Where did it go?
As I suspect is generally true, my basement is downstairs. All right, my daughter is building along the coast where new regulations mandate even the house bottom has to be 8 feet off the ground. So a basement there ... well, there aren't basements, I'm told, and, even if there were, it would still be downstairs from the rest of the house.
I guess. Or it wouldn't be a "basement," right?
Mine at least is exactly where a basement should be: down the stairs off the main hall of the house (which is basically one-story). Though, even if it were as high as the Empire State Building (THEN I could indeed see Lake Erie!), the basement would still be down there.
I wrote last year about the huge humongous is better black garter snake that resided in the basement, easily preventing my going down there to practice my music. It got "removed" (as in "demised") before two of my girls (who had raised boys) hollered loudly that snakes are good, quite harmless and serve useful purposes though I can't right now remember what they are. "Carry it out in a pillowcase if you're that squeamish" was the one suggestion I remember.
And remember I did when I found another also black, not like the cute greenie outside this year. Same place natch.
That's probably the fastest I've climbed those stairs in quite a while! And Minor, mirroring his master, skedaddled even faster and wouldn't go back down there for anything.
Trouble was I was here alone.
I'd had a purpose for going down and, quite rationally, couldn't see just putting that entire area off limits. Too much I needed there tools are handy and the freezer still contained lots of good food.
I ironed. I dusted. I practiced my music which is upstairs now. I cleaned the kitchen sink. All the time of course I was mulling over the dilemma of the snake in the basement.
The pillowcase suggestion struck me as particularly idiotic. (Sorry, dear daughter.) Was I supposed to throw a pillowcase at it from across the room (as close as I wished to get) and expect it to climb in? Even so, what would prevent its striking out at me from inside the case? If I somehow picked it up (I did know it had better be by the head), would it wrap it very long body around my arm? Yeech!
Reason finally won plus the need to get things done before my expected houseguest arrived.
I prepared myself: elbow-high thick leather gloves made for gardening around rosebushes, a bucket (in case my nerve faltered) and a camera, set on close-up, optimist that I am.
Thus armed I slowly and loudly, very loudly tried those dreaded stairs. Minor kept a watchful eye behind me (well behind me). No snake to my left which is where the snake had been. No snake to my right. I grabbed what I needed and raced back up the stairs.
Company next day and the next. We explored the basement. No snake. Where had it gone? Where had it come from? Questions without answers.
I'm betting it'll come back once I'm alone in the house again, just waiting patiently until I need something else down there.
Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. Her Reason for Being was published in 2008 with Love in Three Acts due this month. Information on all the Musings, the books and the author can be found at Susancrossett.com.