skipping a beat

G and I went on a long walk around town tonight, even though it was really hot. I’ve been finding out more about the nitty gritty (nearly typed knitty there…just thinking about http://www.knitty.com, I guess!) about her time in India. Tonight (and yesterday/the day before) I heard about spiders, bats, and snakes. Yesterday it was monkeys. I have wondered what living “overseas” would be like, but bugs, creepy animals, electricity irregularities, etc. never really presents itself at the front of my mind. I don’t like bugs particularly (or snakes, monkeys, etc.), but I feel like even the worst bug encounters I’ve had here would be mild in comparison.

I asked G about snakes when our walk was winding down. We took a very long loop out to a nice neighborhood west of town and then headed back south and east towards the apartment. Not even five blocks later we found ourselves across the highway on the sidewalk in front of Fareway. The street lights were coming on, but the lighting wasn’t great when mid-sentence I noticed the sidewalk was moving…except it made an “S” shape as it did.

a snake.

I screamed and yelped, leaping up in a contorted fashion to avoid stepping on it. The timing was so weird. I haven’t seen a snake since the summer of 2009, but the night I talk about them with G (who talked about coming across them sometimes, but not often in India) I nearly squish one. The weird thing was (apart from the level of panic that came over me) was the variety of snake. I don’t know much about Iowan snakes, but this one was gray like pavement. It was not a fox snake or garter snake. It was a little bit mottled, but not much.

We laughed the whole rest of the way home and kept our eyes pretty much pasted to the path in front of us so as not to repeat the acrobatic and dramatic performances.

And timing continues to be uncanny…I was typing this post when I noticed a spider on the wall. I haven’t seen or killed a single bug (with the exception of flies and a centipede thing that found its way in with the boxes, I think) in this apartment. It was itsy bitsy (now I can tell kindergarten a true story about an actual spider in my apartment…today I stretched a true story that happened in my classroom by saying it happened in my apartment because I didn’t want to cause undue alarm that there were spiders in the classroom. There probably are, but hopefully never as big as the one I saw and didn’t kill. Please don’t let them know…there are some traps out that seem to be catching things).

God’s purpose for creating the creepy crawly and scary animals is no less good than his idea to create sunsets and flowers and coffee, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to appreciate those things from any distance closer than a photograph, and maybe a video. Maybe.

Being startled like that was kind of good in that I haven’t been startled quite like that in a while. Unless you count the day the PE teacher came into my classroom and clapped really loud to get my attention (I was working on a shelf in the back of the room). I shrieked…oops. I’m trying to work on the alarmed reactions to be tempered with some discretion…but when surprises come, you aren’t expecting them (fancy that…).

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