When I look back at my anxieties from a few months ago, I realize that two of them were a little more intense than the others. I was really concerned (and for this I'd like to apologize to the good people of Georgia) that I would be surrounded by a bunch of narrow-minded, hateful bigots. Yes, I recognize that this concern is itself a form of bigotry. Yes, I do see the irony.
As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. While I'm sure the mean folks are out there, I haven't had to interact with many of them. By and large, the people we've met have been kind and intelligent, and at least a couple of them a whole lot of fun. I still miss my Michigan neighbors and neighborhood, but it's good to have a couple of friends down here with whom to laugh, or, if necessary, cry.
The other worry about which I was so vocal was my concern that I would come in contact with snakes. There are more snakes here than there were there. I knew that. But in my heart of hearts, I didn't really expect to come in contact with them. I mean, okay, maybe if we went hiking or walking along the river I might see one from a distance, maybe even a short distance. But I did not truly expect that venomous snakes would be an actual, day-to-day concern.
Tee hee. Isn't my naivete adorable and charming? I am also naive about such things as real estate listings. Ours stated that the house "overlooks a beautiful natural area," which is apparently code for "only a cheap board fence separates you from the ravine writhing with pissed-off, forcibly-relocated vipers."
While it's true that I have not, personally, seen any venomous snakes, my next door neighbor, a cool Army dude, killed a three-foot copperhead with a shovel. Right on our mutual fence line. A couple of inches and that bad boy could have been sunning himself in my yard. The snake, not the neighbor.
The neighbor two doors down was awakened by his normally serene dog barking her head off, and headed out into the yard with a golf club. He thoroughly tenderized the snake terrorizing his pet, and then, for style points, used his club to send the pulverized serpent sailing over the back fence. I kinda like that in a fella.
Thankfully, to date, our only serpent sighting has been a garter snake who slithered up to our patio while we were eating dinner inside. So help me, he was actually kind of cute, with a glass door between us. The family crowded up to the glass back door to have a look. For a moment, we sized each other up, then the snake must have decided the Bigheads were either scary or not very interesting, and he slithered back the way he came.
I'm hoping I won't encounter any more snakes, or any hateful bigots. But if there's anything I've learned so far, it's that a nice golf club or heavy shovel come in right handy for dealing with poisonous creatures.