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.”




Fishermen of the ponds

Fishermen of ponds
Fishermen of ponds

 So, this happened today …

After spending $19 to legally catch fish in Ohio, I took four kids fishing today … by myself. Solo. Single. Numero Uno.

By myself, I loaded up the Traverse with four fishing poles and one tackle box, plus a bag full of drinks and snacks. I wasn’t going at this without backup. Drinks and snacks were my backup.

The first stop was our local pond steps away from a playground – that was my other backup plan. If the kids got bored, I was going to toss them into the gated play-yard. Which, for my daughter, the playground was more of a thrill than trying to fish. I couldn’t blame her though … the pond was filled with algae and seaweed. If I was an adventurous cook, or a cook of any kind, I would have kept all the seaweed the kids caught and turned it into a side dish tonight with our … chicken.

I thought the back pond would have been better at the park, but amazingly, it was worse. I had my fill of algae and seaweed. It was time to relocate.

After allowing the older two kids to walk into town for a snack and drink to their liking, we packed up the vehicle and moved on to bigger and better fishing locations. Err … bigger and better ponds.

Just down the road from our house is a reservoir. I was certain someone would catch a fish there. No fish, but we caught rocks. And by rocks I mean I had to change at least five hooks because they were getting stuck on rocks under the water, near the shoreline. I didn’t even know what I was doing, so I winged it. I winged it five times. By the fifth replacement, I told the kids if anymore rocks were caught, we are leaving.

Alas, no more rocks were caught, but neither were any fish. However, despite the lack of fish caught, the kids seemed to enjoy the outdoor experience … maybe by the end of summer they will all become master fisherman of the ponds.