Linda and I finished our morning workout, refreshed and ready to begin another day of writing. We emerged from the building to a winter wonderland as snow gently fell on already covered trees, buildings and vehicles. I immediately said, “This is beautiful! We need to stop and do a 360 turn”- and that’s exactly what we did. It was fascinating! It reminds me of a heart warming story from Linda’s childhood. Take it away, Linda Armbruster!
When I was a little girl I remember how excited I was when the door would fly open and Dad would say, “Linnie, come ‘eer!” No matter what I was doing, I would sprint to see what Dad had discovered outside. He loved to show me a peculiar bug or reptile or a tomato with an odd appendage. Dad was fascinated by unique creations and he loved to share those discoveries with me.
After retiring, my parents bought a lovely home in Florida that was surrounded by forests and bayous. Urban development had invaded the habitat of many insects, reptiles and small furry animals. Mom found it extremely difficult to co-exist with the variety of alien creatures. The venomous coral snake in the woodpile was peaceful as long as Dad kept his distance. There were scorpions that made nests in the eaves troughs and a friendly neighbour warned Dad not to stick his hand in there to clean out the pine needles. Subterranean termites, roaches, lizards and fire ants as well as lemons, grapefruit and oranges growing right in the back yard were all very interesting or should I say fascinatin’ to a good ‘ol Southern gentleman.
One morning after breakfast I heard the back door open and Dad yell “Linnie, come ‘eer!”. Immediately I knew he had found a live treasure to share with me. I met him at the door and he said, “Come and look at this!” At the side door of the garage was a small snake coiled on the ground rattling its tiny tail. All I could say was, “Awwww, a baby rattle snake.” Dad immediately corrected me and said, “Nope, it’s not a baby “rattler” it’s a Pigmy Rattlesnake, a poisonous little critter!” He carefully picked it up with a pitchfork and relocated it in the vacant lot down the street. He had no intention of killing it, he just wanted to change its address.
On another occasion, Dad came to the door and said, “Linnie….come see this!” I jumped up and in Dad’s work glove he held the ugliest and I mean the ugliest bug I have ever seen. It looked like God had made a terrible mistake or a terrible joke of this bug. “What in the world is that?” I asked. “This is a mole cricket”, Dad explained, “and they are eatin’ my yard!” That poor ugly bug was doomed.
About a year or two before Dad passed away, he and Mom visited when I lived on the outskirts of Montreal. A good friend had come over to meet my parents and that evening as I walked her outside to her car we noticed the sky was bursting with color. Immediately I ran inside and shouted, “Dad, come ‘eer!” He bolted upstairs and when we walked outside we were speechless. The Aurora Borealis or Northern lights in all its’ splendour illuminated the sky just for us; it was fascinating!
That’s what I will always treasure about the man who taught me to look for and appreciate the unique creations all around me! Oh, how I long to hear those words again, “Linnie, come ‘eer!