Bill Scares Snake In His Underpants

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

“Why are you out here in your underpants?” Karl wants to know

Here’s Bill in his baggy white underpants, barefoot with a dead tree branch in his hand. It’s dark. It’s late. He and I are outside hunting for a snake. I have a flashlight the size of a pencil in my hand.

I’d gone looking for my big, red maine coon cat in his large, covered cat yard. Karl hadn’t made his usual squeaking noises when I opened his wire door and called for him to come with me into the house.

All I have is that tiny flashlight in the late dark and I can’t find Karl. I thrash through the tall zinnias and point the light into the spiky, yellow wild primroses. Nope. Not here. I trip a bit and grab the side of the wire yard just in time. Then I look under Karl’s favorite bush. Nope.

“Here Kitty, Kitty Karl…here Kitty!”

Ahhh, here he is crouched next to the wire, staring intently at something. I’m saying, “…Hey, Karl…what’s up?”

Well, what’s up is a snake! Curled up! On the other side of the wire.

Oh boy. I look but I can’t see if it’s a small rattler or a friendly snake.

…And, I’m worried because every night Karl insists he has to spend all night out here.

A few days ago, I saw coyote tracks in the soft dirt beside the yard. And, now a snake. The yard is covered on top with chicken wire but with enough patience something could dig under the yard wire. Or slide through the wire holes.

I have to get Bill. He’s in his studio and probably asleep, but this is serious. (more…)

Escapade At The Pink Hotel

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

My Sister Polly At Home Before She Shot Me For Writing This Blog

My sister Polly calls me, breathless about something.

“Venus” she says,  “you have to drive me down the mountain to the hospital. There’s a bird in the van and I have to bring him home. And, I have to drive the van home, too!”

It’s 5:30 PM. I am naked, wrapped in an old bathrobe, and lying on my bed. I am tired.

“What bird?” I ask. “What van? Why is the bird at the hospital?”

Polly always says whatever is in her head at the moment and she seems to assume that you have been in there with her and have been following along.

“Well, the bird can’t stay in the van,” says Polly, reasonably. “I’m coming right over to get you.”

Now I won’t get to eat dinner or watch the news or take a rest. And, I can’t go down the mountain naked. I will have to get dressed.

“Polly, you aren’t making any sense,” I say. “How did some bird get to the hospital in a van?”

Okay, Dear Readers, I will spare you what I went through trying to get the full story. But, before I got the gist and the punchline, I did end up screaming and shouting because Polly kept throwing out the details in no order whatsoever.

I will save your patience and tell you what happened and why and how a hunting raptor with heavy, sharp talons and a thick yellow beak, wearing a brown cloth hood, ended up in a white van at the hospital an hour away from us.

Polly’s forty-year-old son, Josh, has fallen off a two story hotel roof.

Yes, that’s what has happened and now I suppose you want to know the rest of the story. (more…)


Friday, September 25th, 2009

A letter comes in the mail. It’s from my daughter Summer and there is a note stuck on the folded letter inside. It says, ‘Mom, Lexi couldn’t sleep last night so she stayed up late, secretly writing this to you. All by herself! It is adorable. XO Summer.’

I unfold the lined paper and read:

“Hi BABA how are you and Bob and Bill. (Bob is the dog and Bill is the Ex-boyfriend. Lexi is my 6 year old granddaughter.)

“I hav sum great plans for October.

“I am going to hav a lot of fun.

“I will hav a lot of fun with you, Bill and Bob of cors. I am gowing to hav a Super dupr jollygood time.

“Here is a poem I made up.’

(Here’s where I get scared. It’s a poem about me, and oh boy, Lexi is always totally honest in her evaluations of people. I have already heard about my hanging flesh and a few other things so I take a deep breath and resolve to take it like a Good Grandmother would. With pleasure, whatever she says.)

‘Yore eyes are brone.

Yore hair is blond.

Yore teeth are wite.

Yore lips are pink.

That was it.’

“See you in October. LoveLexi. (heart, heart, hearts etc)”

Oh my gosh. I breathe relief. What do YOU think that last line could have been? I know what I think and am so glad I don’t stink. Lexi would have told me if I do. (more…)

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