Our theme for this May/June issue is “Inside the Great Outdoors.” Summer is my favorite time of year, and I spend a lot of time outside enjoying the sun, the heat and yes, even the humidity.
The best part about being outside are the plants and trees that change daily — sometimes hourly if you’re watching closely. I start most mornings in my flower beds with a walking tour in my pajamas, drinking coffee and pulling an occasional weed. I go back in the evenings, usually spending an hour or two tinkering.
The worst part about being outside is the animals — snakes, specifically; horses more broadly.
Animals fall into three categories: Animals I Love, Animals I Don’t Like, and Animals That Terrify Me. Dogs, birds, cats, turtles and bees are in the Love It category. I’ll toss in amphibians and most farm animals, reptiles, insects and mammals.
Fleas, lice and yellow jackets are in the Don’t Like category. I haven’t experienced bed bugs, but I’ll go ahead and throw those in there, too. I’m guessing I wouldn’t like them very much.
During my first trip to the Spicy Lamb Farm (our cover story), the dynamic owner Laura Minnig introduced me to her horses, casually warning that one “tends to eat clothes.” That’s just one of my issues with horses.
I’ve given horses a chance — lots of them. It’s never worked out. They’ve kicked me and thrown me. One gave me a concussion. I don’t trust animals that are so intuitive that they sense my fear — at least that’s what their owners always tell me. I’ve been married to a dear man for 32 years who isn’t half that intuitive.
Because it was chilly when I visited the Spicy Lamb, I didn’t see a snake. I know they’re there. I always see snakes because I always look for snakes.
I scream every time — EVERY TIME — I see one. They hang out in my flower beds. When my neighbor hears my snake scream, she wanders over with a 5-gallon bucket, scoops the offender up, and carries it across the street where she lets it slither off on the bike trail. Snakes are soundly in the Animals That Terrify Me category.
We have a story about free, outdoor concerts on PAGE ___ . And, yes, I’ve seen a snake at an outdoor concert. Horses, too.
On PAGE — is our story about Amish Country. Again, the horse thing.
To summarize, I love summer. I love to be outside. I’m afraid of two animals that are outside in the summer.
Summertime can be both exhilarating and terrifying, depending on what you do and, in my case, the animals I encounter. I hope your summer isn’t terrifying. Mine will be; I still love it.