaper!  Next highlight is when Dad, Seth, comes home from work and he’s greeted with 3 adults and 3 children SO HAPPY TO SEE HIS FACE!!

One of the fun aspects of being stranded in BFE is the “pantry” in the daughter’s house which the grandparents think of as their own “store within the house” that contains all kinds of goodies – from Little Debbie brownies to Fiber One healthy bars.  At night, the grandparents are in/out of this store like everything is free. .. But wait, IT IS FREE!!

Nights are spent playing 3-card poker with the 10 yr. old grandson, who steals our money with his game winning skills of poker at his tender age; and reading bedtime stories to the twins, and watching “Sheriff Cally” with the twins while cuddled on the one comfortable chair in the living room!

Hopefully, tomorrow will come and we will travel home to Defiance, Melissa can get back to her own routine with the children, the 10 yr. old will return to school, and life will return to normal in Lagrange.

We can ONLY HOPE!!”