Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why I Will Never Live in Texas Again

A snake. A potty. And lots of screaming.

Sounds like a horror movie, or just a bad movie. Snakes on a Plane, without the plane or Samuel L. Jackson?

Nope. Sorry to disappoint. Snake/potty/screaming = my first memory.

Maybe this revelation clears a few things up for you.


I grew up in Texas, just outside of Dallas. We lived next to a big cattle ranch. We had an orchard full of pear trees, a few chickens, and got our milk at a local dairy. It sounds quite lovely doesn't it? Don't be fooled.

I have memories of going to get my papa, and his thick-soled shoes, to step on a scorpion that was scurrying across our kitchen floor *shudder*. This alone is a good reason never to live in Texas. You just never know where those suckers might hiding.

One day, little me, barely potty trained, was sitting on the toilet minding (and doing) my business. When suddenly a snake came out from behind the sink. It was a big snake, and I was little, and on the potty. Two factors that fostered pure helplessness. So, I let out a blood-curdling scream, to which my parents came running. I'm  pretty sure my bladder emptied too.

I remember that my papa picked the snake up with a wire hanger, and dropped it in the bathtub. We watched all four feet of it, hissing angrily and writhing around on the white porcelain while he determined the best way to go about killing the beast.

After it's demise, Papa fed it to our chickens. I think maybe he thought it would be therapeutic to watch something so terrifying being pecked into nothingness. I'm not sure it was....

So, Texas, you can have your mild winters, The Alamo, your scorpions, your snakes and your obsession with high school football. You grow everything bigger there, and that's great, but I'll take the Midwest with our puny, pencil-sized grass snakes any day.

A few weeks back Natalie from Mommy of a Monster & Twins wrote a post about how her poor dog was attacked by a rattlesnake in their backyard. I sent her an email commiserating about just how much I hated snakes too, briefly gave a description of my first memory as to why, and sent her a picture of this Gary Larson cartoon:


I think Gary might be on to something.

Anyway, Natalie replied that I should write about my memory. I didn't think much of it. I mean--it was hazy, since I was probably two-ish. Still, the idea has stuck with me, because I've been thinking a lot about memories lately.

The girls will soon be at an age where something they experience will be significant enough to stick with them for the rest of their lives. Someday, we'll be kicking back drinking wine, and the girls will tell tales of remembering their mama standing naked in the bathroom or something.

Gasp, I know. Time to invest in a robe! Hopefully it won't be that traumatic.

Do you remember your first memory?


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Ooooh...I have a crazy (irrational...I hope!) fear of toilet snakes. I cannot use the bathroom - even in the middle of the night - without turning on the light to look check out the situation first. :) When I get the heebie-jeebies in the pitch darkness this evening, I'll probably be wishing I'd skipped over the first part of your post...HA!

I was just thinking about early memories, too. I am not sure what my very first memory was, but there are some really random bits and pieces of information that I can remember from when I was very young.

It's pretty incredible to think that our girls may well call upon something just as random one day. I hope I'm there to help them make sense of explain why they remember seeing Mommy standing on the dining room table [to change a lightbulb] or the significance of the smell of lime [which I zested and let them help mix into some strawberry cheesecake topping for Father's Day]. :) :)

Amanda said...

First memory: you cracking my head open on the concrete steps while we waited for the bus at the Saunders' house. Then being strapped to the board in the ED while they shaved my head and sewed it up. It's funny how we only remember the traumatic stuff. AA