Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Sermons and Serpents

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sermons and Serpents

I left our bathroom window open last night to cool the house down as we slept. Well, that was the theory, anyway. I don't sleep well with open windows. In addition, for some reason, the birds sang a sweet, happy song starting at about midnight last night. They sang for hours off and on, making me jolt awake and conclude that it was a decent hour to get out of bed. They were probably wasted on sunbaked berries. Feathery drunkards.

The happy result of my insomnia, though, was the gift of extra time this morning before we left for church. Erik and I dressed up a little. I suggested to Brian that we make an outing out of taking our bottles and cans to the supermarket after the service. We loaded them up, reaching into the box we store them in and putting what was overflowing the top into the depths of a black garbage bag, stashing the whole collection in the back of my vehicle behind Erik's seat. Then we were off.

After a successful morning at church, we strapped our happy son into the Jeep with his Dixie cup of cookies and homemade banana bread from the children's snack table on the way out the door. We then drove the short distance to the store. I went inside with Erik to locate soy ice cream for Gracie-Cat, as the yogurt I have been hiding her thyroid medicine in is apparently making her fur fall out in clumps, leaving behind bloody scabs. On our way out the door, we located Brian feeding aluminum cans into the boxy machines that crush them down and spit out paper receipts. I parked my cart where Erik could watch us work, and I got busy reaching into the basket of the shopping cart where Brian had dumped our bottles and cans. I began to help him stuff the machines, trying to breathe through my mouth as to not inhale the scent of hot, fermented beer. When I finally glanced down to see how many cans were left, I saw a length of what I thought was a bungee cord draped over the pile of metal and glass. After further investigation, I realized that I was not staring at a bungee cord at all.

I hate looking weak, especially in front of my husband. I especially hate screaming like a little girl. Instead, I quickly scanned the stripes on the thing and identified it as the booty of a healthy-looking garter snake. I immediately ceased plunging my forearm into the wire basket and heard my voice go up a few octaves to reach the frequency reserved only for emergencies.

"Honey? What's that?" I pointed to where it rested.

Brian looked surprised and amused, and we both laughed. The creature raised its head up and glided over the cans, looking for a way out of the unwanted madness. It decided not to drop down onto the foreign surface below the cart, at least at first, and retreated to a corner of the cart. Brian suggested sticking to the top layer of cans, and we picked around it. Finally, its head stuck out a hole in the bottom of the cart. It gingerly dropped down onto the concrete and quickly slithered under my can counting machine. We finished the job while I watched my toes. I had a pretty serious case of the freakies.

Brian said, "That's going to scare the crap out of somebody later."

We both laughed again.

We discussed how extremely thankful we were that the snake, who had likely traveled around the corner from the sun-scorched rocks along our walkway into the shaded box by the open garage door, had stayed in place and not escaped during church. However, it was in my Jeep the entire time. I am not deathly afraid of snakes, but I would prefer not to touch them, especially when I am rocketing down the highway in my vehicle. Oh, sure, this one was completely harmless. That is, it would be until the moment it came over my shoulder to rest on my lap or lazily wrapped around my calf, after which I would careen off the side of the road into a power pole, plunging the city into darkness, or, worse yet, through the plate glass windows of a crowded Denny's.

I consider that very dangerous indeed!

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Blogger Katie said...

LOL... Dont they travel in pairs?
Just kidding...
Where i live 99.9% of our local snake population will give you approx 20min to live after a bite so i probably would have screamed!
You are very brave. Im glad church went well, you both look gorgeous!

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that settles it! I am never taking cans and bottles back again. I have a phobia of those so-called harmless reptiles and would have been hospitalized right then and there. You are so brave to continue your task. Have a great week. You look gorgeous dahling! Erik is as handsome as ever.
XOXO Slappy

5:54 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I would have been hysterical. I am terrified of snakes and mice and well most living creatures. That's right I am a girly girl and proud of it. You look great by the way.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Oh, gawd, Katie, now I have to get a refund on those tickets Down Under. Wait...wasn't there a movie called SNAKES ON A PLANE, anyway?

Slappy -- I know how you are about snakes. I thought about putting a warning on this post for that reason. However, you know my phobia of those creepy little raccoons. You watch my back, and I'll watch yours. Especially on our next camping trip. You make me smile.

Julie -- Thanks! :) :) :) Don't get me wrong. I still scream when I see something normally. But Brian was right...there!

6:44 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

okay, one time, while driving down the road, I felt something slither across my ankle. The car jerked around a little until I finally got my grip and was able to put it in park. I inspected the car, but couldn't find anything. I told my hub. later about it and he told me I must have been imagining it. Well a few weeks later, I saw something poking out of the glove box. I turned out to be a snake skin. I was super freaked out but also satisfied that I was not imagining things at all and that hubby was there for me to smile sideways at. :)
That is a great picture of you and Erik! He is a handsome little guy!!! Glad Church was a success!

4:38 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Are you sure that it was only one snake, and that another didn't slip out into your Jeep during church? You know they travel in packs, riht? HEHEHEHEHEHE. evil laugh.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Oh my gosh - I would've freaked out! I hate those things!
By the way - you look gorgeous, you skinny little thing! Erik is such a doll too.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Aspen said...

First of all, you and Erik look amazing in that picture! Secondly...I laughed out loud reading about the snake. Logan and I have been frantically on the prowl this weekend searching for a mouse. Yes...I'm admitting to the world there WAS a mouse in my house. No longer...little varmints!


9:15 AM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

I love the picture and I am so glad that church went well for you guys.
I am glad that the snake decieded to stay in the bag too....although that story would have been funny too :) Thanks for the laugh!


12:36 PM  
Blogger kathi said...


Second, girl, I'd made a tad more noise than you did, lol.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

LOL You crack me up, once again, Nance! I definitely would have been a bit more vocal. The idea that it was there the whole ride and church... shiver shiver!!!

How great that going to church was just a blip in your post, no longer how it was. Yeah on that! :)

3:10 AM  
Blogger Lizard Eater said...

Okay, in my book you are Bravest. Person. Ever. I live in the land of poisonous snakes and I would have been on top of the car at that.

(Darting looks around the living room for snakes hiding in the couch cushions.)

6:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

What a beautiful picture!

When Aaron was younger, he would have had me under that machine fishing that snake out so he could touch it!

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Auntie Dee-ta said...

You look great as always and look at that sweet boy just waving to his Auntie! lol...

And how wonderful that church is working out so great for you ALL!

BIG Hugs

4:16 PM  
Blogger Believer 1964 said...

You both look great!

Aluminum can recycling machines are full of germs and visible dirt. Yuck! I hope you used hand sanitizer afterwards

Snakes, bugs and many other creepy crawling things scare me.

9:57 AM  

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