Hey! Welcome to 52 weeks until I’m 50 years old! Actually it’s now 24 weeks until I’m 50! If you are new to my blog, to the right are other subjects I’ve written. Some may resonate with you or at least give you a chuckle. If you are counting down with me…Wow! Half the year is already gone! I’m starting to freak a little but… I’m so glad you are still with me!
“You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!” Tony Montana, aka Scarface, screams this as he blasts the door with his “little friend.” I love Al and the movie. So many great scenes! I kid around and say that line with an accent and give friends a chuckle from time to time. I have never really felt like I had “Scarface” in me before. I am generally a warm, critter-loving chick. However, this last trip to the “forest,” I was called upon to use some good strong Tony Montana language and be a little Scarface!
When I visit Sapphire Valley, NC every year, I stay in the forest. Fairway Forest. It’s incredibly beautiful in a rustic sense. The town homes and villas literally are built inside the forest. That’s what makes the location so appealing to me. I mention how rustic it is to my fellow travelers when they agree to visit with me. But, it never fails. The response is always the same when they begin to see the wildlife and critters that appear before their eyes and also inside their quarters. I am always summoned to be Tony Montana, aka Scarface.
I am one with nature and being called upon to be the assassin causes turmoil inside me. I believe in sharing space with my fellow critters. Yes, even the ones I don’t especially care for like snakes. To protect the anonymity of one of my fellow travelers, we will call her, Gina Montana, Tony’s sister. Gina doesn’t like many critters. Especially the ones that share space inside the townhouse in the forest. Gina called upon me to “get rid of” a unique critter I fondly have come to call “crider.” Remember sniglets? Defined by American comedian Rich Hall as “a word that doesn’t appear in a dictionary but should.” Yup. Crider.
Crider was something that looked like a cross between a very large spider and a cricket. He, I am guessing it was a he, was quietly walking the wall on the way down to the master bedroom where I was staying for the week. Not Gina. She was upstairs nowhere near the crider. That didn’t matter. I was summoned to be Scarface and take him out. I clearly shared that I thought this creature wouldn’t hurt anyone. There was chattering and the other natives loudly said, “crider has to go!” I really wrestled with having to pull my 5 inch, M-16 assault rifle shoe out to do the deed. I looked up again at the others, apologized for what I was about to do and in one quick move I said, “goodbye to my little friend!” Clean up was not particularly pleasant and I felt sad that I had become an assassin for the others. I have been told at times that I am fearless. I never see myself that way. I’m 5 foot 2 inches on a good day when I have my hair poofed up. But, it is true that very little really catches me off guard. I love the forest, hiking deep into the woods, listening for waterfalls and watching wildlife move all around me. I can smell scents and see movement well before others. I keep a sharp eye out and have everything anyone could possibly need in my backpack other than a toilet. Yes, I carry wipes and a Ziploc because there are no bathrooms while hiking all day. Assassin, aka Scarface. How could I live with myself? The crider was so freakin cool looking! I have had a nightmare now that because I took him out, I have criders crawling on me. Yeh…that’s how it works when you aren’t really good being the assassin!
Heading into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park I had to stop. There he was with four females around him…the big elk. He could barely keep his head up from the weight of his antlers. I stepped onto the meadow in pure amazement of this creature. He just stayed comfortably on the ground glancing over my way. Eye contact. He took my breath away. I waited patiently for him to stand so I could be in complete awe but I believe that his rack was so heavy he just decided to rest while my gaze was upon him. Now many others were in awe as well. We all just stood there. 50 feet away. There were black bears, more elk, snakes, deer and bunnies all within feet of us this trip. I never once thought about being harmed in any way around those creatures. I am sharing space with them. It’s amazing how just after 5 pm the animals put on a live show if you are willing to be in the forest with them.
The night after my visit with the big elk, I had dinner at one of my favorite places, The Game Keeper Tavern. Funny that I cherish this place since I don’t eat anything with four legs. I love that you can sit outside on the back porch on a summer night and they have blankets for you. It’s a large log cabin with the most wonderful food. Very unique offerings. On the menu is everything from the food chain imaginable. That evening, kangaroo was the special. I asked what it tastes like and the answer was “it starts out like steak and finishes like seafood.” That poor Joey! I had a salad!
I arrived home and once again feel myself missing my hikes and the natural zoo of the Pisgah National Forest, the Gorges State Park, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I miss the sound of the waterfalls I chase after and the butterflies flying around me. The moss growing on the rocks and the mist in the air. I loved being rained on while whitewater rafting and the guide throwing the yellow rope pretending there was a snake in the raft. I am back running the swamps of South Florida connecting with my gators, snakes, birds, armadillo and turtles. It’s a different kind of live zoo but I’m sharing space just the same.
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