Memories & Lizards

Disappointment is an ugly thing. And expectations can be a fierce & cruel thing. (Never have expectations. In the long run, you will be let down.) I’m not sure if I wish to dedicate this column to my amature philosophies or to tell a story.

I’d much rather tell a story.

Back a way, way long time ago, before I knew anything about anything, my grandparents had a hunting lodge in Alabama. I might have been five… maybe six.

What I remember about the lodge was a bear rug on the wall. And there was a screened-in porch. I’d catch green lizards on the screen. My great Uncle Hud taught me how to fish for catfish. He liked to eat the eggs of the fish. I remember thinking I would never do that – eat fish eggs! What a disgusting concept. I’m 38 years old, now. I have eaten fish eggs. Not the worst thing I have ever eaten. But most definitely not my favorite thing.

There are a few things that got me thinking about that Alabama hunting lodge. 1) We, Tara & I have a large, wooden parcel box. It sits about a quarter-mile away from the main road, where our regular mailbox stands. With the weather getting warmer, & the sun shining away throughout the day, reptiles are starting to come out. Snakes & lizards & turtles are prevalent on the property. And for some reason, lizards like to hang out in & around the parcel box.

Plestiodon Anthracinus. That’s the little bugger’s name. The Five-lined Skink. However, there are 13 different types of lizards in North Carolina. But I’m pretty sure the ones hanging around the parcel box are the Five-lined Skink.

It always gives me a jolt, no matter how much I prepare myself for it. I mean, I know the little suckers are going to be in there. And it’s not like I am afraid of them. It’s just unsettling having something move so fast over the deliveries. Just like I am not afraid of snakes. Being surprised by one, on the other hand, can make anyone jump a little.

Another thing reminding me of the lodge: yesterday Tara & I visited a cabin. And for some reason, the kitchen brought back the memories even more. That rustic & wild feeling of a cabin can be a good shock to stimulate the memory banks.

Things like smell & taste, even colors can do that: make you remember the things forgotten.

Some things I don’t want to remember; however, certain songs, certain smells – hell, traveling down certain roads can take me back in time.

I know the smell of hay will always remind me of the home I have made here. And the smell of my wife’s face cream.

Memory, like anything else, can be a good or a bad thing. Then again, everyone knows that… I hope.


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