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Around the Bluhmin’ Town

8/10/16

Judy Bluhm

My home is my castle! Isn’t that how we’re all supposed to feel? When we arrive at our abode after a hot and busy day, we’re entering the comfort zone. The one safe haven in a hectic world – that’s our su casa. The place may not be a palace, it could be a continuous work in progress, it might cost us an arm and leg every month, but it’s that one spot in the entire universe where the earth spins a little slower and the stars shine slightly brighter. Home sweet home.

Sitting one morning on the sofa, I gazed out through the arcadia doors at the patio. In an instant, my sense of security and safety was shattered. Imagine my shock when I noticed the head of a reptile looking back at me! That’s right, the little slithering beast was staring in the window at me, tongue wagging. At first I couldn’t see a body attached to the head. I wondered, was it a desert turtle, a huge lizard? The beady eyes of this headless monster fixed on me across the room. Cautiously, I tiptoed over to the glass door and saw the long, frightening body of a diamondback rattler. He hissed at me.

Every now and then, our “home sweet home” hits a sour note. Around here it’s usually because of things that crawl on their belly and come out especially at night or early in the morning. It’s not that these critters don’t belong here; it’s just that they make me wonder if I do. There’s something downright unsettling about sipping coffee, reading this fine paper, and having a big rattlesnake glaring at you with a menacing tongue darting back and forth.

Did I mention that I ate a rattlesnake once? It actually was pretty tasty. I looked back at my bold intruder, thinking that he could make a tantalizing appetizer for my next gathering. Wouldn’t my guests be thrilled if I served up a nice platter of “diamondback morsels” stuck with little toothpicks? Oh, but I digress. I was talking about how our home is supposed to be our safe haven from all things (and critters) mean and frightful.

Well, perhaps we should make our homes more like forts. A six-foot moat around the perimeter would keep a few reptiles away. But then I’d miss the lizards, cousins of those pesky snakes. I have a few that live their entire lives on our patio, scurrying from plant to shrub. They love to hang magically on the side of the walls, much like an artificial bronzed art deco. The UPS man was quite disturbed when he rang my doorbell and discovered that the lizard he had just touched was real. He screamed like a girl and practically threw the package at me!

Yes, this is the season of slithering giants with rattling tails and hissing tongues. Beware, Dear Readers, because they are out there. Stay alert and safe. Oh, if you want to try a different appetizer for your next party, fried “rattle-snack” served with ranch dressing is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.