I never thought I see myself saying, thinking or writing that. I usually long for the weekend. I spend my weekdays in my office slaving at the computer, storytelling, and I really enjoy turning my brain off on Friday. However this weekend...yeesh.
It all started Saturday afternoon.
Actually, to tell this story properly, I have to give you a little backstory. I'll try to keep it short because, well, I don't want to lose my reader. Nevertheless, setting and history is important. Here it is: We live in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has snakes. Lots of snakes. Poisonous snakes. Scary snakes.
My background: I grew up in Indianapolis. Hardly any snakes. In fact, at the Indiana Dunes near Michigan City, IN, they hand out a pamphlet on What to do when you see the elusive, Indian rattlesnake (this is a real animal): 1) Determine your location, preferably via GPS; 2) Call the local park hotline and let them know where the snake is; 3) try not to scare said snake.
Reaction by Oklahomans to above description about what to do when you see a rattler in Indiana: Bursts of uncontrollable laughter.
Husband's background: He grew up in Germany. No snakes. Well, okay, there is this one thing that's like a snake that lives in Germany, but it's more like a lizard, slow, sweet, entirely harmless.
End of backstory.
It all started Saturday afternoon. The family had just finished our first heavy yardwork day in the flowerbeds. My husband and I were sitting on the front steps, nursing our sore muscles and drinking a beer. My kids were instantly bored.
Kids: "We're bored."
Me: "Go see your friends."
Kids: "Nobody's around."
Me: "Play with each other."
Kids: Glares and pained expressions.
Husband: "You can go to the creek."
Me: Refrain from killing husbad. I hate the creek. Houses that back up to it and that have pools regularly have water moccasins. Don't get me wrong. I went creek stomping as a kid, but I never saw a snake in a creek until I moved to Oklahoma, and they've all be water moccasins.
Me: Not wanting to scare children witless but maybe dissuade husband. "They have to take a phone in case something happens." (Important: our kids don't have cell phones).
Husband: Unperturbed. "They can take your phone."
Me: Refrain from walloping husband on head with beer bottle. There is, after all, still beer in it. "It was your idea. Give them your phone."
Husband: Fatal error number 1. "Okay."
Me: Fatal error number 2. "Fine."
Kids take off to creek with dire upon-pain-of-death warning that they are not to lose said phone or go into creek with phone. Kids swear up and down on each other's lives they will follow this one little rule.
Fatal error number 3. We believe them.
7:15 kids lose phone...in creek.
We of course don't know this until Sunday morning after spending hours at the creek both before and after dark wading through water, rushes, tall grasses - with all the water moccasins and God knows what else - looking for said phone. I found it the next morning as I'm having my daughter retrace her steps, step for step, along the bank and then jumping from rock to rock in the middle of the creek (she's 10, she could have known better, I think). It was lying in the middle of the creek bed still shorting out.
Needless to say, the creek is now off-limits until adulthood for them (secretly, I'm relieved. No more snakes). We are paying for our stupidity by having to buy my husband a second phone (it was an iPhone, the lost one). My kids had the scare of their lives because they had to tell us they lost the phone. The oldest, the one who actually lost it, is grounded from technology of all sorts until her birthday, her 18th birthday (okay, not really, just her upcoming one in May). They both spent Sunday grounded, which means I had to stay home and finally got a chance to relax. And I've learned how to extract water from a phone. There's this nifty little trick that involves a plastic bag, phone and rice (or coffee beans), and/or a dryer with a drying rack you can put in the middle of it. Didn't work, but hey, I could share nifty information.
What a weekend. Thank God it's Monday (TGIM).
Causes Stacy Nyikos Supports
ASPCA, Humane Society, Wildlife Federation