Sometimes part of my adventure has been causing a bit of excitement in the lives of others – sometimes unintentionally. My mind goes back some 47 years ago when, as a 7-year-old (I’m guessing there), I was invited to go with our neighbors down to Chinquapin.
For those not amiliar with the South Texas coastal area, Chinquapin is on Matagorda Bay. I’m not sure exactly what the correct pronunciation is, but we always just called it “Chinky-pin.” Our neighbors, the Morses, had a cabin right at the water's edge, and it was always fun to make the 100-mile journey south for a couple of days of fishin’ for speckled trout in the bay and catchin’ blue crabs right off the pier behind the cabin.
But this particular trip was not one of that nature.
The Morses had a daughter, Susie, who was my age, and one of my best friends. (Instead of “Oh, my goodness,” her phrase was, “Oh, my gravy.”) There were some repairs needed at the cabin and Susie’s dad, Ernie – or “Uncle Ernie,” as we called him – was going down just for an afternoon. Susie’s mom, “Morsey,” and Susie were going as well. I was invited to tag along.
Although I never saw one, we were told that there were rattlesnakes in the area. This was, of course, several years before I began to look for and catch rattlesnakes. In fact, this was before I knew there really are some good snakes! The country-like roads there were made with shale and nut-grass grew down the middle of the roads. Anytime we were walking on those roads, we were given strict orders not to walk in the grass, but to stay on the shale because the snakes might be hiding in the grass.
I also didn’t know that some people are extremely afraid of snakes. Uncle Ernie was one of ‘em.
Some who are a bit more experienced in life may remember that back in the 60’s aluminum drinking tumblers were pretty common. They came in a variety of colors and, since they were unbreakable, were real good to have around places like that cabin in “Chinky-pin.” I’m not real sure, but I think “Morsey” had made some Kool-Aid, and Susie and I were having some in those tumblers.
They always had crushed ice at the cabin and I’ve always been an ice-eater. Uncle Ernie had crawled up under the cabin to work on a water leak. Susie and I were just hangin’ around beside the house, waiting for him to get through with the repairs and come out.
I had finished my Kool-Aid and was in the process of polishing off the crushed ice. A small balance of it had gotten stuck in the bottom of my tumbler. I shook the tumbler quickly to get the ice loose. I didn’t know that, to someone under a cabin, crushed ice shaking in an aluminum tumbler strongly resembles the sound of a “buzzing” rattlesnake.
I do now.
I’m still not sure how he did it, but I remember that while it took Uncle Ernie several minutes to crawl up under that cabin, it seemed that he was floating on air as, in a matter of seconds, he shot back out.
I can’t remember what he said, but it seems I do remember some stutter in his voice!
Life’s an adventure. I’m livin’ it up!
Randy McLelland, a.k.a. Randy Mac, is senior pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on FM 202. He has played the role of Grandpa in The Promise and, through his “Livin' It Up” ministries, is a motivational speaker and Christian entertainer.