Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Elegance of a Snake Bite Kit

I am not feeling quite as peppy as I sometimes do on a Saturday morning.  But it's for a good reason.  Yesterday, I stayed up later than I usually do on a Friday night.  We met a group of friends out in the western part of the county to celebrate one friend's midway point in her effort to get through the training program that should lead to her dream job.

We ate at the Cheesecake Factory, so I ate far more food than I usually do for my evening meal, and later in the evening too.  I have become prematurely old in my eating habits.  I'm that woman who votes that we go for the early bird special.  I like to save the money, and I like to be done with my digesting before I attempt sleep.

But every so often, I try to remember that I am a grown up, which doesn't mean that I have to be a little old lady.  I take pride in those nights that I stay up past 10 p.m.:  past 8:30 p.m. if we're being honest.  When my sister and I had a nightcap near midnight last week, I felt very glamorous.  Of course, we were drinking amaretto, not scotch, so perhaps not quite as sophisticated as I like to pretend.

I did a bit of work on the memoir this morning.  I was not at my most brilliant, but revision doesn't require brilliance so much as persistence.  I'll be brilliant some other morning.

I tried to write a poem.  I've had some lines knocking around my head, lines about being a woman of sensible shoes.  I've also been thinking about the fact that I have a small bowl by my bed that contains a snake bite kit and my Girl Scout knife.

Can you see the rust on the blades?  You can't tell how dull they are, but this knife will certainly not do much in terms of whittling, food prep, or self protection.  Still, it's a small memento of the girl I was, the young woman who led a group of girls across 25 miles of the Appalachian Trail with everything we needed, right there on our backs.

Happily, we did not need my snake bite kit, although I always carried it.  I love the elegance of a snake bite kit.  Everything you need is right there, self-contained in a rubber capsule that you can keep in your pocket:

The rubber capsule sucks the venom out.  Elegance!  Efficiency!

The elegance of a snake bite kit--that should be a metaphor for something.  Or maybe just an intriguing title.  I would buy a book with that title.

A year ago, we donated a lot of our backpacking equipment to our local scouts.  After moving here in 1998, and never using our equipment since, we decided it was time to be realistic about what we were likely to do in the future.  And thus, off it went:

We were downsizing because we were moving to a smaller house without all the storage space.  In fact, a year ago we'd have been doing the final signing of the paperwork today.  It took almost 2 hours to get all the documents signed.

As we sat there, I thought about all those courtroom TV shows, and I thought, I bet most real life lawyers do more of this kind of paperwork than they do in court.  I thought about the fees we'd be paying and wondered how many house closings our lawyer did in a week.  I thought about his costs:  an office and one worker.  He could clear a lot of money, but what a mind numbing way to do it.

Of course, the control that the lawyer has over his work and time might make the mind numbing aspect worthwhile.  I doubt that my coming work week will be mind numbingly dull.  It will be our first week all of us together in one building.  We shall see how it goes.

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