Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Paradise Invaded

I spent parts of the last two weeks at my daughter-in-law's and son's home in Green Valley helping with the new baby. This bookshelf is full of strangeness like that face peering out at the upper left corner which actually belongs to a mask owned by Wendy's late father. The bookshelf is very Dickens, which makes total sense as the bookshelf belongs to my son Glenn. Glenn teaches English Literature and is a fan of anything suggestive of Dickens. It seemed very proper to introduce this post with this picture as this story is strange. Maybe not Dickens' strange, but J Conan Doyle strange, Speckled Band strange. Don't you feel like Sherlock Holmes could be standing next to that bookshelf, pipe in hand, peering out, ready to confront some dastardly villain?

Last weekend Diane, the other Nana, spent four days or so with Wendy and Glenn to help while my husband and I went to Tahoe. While they were there, Paradise was invaded.

Just outside the front door to the house Wendy planted a rock garden and filled it with herbs. A wonderful green frog I bought at my thrift store stands on a lily pad regarding the space with interest. That poor rock garden has had multiple problems--our dog Plato pooped on the Parsley and Wendy and Glenn's cats pooped there as well. Wendy has been wringing her hands about that rock garden which took hours of her time to plant. In the center there is a little round bench and small table. It's a lovely spot.

Wendy and Diane were coming back from a walk on the property; Wendy had the baby in a sling; Theo was in day care. They came up on the side of the rock garden toward a set of steps that led to a side gate to a deck when they heard a loud rattle. Diane, being a good mother, pushed Wendy up the steps. "Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!"

Then they noticed Pip, Wendy's and Glenn's big cat named after a Dickens' character, becoming very interested in whatever let out that rattle. Wendy frantically ran inside and grabbed some kibble. Luckily, Pip likes to eat and with a little persuasion he was lured inside.

Glenn came home. He investigated and informed them there was a four foot Rattle Snake caught in some netting in the Rock Garden--it was the biggest Rattler he had ever seen. Coincidentally the netting was over the Parsley. The Parsley has suffered more than it's share of mayhem.

Usually Glenn would have killed it. He had helped Wendy's father, Clyde, any number of times doing just that. But this creature was caught in that netting and ever more dangerous because of that.

They called Animal Control, who came out promptly. Animal Control does not kill Rattle Snakes; Rattle Snakes kill rodents so they're useful. They carefully snipped away the netting from around the snake, put it in something--what I don't know--and relocated it thirty yards away.

Thirty yards away! Wild Horse is a big property--15 acres or more. They could have released it farther away than that!

This was the second Rattle Snake in that Rock Garden since February. Apparently they stop there on the way to the creek that runs through the property. That's two too many Rattle Snakes but at least they rattle and tell you they're there!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


True friendship are rare, and even rarer, perhaps, in a time of Facebook and Twitter.  It used to be, with correspondence between two people, that true friendship could grow out of nothing.

What do Twitter and Facebook do in terms of friendship?  You make quick circuits into a person's life.  That can be fascinating but does it further friendship?  

The amazing thing about Facebook and Twitter is you can connect with people you haven't heard from in years and then the correspondence with that friend can begin once again.  Not in a standard way, with a pen, but with an email.

With an email you can truly begin a correspondence.  I began to think about this about a week ago because I made a new friend recently with one of my blogs.  His name is Jim.  He was exploring the Sierra's in the early 1930's so he probably is in his nineties.  He is an amazing correspondent--witty, with thoughts about the world that wouldn't occur to anyone but someone who's been around more than ninety years.

I haven't heard from him in about five days and I'm worried about him.  He told me recently that he felt lost without one of my emails to read--like something was missing, now I feel lost without one of his to read.  He went to Reno to say goodbye to a cousin who was dying.  I imagine he's busy talking with old friends and family members, but still I worry.