One of the most memorable pieces of my grandfather’s memorial last week was hearing from his sister, my great-aunt Carol, about my grandpa’s great love of snakes.

Yes, snakes.  All kinds of snakes.  He had a life long love of snakes, and turtles, and lizards, and other such scaled and slimy and beautiful creatures, but most especially snakes.  He picked them up on road trips and carried them around in the car.  He collected them in boxes to show to visiting grandkids.  He was always excited to hear a snake story, but he was more excited to be involved in one.

As we filed back to my mother’s house that afternoon for an early dinner together – what do you think was there to greet us, curving gracefully along her covered backyard sidewalk?

Of course.  A little garter snake, flicking its bright red tongue.

I picked it up (snake-handling heritage runs deep) and made sure everyone got a chance to greet it before we released it by a sunny tree way in the back of the yard.

I am thankful for that snake.  It was a message to me of spring’s approach, and a perfect ‘hello’ from grandpa.carol and i with garter

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