It’s been a strange, fun-filled (?) day around here.  No different, really, than most.  It’s always something that about makes me laugh until I cry.  At least once a day I try to find that thing that just tickles me enough to break out real, honest-to-God laughter.  Today I had a few things that got me going.

Of Rattlesnakes:  About a week ago my son decided that he was going to go running around outside by our “postage stamp orchard” (that would be the area that we have 8 dwarf fruit trees planted in) while his father was checking something in the garden.  Not a problem.  Normal, everyday occurence.  I was inside working on dinner.  Husband comes in, white as a sheet, with Xavier prattling on about something so fast I couldn’t understand him.  Mark translated….”Rattlesnake, Mommy!”

Oh.  That explains a lot.

Hubby goes on to explain that Xavier had tripped while he was running, got up and called “What’s that daddy?” while pointing right in front of himself.  Mark said, “That would be one big-ass snake….come here NOW.”  For once, Xavier did, and Mark discovered that for only the 2nd time in 14 years, we had a rattlesnake around.  Xavier had landed from his trip less than a foot in front of the snake.  For whatever reason, he didn’t coil and strike.

Today we found him again (the snake, that is) at our basement door after we’d been walking around in the area over and over this evening.  He rattled just enough for Mark to hear him.  Mark originally thought it was Xavier and I with the water hose, playing.  Then he realized we weren’t AT the water hose and looked back down.  Mr. Timber Rattler was a good 4 ft long and had 7 sections on his rattle.  He’s now dead.  I wouldn’t have minded if he’d have stayed out by the field…that’s much more “his” territory than ours.  However, when you’re snuggled up next to my house where my children play, AND it’s the second time my child has come in any sort of contact with you, you must die.  Hubby shot him.  Twice.  We have the rattle.  I’m happy.

Talking about the snake has reminded me that most people have a healthy fear of them.  I respect them, for sure, but they do not induce terror in me.  In fact, I like the lil buggers, normally.  I remember playing with garter snakes when I was younger with my brother and sister.  We have had bull snakes around that I “play” with here at home.  We even took one that hubby killed before he realized it wasn’t a rattler (then felt REALLY bad that he’d killed it) and layed it out on the porch when we knew one of my phobic friends was coming over.  (I *heart* you Missa!)  LOL  I’m still making up for that!

Anyway…My fear, instead of snakes, is the other common female fear….spiders.  Now, the bigger the spider the less I’m apt to freak out about it, oddly.  The black and yellow garden spiders we have around here, as long as I know they’re there and don’t accidentally walk into them…those are awesome and I love tossing bugs into their webs to watch them work.  No, the spiders I have a problem with are those little, black, fuzzy spiders that are around…and the wolf spiders, the little spindly legged, quick SOB’s that stalk me in my house.  The wolf spiders are the worst.  They just creep me out for some reason.  One night, while I was still using our spare room as a compter room (that would be “BL” or “before laptop”) I was sure I’d seen my stalker spider in the room, but lost sight of him.  Oh well.  Hubby came in and was talking to me and I thought I felt something on my leg and jumped.  Hubby scoffed, I was embarrassed.  I looked down and there was nothing there.  Man, I felt like a complete dork for jumping over nothing!

Later that evening, everyone had gone to bed and I decided it was time to hit the bathroom after a couple sodas.  I was doing my business when I looked down and saw the damn spider crawling around IN MY PANTS!  I jumped up off the toilet so fast I forgot to stop peeing!  After realizing what I was doing I pulled myself together enough to get my pants off (might as well, they’re WET now! sheesh) and stomp on them a couple of times.  Then, the spider came crawling right back out to go back to his stalking spot, I’m sure.  I picked up my now wet pants, threw them in the washer, got redressed, and shut down the computer.  The spider had won.  Not only had I been terrified…but he managed to make me pee on myself.  Dejected, I went to bed and dreamed of spiders laughing at me.  My daughter told me the other night she was pretty sure that the spider was still around in there, chuckling to herself.  I told her not to talk to me until the spider made her piss herself…THEN we’d have something to discuss.

After a few days of bottle-feeding a calf that my daughter still can’t managed to decide on a name for, we decided, she and I, to take in the rodeo at the county fair tonight.  There I saw something that was quite inspirational to me….something I wanted to share.

During the barrels they announced a younger cowgirl, all of 10 years old.  The crowd cheered.  She rounded the first barrel….and fell off her horse.  I mean, when FLYING off her horse.  Full-sized horse.  Not full-sized 10 year-old.  She was hurting, and of course, embarrassed.  Mom helped her back up in the saddle and the crowd cheered.

And then the inspirational part….even though she knew it would be for no score and even though she was completely embarrassed and crying…she rode the barrels anyway.  As she rounded the second of them, she knocked it over.  She headed, at a trot, toward her Mom, who was waiting for her.  Her Mom shoo’d her away telling her “You still have one to go!”  She rode out there, turned the barrel beautifully, and went at a full run back toward the timing light.  The crowd roared and I had tears in my eyes. 

That is life.  Played out right there in front of our eyes.  Sometimes you fall out of the saddle.  Sometimes you’re completely embarrassed.  Sometimes you knock over the first barrel you come to AFTER all that….and you still have one left to go.  And all you can do is to ride it out.

That 10-year-old reminded me tonight that life is about what happens AFTER you fall out of the saddle, not the actual fall.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Be safe and I’ll see ya on the other side!