Archive for July 2006

July 29th, 2006

Turning a Prophet

This week my Aunt Tere (Maria Teresa Gaston) has provided a “daily reflection” on the readings for Creighton University’s ministry website. She used receiving our wedding invitation as an example of a “prophetic call” from someone who is familiar to her.

If you’d like to read what she’s written you can do so right here.

She’s provided a quite eloquent (and quite flattering) description of the way we have chosen to enter into marriage and what that says about us.

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July 20th, 2006

Prepare for Snake Off

How do you feel about snakes?

I, for one, find snakes fascinating. Zoology, especially when it comes to things that are creepy or crawly or slimy, has always been an area of interest. I was executive director of the “Tails and Snails” Zoo, after all. (“Tails and Snails” was located in our backyard and the exhibits consisted of the assortment of creatures that my brother, sister, some other neighborhood kids, and I could catch and fit into the old fish aquariums and cleaned-out pickle jars.)

My lovely fiance, on the other hand, is violently repulsed by snakes. It’s so bad that, every time she even reads the word “snake,” her entire body shivers involuntarily…. In fact, Steph, if you’re reading this, you should probably stop now. I’ll be using the “s-word” a lot and you’ll probably end up in a seizure if you keep going.

Yes, Steph and I could not be less in agreement on the snake issue. We first discovered this on a hike we took when we were still in college. About a mile into it we encountered a tiny, brown snake slithering across the trail. I’m pretty sure Steph saw it first and pointed it out. Once I caught sight of it though, I took off, chasing the poor thing as it wriggled away. I trampled into the woods, overturning rocks, trying not to lose it. When I finally did get ahold of it I brought it back to the trail so Steph and I could study it, figure out what species it was, etc.…you know, as a couple. Of course, there was no Steph to be found. There was a Steph-shaped cloud, since, once Steph had seen the snake, she had taken off, Warner Brothers cartoon-style, for the head of the trail.

This is because Steph was raised on a farm, where the approach to field biology, when snakes are involved, can be summed up in three words: “Get the hoe!”

Snakes are not viewed favorably in the country. Children are taught that snakes are, without exception, mailicious creatures that are waiting for you to come along so they can bite you, try to make you eat apples that will perpetuate original sin, etc. and that, when you see one, you should run away as fast as you can and tell daddy or grandaddy or older brother — one of whom will probably be on the riding lawn mower at the time — so that they can go run it over.

And this is probably a good thing to teach kids in the country. Not only are there a lot more snakes in rural areas, but there are a lot more poisonous ones. The only times I’ve ever gotten close to Copperheads and Water Moccasins, when they weren’t safely behind panes of glass at a zoo, was when I used to walk around in my relative’s pastureland in Alabama.

I’m pretty good at identifying which snakes aren’t poisonous and which ones are, and I steer clear of the venomous ones.

Also, I think I’d stay away from a snake if I saw it on an airplane…. Then again, that’s a completely ridiculous scenario…. I have no clue why that stupid, stupid idea popped into my head….

Forget I even mentioned it.

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