Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Quirky Stories, The Writing Life

Moving and Cornfields and…Snakes? Oh My!

We are in the process of moving into a new house in the country. On five glorious acres. Okay, so it’s not a vast estate by most standards, but when your old house has a garden the size of a postage stamp, it seems huge. And exciting. And like a scene out of The Sound of Music.

So a funny thing happened on my way to the country. This girl didn’t think things through completely. I mean, I am so thrilled to be able to have real egg-laying chickens. But then a friend cautioned me to make sure the chicken coop was secure against predators.

Okay sure. Predators. Like foxes and raccoons and other poultry-loving critters, right? No big deal.

But there are a few other creatures that evidently like to munch on eggs. I mean, they really like eggs. So if you know me, you know that I am not afraid of most animals and insects. I mean a grizzly bear might stop me in my tracks, but spiders? Or bees? Nope. Not afraid.

Until someone said the word sssssssssssnnnnnaaaa… <clears throat> Okay, let’s try that again. Until someone said the word sn…sn…sna… Snake! There, I said it.

I am terrified of things that squirm around on their bellies and lie in wait behind logs. Our new house has a huge barn (for the horses, right?). And it’s surrounded by acres and acres of the most beautiful cornfields imaginable. When this friend first used the dreaded “s” word (which I won’t attempt to say again), it was in reference to those cornfields. Because my husband mentioned wanting a pool. And this dear friend warned him that we might find things floating in the pool. Because of the cornfields, which you can see in the picture below.

back of house
The back of the house with its adjacent cornfield

Snakes. Why didn’t I think of this possibility before we signed on the dotted line? Because the place is beautiful and private, with a long gravel lane leading to the house. And green pastures on either side of it. So I will do my best to remember that those belly surfers are more afraid of me than I am of them. Oh wait. That’s not true. Because the very thought of them paralyzes me.

So that’s my sad tale. Don’t get me wrong, this house is a dream come true. Really, I can’t wait to move in and make it home. Every dream has its hiccup, right? So that’s my hiccup. Is there something that scares the bejeebers out of you? Sharks? Slugs? Things that go bump in the night? I’d love to hear what makes you squirm and shudder. Just so I know I’m not alone!

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12 thoughts on “Moving and Cornfields and…Snakes? Oh My!”

  1. Hi Tina

    WOW how exciting but I have to say I really don’t like snakes either and seeing as how I live in Australia and we have some of the worlds most deadliest of them and I have had a few slither in front of me when I was a young girl on my grandparents little farm they were re-bellied black snakes and as a young mother in my street had a deadly brown snake on the footpath yes they make me freeze as well, but I have not seen any for many years now and am happy, my advice keep good boots on your feet when walking around 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

    1. Oh, Helen! I probably would have fainted! We have some venomous snakes, but not like you do in Australia. In my head, I know that snakes do a lot of good. I would just rather they do it out of my sight. I do have boots, but they are low. I’ll have to invest in some taller ones. Thanks for the advice!

  2. I share your snake phobia. It’s been drought like in Orlando the past 5 months, and the snakes have been seeking water… yesterday I saw a 4 foot black snake slithering away from the neighbor’s air conditioning handler (which is catty corner from my front door by about 20 feet), where it was probably having a nice cool drink of condensation from the a/c drain. Thanking God my cat is an indoor kitty. My snake phobia started when I woke up as a kid with my little brother’s garden snake on my pillow…eeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkk! Now I will be going out the front door with a long stick in my hand for a while.

    1. Yikes!! The Romance Writers of America conference is in Orlando this year. I may pack a stick in my luggage, just in case! I don’t really know why I’m so afraid of them. I’ve never had one on my pillow (double yikes!). And as a child I was fascinated by snakes and read everything I could find on them. Maybe I read too much of the wrong thing. My kitty is an indoor kitty too, but I thought I might let him out for short periods once we move and the danger of getting hit by a car was smaller. But I am rethinking that now. I wouldn’t want him to bring me any presents, if you know what I mean!

    1. I am thrilled about the house. Now I’ll just sing that old children’s song: Snake, snake go away, come again another day. Oh…that’s not how that song goes? Who knew? 🙂

    1. Louisa, you have a deal! Spiders don’t faze me in the least. Maybe I could put up one of those signal lights like they have in Gotham City. When it lights up, you come running!

  3. Maybe the solution is to maximize your exposure to snakes until you eventually get desensitized to them, Tina! I always really hated spiders, but living in a woodsy area for many years now, I’ve gotten pretty blasé about them. We have quite a few spiders. The occasional wolf spider that shows up are HUGE – the first time I saw one in our garage, I about keeled over. We also have a fairly large type that in the fall show up in large numbers in the garden and often end up in our pool. While cleaning out the pool skimmers isn’t normally my job, there have been plenty of times I was the one to to do, and sticking your hand down in water to pull out the skimmer, leaves and acorns hiding the many still-alive spiders in there, is not pleasant! But I no longer get freaked out about them like I used to.

    My late aunt lived on a farm in Ohio, and she kept black snakes in the house. They slept under the kitchen sink – I remember being astounded at that! But they were good micers, and really kept down the mice population in that old house. I confess I think snakes are cool
    🙂

    Your new house looks wonderful! Have fun 🙂

    1. Great advice, Robin. I’m not sure about keeping them in the house, but since mice are notorious for eating grain (that we’ll be feeding the horses) they could come in handy. I just need to somehow get over my aversion to them. From the way people are talking, I should get plenty of desensitization opportunities in the near future. Wish me luck! I just hope the cat and dogs don’t decide to bring them in as a present! 🙂

  4. I’d take snakes over spiders (despite living in Australia 🙂 ) but I hear your pain. Hopefully your gorgeous house will make you forget the creepy crawlies xx

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