Death by snake > death by bus.

Hey, remember Nancy, our tree-hating neighbor from the old apartment complex? We ran into her at the farmers market on Saturday morning.

She legit had no idea who we were.

We finally kinda, sorta jogged her memory. I think? She went so far as to acknowledge that yes, there had been a vacancy in Apt. 4 recently after another couple (us, Nancy! It was us!!) moved out. And then she asked where we’d moved to, even though Tara had multiple conversations with her about the house we had bought and even showed her pictures.

She said she hates being 81 years old because her brain no longer works as well as it once did, and then said, “Like this place I’m at right now. I know what it is, but I can’t find the words.”

“A farmers market,” I said.

“See, as soon as I hear the words, I remember,” she replied, her eyes lighting up with recognition. Poor woman. I guess this explains how a potato masher morphs into a garden trowel.

(Found the elusive potato masher, by the way.)

I find the whole thing incredibly sad and really hope I avoid a similar fate. Dementia does run in the family — my grandmother had it — so I’m hoping I get hit by a bus or something before I no longer remember what a “bus” is.

By the way, why is it that people always equate a quick and unexpected death with getting hit by a bus? Why not a train, or a wood-paneled station wagon with fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror, or hell, a horse and buggy? Surely the Amish die quick and unexpected deaths, too.

Why does this deadly run-in even have to involve wheels? You never hear anyone say, “I’ll have that project back to you tomorrow morning, Bob. Unless I get bitten by an Inland Taipan on my way home tonight.”

An Inland Taipan is the world’s most venomous snake.

New goal: say this to somebody at work. Ooh, maybe Daryl. He’d appreciate that.

In my last post, I talked about buying a John Deere and turning into somebody I no longer recognize. Over the weekend, I took it one step farther by using a chainsaw for the first time.

During that same snowstorm in which I lost my phone for 10 minutes, the heavy wet snow caused a large branch on one of our trees to snap at the base of the trunk. It was still attached, and in fact still blooming, but there was no salvaging it and it was just too big to try to tackle with a handsaw. We figured, with such a big yard and a reputation for snowy winters and tornadoes and whatnot, a chainsaw would come in handy from time to time, so we went out and bought one.

I tell you, using that thing made me feel pretty manly. I flexed my muscles. I posed like Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I grunted like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. I felt downright virile.

Tara felt downright embarrassed, as the neighbor across the way was in his driveway and surely heard me carrying on as though I’d never used a chainsaw before.

Probably because I’d never used a chainsaw before. Let me have my moment, damn it!

The chainsaw made quick work of the branch, and the rest of the weekend was spent on additional house projects. I cleaned and organized the garage, which had been a receptacle for boxes of stuff since Day One. Tara up-potted because she didn’t want her starts to get too leggy.

(Her words. I still have no idea what any of that means.)

And the weather was gorgeous. You know how realtors sometimes use the phrase “park-like setting” when marketing a house? That’s very true of our yard this time of year.

Hope y’all had as enthusiastic and productive a weekend as I did. Oh, and watch out for deadly snakes on the way home.

63 thoughts on “Death by snake > death by bus.

  1. I’m thinking getting hit by a bus would be instantaneous and painless. A snake bite death feels like it would be frightening, slow, painful, and full of awareness. I’ll pass.

    You know those Progressive Insurance commercials where that guy helps people not be like their parents? With your John Deere and your new chainsaw, you are those people. Those people are you! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You know, I pondered about the origin of that phrase myself, and tried to use the gentler “what if he wins the lottery” 🙃

      The closest plausible explanation I found was that it came from a Joseph Conrad’s novel, which was published in the early 20th century when/where the likelihood of being hit by a bus was probably higher and more lethal than being bitten by a snake… Though I’m not sure. Also, I haven’t been dedicated enough to read the book, so I’m not even sure about about that, but I liked the explanation because I was wondering why not “hit by a car” which seemed to me more likely nowadays. Probably not then, though 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like the lottery phrase but kind of feel guilty saying it. That implies that if I win I’m never coming back to work, which just sounds rude.

        Granted, it’s true. But they don’t need to hear that!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. my father finally bought a chainsaw years ago, but never used it, and we were all quite sure that it was highly likely he’d. hurt himself with it. I hope to pass away while sleeping, in the middle of a relaxing dream

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes as people age all want instant death and no diseases. But if someone dies like that just as you said hit by a bus, we all feel sad!🤷‍♀️ Life is so complicated as we age!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree with you about dementia. It doesn’t run in my family but still. My late husband used chain saws (and many other saws) frequently; I found the chain saw particularly terrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At least you have the flannel, but are those athletic shoes I see? Did no one ever tell you that it’s heavy boots man when you chainsaw. Sure you might still cut your toes off or something but at least you really look the “I’m an experienced outdoorsy logger sort” in boots. Oh, you also have to come inside covered in sawdust then leave trails of it throughout the house or none of what you hacked up is genuine. I only know this because my dad was truly a chainsaw master.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love that you found the potato masher. Yay!

