My Worst Fear

The week started off with a real miracle in the mundane: someone dropped by with an expansive tray of leftover veggie food from a party she’d thrown the night before. Catered by a gal who works for two family-owned restaurants the next town over, this food was go-od! (You gotta pronounce that with two syllables – it tasted better than one-syllable “good”). We had burritos and pesto-stuffed mushrooms Sunday; veggie lasagna Monday (supplemented by a Mediterranean salad I made); and roasted corn-bean-pepper salsa to round out our taco salad and quesadillas on Tuesday. Yum, yum, yum! And I didn’t have to make anything more difficult than a salad or quesadilla for three nights in a row. C’mon, how sweet is that?

Especially because I’ve been working long hours again this week and falling ridiculously behind in “the purge.” Kitchen cupboards, toys, game closet all have yet to become the focus of my weeding-out attention. Today is “home office desk” and I get the willies just thinking about it. I could also include “book shelves” except that, at the end of my long Monday, Guy presented me with a stack of books he’d noticed on our home shelves that really belonged in his office. He didn’t even know books were the purging activity of the day. A small miracle (there are plenty more books to go), but I’ll take it.

And then it happened. My worst fear.

A snake got loose in our house. Shudder!

When I finally relented and let Teen have “the snake of his dreams,” one of my adamant conditions was that the cage had to be secured/locked. Additionally, he’s taken to putting large books on the tops of cages (including the several leopard gecko cages in his room) because the cats like to sit on the cage tops near the heating lamps – one day we found a cat fallen through the mesh and trying desperately to escape the too-small-for-Fat-Cat cage while the poor gecko huddled inside its hidey-hole.

While out hiking, a neighbor had found a baby King Snake and brought it to Teen. Teen rigged another cage (yes, apparently we have “spares” lingering in our garage) and thought maybe he could hand-raise this baby as a new pet. Maybe I should’ve put my foot down, but honestly, it was a pretty little snake and much less threatening than his now-quite-large Red-Tailed Boa.

The cage was less secure than he thought…

He tried not to let me know, but I overheard the whispered invitation to his dad to join him in his room behind closed doors. Suspicious, I followed. I kinda wish I hadn’t.

Two days later and we still haven’t seen the snake. It’s just a little thing and I know it’s not dangerous, but still I’ve had to squelch the images of Snake in random and most certainly uninvited spots around our house from paging through my imagination (on my pillow, for example)… I am praying like crazy that Snake, being small, wriggled out a corner of the house and has escaped to free-er and happier days. Teen told me yesterday as he left for school: “Okay, Mom. If you find the snake, text me. My phone is on silent so it won’t get me in trouble, but it will make me feel so much better. Then be sure to take it out into the open space so none of the neighbor cats will get it.” AS IF I’m going to pick up the snake and hike it out into the hills! The kid clearly overestimates how comfortable he thinks I’ve become with his beloved creatures.

But here’s the miracle: he cleaned every inch of his room. He purged when I could not. He didn’t find Snake, but he found a bunch of junk he didn’t need.

And you know? Maybe my worst fear wasn’t so bad after all…

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