Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Monday, May 3, 2010

V: The Sign of the Red Bird

I love red birds! I've always heard that seeing one meant company was coming--it's a sign of good news! I hope so! I'm not expecting any company, but good news would be nice!!

As "C" described in her last post, we had rainstorms for most of the this weekend, and my mood has been dampened along with my yard. Our lawn is saturated; large branches have fallen and the dogs track in mud. The brief period it did not rain, I arrived at home and noticed that my dog, Dudley, was alerting me to something in the front garden. Since we live out in the country, my first suspicion was that it was a snake. Dudley was bitten by a poisonous snake a couple of years ago, his head swelled painfully and he HATES snakes!! I figured that his behavior indicated the presence of a snake. I went into the house to unload my packages, answered my cell phone, but Dudley's continued frantic barking from up on the porch compelled me to go take a look. Sure enough, coiled up in my garden amongst the spreading lemon balm, was an ugly, cottonmouth! And wouldn't you know, my husband was out of town on business! Last weekend, he broke the handle off the shovel while working on the patio, so I knew that weapon was of no use. HOW WAS I GOING TO KILL THAT SNAKE?!!!

I decided to call my son, but he didn't answer. I was walking towards my neighbor's yard to ask his assistance, when my son drove up the long driveway. I flagged him down, knowing that he loves the opportunity to do macho things like killing snakes! Sure enough he said, "I'm going to shoot that snake!" "Now look, our neighbor is over there and you are NOT going to shoot that snake", I yelled! "I'll get the pellet gun; it won't make any noise", he replied. So we shooed the dogs into the house and he took care of the snake for good!

We've lived in the country for a few years now and poisonous snakes are not new to me, but somehow the tornados and storms this week, along with the presence of that venomous snake in my lovely, peaceful garden was really unsettling! It reminds me of the presence of evil that seeks to discourage and undo us in our daily lives.

Yesterday morning, we had just a peek of sunshine before we were again deluged with rainstorms. But for a brief moment, there was another visitor in my garden! He sports bright red feathers and a cheeky expression. He loves the black sunflower seeds in my feeders. And hopefully he is a sign of sunshine to return and maybe even company is coming! I'll be more than ready!!

P.S. Just a note that having lived in tornado alley my entire life, I also experienced a frightening experience with a tornado 27 years ago when my son was only three weeks old. As I drove to school to pick my daughter up, the radio broadcast indicated that there were tornados all over town and indeed I saw many small funnel clouds dipping down from the stormy sky!!! The sirens were blasting as I grabbed my baby and ran into the school where we joined the crying children huddled with their teachers in the dark hallway. Terrified screams pierced the air as the "freight train" descended from the sky--NEVER will I ever forget that horrible sound!! I have never heard such wind before in my life! After what seemed like an eternity, but was actually just a couple of minutes, there was an eerie stillness and quiet. Realizing that the worst was over, we went outside where we discovered that cars had been moved about the parking lot, some with the glass blown out of the windows! As we drove off from the school, I had to turn around several times due to downed trees across several streets. Finding a unblocked street, we drove to a friend's house, where she welcomed me with a glass of wine! I don't particularly like wine, but I must say that it tasted really good that day! Three weeks later, on Christmas Eve, as we prepared to go church for my son's baptism, we had a repeat storm!! Tornados are common in our area in the spring, but it was a little freakish to have them in November and December! My prayers go out to all who lost so much this past weekend. It reminds me of how fragile and precious life is.

"And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" Matthew 8:23-28

Our dependence is on the One who quieted the storm, and I am grateful for His protection


kath001 said...

I love red birds...especially because they always bring a special friend to mind. We seem to be on their migration path. One day I was in my home office, and looking out the window I saw leaves blowing on the ground under the trees. Then all at once they rose up and scattered. It was like autumn, but backward! I realized it wasn't leaves, but a large flock of female red birds...brownish/red in color. So amazing to see. I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Glad your son drove up when he did. My son has developed a talent for dispatching water mocassins. :)

Debbie said...

We have tons of cardinals year round and I never get tired of seeing (or hearing one chirping in the tree outside the window right now). I have so many photos stored on my computer of cardinals. Glad you got to enjoy! I was raised in Texas near Wichita Falls. I don't like tornado!

Deb said...

our blue heeler got bit by a snake a few years ago also...he stays away from them too...love your cardinal...so pretty...so glad your neighbor got the snake...

Zuzana said...

I would certainly not be comfortable with a snake around my house, good for you to have gotten rid of it.;)
That cardinal bird is lovely, I have never seen one before. I am not sure why, but they are simply not very common here in Denmark.
I hope you have a tranquil Monday,

Anonymous said...

Loved the red bird too. We have lots of them thank goodness. The snake, that is another story. Don't know if there are any near me, but we are close to the woods. Hooray for the son, everybody needs one or two or three. Thank goodness the sun is shining today, we thought we were gonna have to get a boat. A lot of flooding just a short drive away.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I hate Copperheads but you can bet I'll be checking out my Lemon Balm now to be sure one isn't there. :) The storms both evenings this weekend were awful and with our house full of company from other states who weren't used to the normal spring weather here in Arkansas - well let's just say it made for interesting conversations! blessings, marlene

Farmchick said...

We have quite a few red birds out here on the farm. I have never heard that one forecasts a visitor. I always heard that if your nose was itching you had company coming! Anyway, glad you got rid of your snake. I hate finding one in the garden.

Jody Blue said...

I would feel trespassed upon to find any kind of snake in my space. Yeah for the "macho-macho man"!!

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