in his backyard haven

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Snake Bite Kit

When we lived in Arkansas during the 1980s, there was this river called the Buffalo River.

I've just sorted through some photo albums that reminded me of this place and the adventure we all took one summer canoeing that river with Grandpa Vern and Grandma Betty O'Donnell.

There is Betty [Dad called his parents by their first names]. Sitting in a canoe with wedge sandals looking like a well-aged Betty Draper from Mad Men. Mom is hustling around 5 kids and honestly looks pretty damn good too. Was there any sunscreen in sight? Hell no. Was there a cooler dedicated to the "Snake Bite Kit"? Yes.

The snake bite kit is the liquor cabinet in the woods. I remember vividly as I was maybe 12 or 13 in these photos that Dad and Vern had to take a several hour detour out of Arkansas into some neighboring state to go and purchase some liquor. They called it the snake bite kit. I honestly believed that they were getting medication in the event we got bit by snakes.

This was the trip where we almost lost Katie. She was maybe 3 and bopping around in a yellow life vest. I can't tell who was in charge of her. According to the photos here was the canoe layout:

Liz, Joe and Amy in one canoe
Dad, Betty and me in another.
I guess that leaves Vern, Mom and Katie in a 3rd.

At one point we all noticed Katie was floating down the river on her own, in her life jacket. Oops. Dad rescued her. Good job Dad. Your repayment for that act is that you now have at least one daughter hanging around this week making sure that your back yard is still getting watered and that the recycling is appropriately sorted. Thank you, Katie.

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