This past week has been full of both good and bad news; news that Marcus and I had a hard time processing. At one point, Marcus mentioned running away to an island. That’s a really great plan except for the whole “we don’t own an island thing”, and I’m not on a first name basis with Richard Branson. Someone would also have to feed the cats.
We worked out a compromise. I spent the morning with a very sweet soul named Crystal. She had a doctor’s appointment and chemo treatment, and she’s delightful to talk to. After that, Marcus and I ran away for a half a day to the Smokies.
Please understand that when I say we ran away to the Smokies, I don’t mean Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. Those two cities are not the mountains. They are amusement parks and a black hole of outlet malls. We cruised around Cades Cove and decided to do a little wet wading and fishing. Of course Hugh came with us. If any of my health care providers are reading this, I want to make it very clear that we sealed up my wound like a boss. Waterproof bandages were used. I was only going to wet wade up to my ankles for abut 10 minutes. I was not putting myself in danger or exhausting. Hugh was getting put back in the car. Please don’t yell at me. Sometimes a girl gets sick of feeling sick and wants to tune out the world with a few well-placed casts.
I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to wildflowers. That’s starting to leach over to fungi and trees as well.
This is a cardinal flower. I love them.
This is a wildflower that’s unknown to me. I’ve never seen it before. It looks very much like a wild iris of some sort. It’s lovely.
This is a bright orange mushroom. I don’t eat brightly colored mushrooms, but I do admire them.
This is a deer. They are all over the country. If you see one and get really excited about it, please pull your car over to sit and watch them. If not, the 20 people backed up behind you will curse you, your children, your children’s children and whatever state is listed on your license plate. My husband is rude, so he might even be heard to mutter the word ”touron”.
Of course Hugh came with us. He had spent some time in the chemo unit as well (sending out healing manatee vibes to all present), but he wanted an adventure. It’s hard to see, but this tree is leaning over but not nearly as far as the picture suggests. There is also a stream running right under it. Normally I wouldn’t worry about Hugh, but there are some bitchy river otters in this stream, and I wanted no bloodshed. It took a while to balance him precariously over the stream. As I was doing so, I told my husband my balance was off, so I would appreciate it if he would do me a solid and not let me fall into the river. I had just gotten Hugh balanced when my husband grabbed my waist and yanked me backwards so hard I almost fell. I was a little pissed. Then I noticed what had been slithering IN BETWEEN MY CHACO SANDAL WEARING FEET!
Please don’t scroll down if snakes make you cry. Personally, I think they’re amazing creatures. I love them in my garden beds. I like to view large ones from a distance, especially poisonous ones.
This picture really doesn’t do him/her justice. It will have to do. Marcus wasn’t getting closer.
We know our snakes, so we were sure it was a copperhead. Since we hadn’t been fishing yet, we aren’t allowed to use fishing measurements. It was about 3.5-4 feet long, with a arrow shaped head. It had a thicker body. It lacked the stripes the water snakes usually have on their heads. We double checked with a ranger later just to make sure. He was pretty impressed with the size.
After our heart rates slowed down to only 500 beats per minutes, we realized that we had to wait for the damn thing to move, so we could rescue Hugh. After that happened, we started laughing imagining what kind of call we’d have to make to the oncologist on call, if I had gotten bitten. It seemed like most everything else that could go wrong with this lumpectomy had, so what was a little snake venom?
I guess I’m trying to look at it this way. This copperhead didn’t want me near it anymore than I wanted to be near it. Yes – I almost stepped on a snake. I didn’t. Part of its body brushed against my sandal. Yet, it left us in peace. I didn’t push my luck. We didn’t fish that day.
Holy shit y’all.