First we had to get down the gravel hill to get there. The way to get to the lake used to be a roller coaster. Big, tall, scary hills. So much so, that they closed those and made a new way around. I'm not sure I'd been on this side of the water before. At least not since utero. I have a picture of my mom at the bank when she was pregnant with me. No wonder I love nature and all the critters so much, eh? I called my friend Hillary. She'd been down there several times and assured me the hill was no big deal. It really wasn't. I felt ridiculous when we got down it. But yo, I can't be getting stuck with two little girls. Can you imagine the drama? Yeah, me either.
The girls found "cool" rocks, crazy, water-skimming bugs, worms, frogs, and turtle eggs! In the sand, way up the bank, they accidentally uncovered eggs. We covered them back up and made a Do Not Cross barrier so we would know not to step there.
All enclosed in the woods and looking out at the lake. We got all cozy in the sand, breathed in the sky, listened to song through the trees. A trail off to the right. I went down the trail while they played in the sand. That's where the rope stopped me. I didn't see a snake that day, but c'mon, I'm in the woods by the lake. The chances are better than good. So I pay attention. If you make noise you'll probably scare snakes off, but you'll scare off anything else you may see out there as well. I stay quiet. Step soft. Watch. All I saw were some teeny frogs.
I went back for Jolie and Janae so they could see the itty-bittys. I told them to step slow and easy and when they saw the ground move, it would be them. Sure enough, there they were! They were delightful.
We all squatted down watching the frogs, talking, not being very quiet at all. We stood up when Jolie, in the most serious, intentional, and slow voice said, "There... is... a... raccoon." Looking around, I said, "Where?" Again... Jolie... Same voice... "Right. There." She pointed and there, sure enough, was a raccoon about two feet from us at the base of a tree.
In the blink of an eye I thought three things. 1. Is it rabid? 2. Is she a momma? and 3. Oh shit.
The raccoon was more on the left side of us. The direction we had to go to get back to the truck. With either of my hands on each girl's shoulder, I gave them a little shove so they would know the direction I meant when I, in all total seriousness, yelled RUUNNNN!!!!! Yes, I did, and I meant it. I tell you what, I never saw two kids move faster than they did at that very moment. Track stars. Gold medals. With me right behind them. Except for I stopped after a few feet and went back to snap a couple of shots. There was raccoon just chillin' in the tree at this point. I stood there for a minute when I started to hear other movements around me. Annnd that's when I backed out of that trail. Take it sleazy, Raccoon.
I made it back to the truck and laughed and laughed and laughed myself into damn near an asthma attack. The girls didn't find it so funny at first, but then they did. I don't know if I ever laughed so hard in my life. I wish I could have had them on video. A cheetah on its best day wouldn't have caught those two girls!
Later we had some lunch and swam. Life was toothache sweet that day.
Hillary was back down there a few days after, she let me know the turtle eggs appeared to have hatched and no sight of them. Saweet!
Here is my sweet momma. Pregnant with me. Already introducing to me the earth, the water, the sky, the wind, the critters. The way to connect. The way to peace. Thank you, Mom. I love you.