Putting a picture of a rattlesnake on my last blog reminded me of my childhood. I know it seems like an exaggeration but rattlesnakes were part of life in the summer at my house. I remember walking around my backyard barefoot while my mom dusted tomato plants. I stepped into the mess of tomato bushes only to pull my foot out again because I thought I had stepped on a toad.
Turns out it was a small prairie rattler that has asleep in the shade. My dad wasn’t home so my mom had my neighbor come over and kill it, with his 45! My dad was more subtle, he would just use a shovel. I remember when our neighbor called my dad because she was stuck in the house. A very large prairie rattler (as large as they get was maybe 4 feet) was on her front porch, my dad brought along his trusty shovel.
The scariest moment was probably when my brother and I went climbing on the sand stone cliffs behind my house (not the most trustworthy of stone to climb). I put my hand on a cliff and pulled myself up only to find that the ledge was occupied, by a rattler. Now every time I go home I find myself kicking over rocks looking for rattlers for my kids to see since we don’t have them in Western Washington (my wife hates this).
I enjoy telling those stories because of the risk, because I survived, because I got lucky (obviously not because I was stupid). I think of my life as boring sometimes, and then I am reminded that life brings these exciting moments much less frequently then the media. So I have to be ready.