    So this sentence made me laugh because I inferred from it that you did your additional house projects with a chainsaw, “The chainsaw made quick work of the branch, and the rest of the weekend was spent on additional house projects.” Like, I organized the garage with the help of the chainsaw. 🙂

    You’re right – dementia would be hard and that’s no joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Old age can be so cruel. When my mother hit 90 she started having trouble identifying things. It started small, if she wanted cheese she said ham. The remote control became the phone. It was sad, not to mention hard to decipher.
    Looks like you lost a cherry tree limb… which makes you a veritable George Washington, flexing a modern day axe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a cherry tree?!

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom. It’s so hard to watch. My grandmother had no idea who I was the last few years of her life, though she hid her confusion fairly well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your backyard looks fantastic, Mark! My husband also used his chainsaw over the weekend. We had a root issue next to the sidewalk and the axe just wasn’t cutting it (literally and figuratively).

    Dementia is such a bitch. I’m having to deal with it on a daily basis with my mother. My father also had it as did my MIL. Oddly, none of our grandparents had it (though some may have not lived long enough), but it’s still surprising. I’m wondering if a sedentary lifestyle is the biggest contributor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Every day it just gets prettier. Spring really is a gorgeous time of year. I can’t wait to see what fall brings.

      Obviously a sedentary lifestyle leads to other health issues, so dementia seems plausible. I will say that my grandmother was pretty active though, even late in life. Maybe it’s just a random thing. Either way, it’s cruel.


  9. We call dementia playing the game of “Guess Grandma’s Word.” Back when Grandma couldn’t remember her words it was funny, now as we get older it seems ominous. Hit by bus better than snake bite. Kind of don’t want either though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hjjjjjjjjeuonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

      (That’s Shirley on the keyboard. She says hi apparently.)

      Kind of like how the potato masher incident is funny, but hearing her struggle to remember “farmers market” is much less so.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your yard looks lovely. I loathe the noise of chainsaws and I do not ever want one, but there is no denying their utility when you have property with a lot of trees. When my Dr. Sis got her car blocked in by fallen trees after a hurricane, she followed the sound of the chainsaws until she found enough lumberjack wannabes to cut her a path to the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know! Months’ worth of buildup, and its eventual discovery turns into almost an afterthought. Bad blogger, Mark! Bad blogger!

        (I was actually more excited to find the air popper.)

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I LOL’d when I read that Tara ‘up-potted’ but you had no idea why, nor did you understand her worry about plants getting too ‘leggy’. At least you own it! I’d say your beautiful – park like yard (just as you said) would be great inspiration to treat the potted beauties well. Looks fab! And I giggled about Deb’s comment that you’re not legit w/a chainsaw unless your trailing sawdust into the house. That rings true. Nice job on the flannel to set the mood, btw! 😎😎😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know that there’s much we can do to avoid that fate if it’s so destined. Just look out for the warning signs, I suppose, and seek help early. Hopefully it won’t come to that.


  12. Because the Amish do not believe in modern medicine, I believe they die slowly. Just let Tara chop you up with your chainsaw. Of course, after she poisons your drink. WHY DID THIS MURDER PLAN COME TO ME SO QUICKLY?

    By the way…your yard!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So if I only have a small, electric chainsaw does that mean I’m only semi-manly?

    And I’m still disappointed you didn’t mash the potatoes with the garden trowel. Slice and smash, slice and smash… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might have, but it had flecks of dirt stuck to the tines. I hope Nancy wasn’t using it to mash potatoes herself!

      A chainsaw is manly no matter the size. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Poor Nancy. I hope she has someone to help her. My mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s. It’s a terrible disease. However, it seemed to get easier for her once she no longer remembered how much she was forgetting. It was easier for her – but not the rest of the family. I will always remember how devastated Kenn was the day he came home from a visit and said “Mom didn’t know who I was.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s harder on the families than the actual person suffering from it. Like you said, they don’t even remember they’re forgetting things. At least Nancy knows that much, which is a plus. She does have a daughter who checks in with her frequently.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Only one grandparent? You don’t know you’re born! (Do you have that saying in the US?) I have a grandparent on each side, plus a parent… I’m trying to work out how to chuck myself in front of a train at just the right time. By which I mean while I’m still together enough to know it’s the right time, but not so early as to waste valuable time with loved ones – if you see what I mean. Honestly, I try not to think about it and just contribute to dementia charity.

    I laughed at you with the chainsaw and Tara mocking you, although in my head, I was seeing Tim Allen in that DIY show. Was I near?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, don’t know that saying, lol. Once upon a time I had four grandparents, though one died before I was even born, and another when I was much too young. My last grandmother hung on to age 96. I was sure she was going to make it to 100, but alas.

      There were definite “Home Improvement” vibes happening with the chainsaw.

      Liked by 1 person

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