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.”




“Mom of three living in BFE” meets an unexpected, unwanted guest

“Hissssss hisssss Missster Ssssnake. Sssssliding, ssssslithering through the grassssss …”

That is a line out of some children’s book with a pop-up snake that I have read to my children over the years.

I admit, I thought it was cute, until it happened in real life.

Yes, for the first time in nearly six years, a snake and I crossed paths.

Since the wind was blowing so hard today – like “Wizard of Oz” crazy wind – I decided to put a few items away before the wind tossed them into the next yard. We have a set of three chairs sitting on our little porch connected to our shed. I have been in and out of that shed dozens of times. Except for the big-ass bees that burrow inside the ceiling, I have never had a big problem with the shed … until today.

There I was, stacking two chairs when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something slither and stick its tongue out at me.

Out of pure shock, I just stood there. Watching it as it contemplated its next move, and I mine.

I opened the shed at super speed and threw the chairs inside. I peeked around the door. It was moving in my direction.

“Should I get the third chair or not?” I asked myself.

Then it moved again.

“Hell no. Hell no,” I said as I looked at the chair.

I locked the shed – again at super speed – and ran like hell back inside my house.

I HAD to get this on camera!

I ran back out and phew, it was still there where I had left it!

I took the photo and ran – like hell back inside my house. I quickly sent the photo to my family.

This is what my dad wanted to know about my experience:

Where was it from? – Um, dad, don’t know. I didn’t ask where it had been traveling.

Where did it go? – Again, um, don’t know. We didn’t really chat very much. He looked like he was looking for something to eat and I didn’t want to be its next meal.

Was it a “mama” snake? She might be pregnant. Go look in holes. – SURE, I would gladly ask if it was pregnant, when its due date is and how many “children” she expects to have and then I would LOVE to run around the backyard looking in holes for her off-spring in the upcoming weeks!

My own father should know better than to ask me such stupid questions seeing as how I am not a fan of snakes.

But seeing as how he is coming here this weekend to plant trees on our property I guess he has the right to be concerned about the snake, who I have now named “Oscar.” I told him I would ask it all of his questions the next time I see it slithering about our yard and then maybe they can exchange pleasantries as he plants the trees – which I am almost certain the snake will love to curl up and cuddle under soon!