Monday, February 13, 2012

Rattlesnakes and Temper Tantrums

I got lost again this morning.  On the internet, that is.  I shared a photo earlier today on Facebook that my cousin's son, Tanner, had shared.  It's of another cousin's barn that sits just up over the rim of Pine Canyon along the Sunset Highway between Wenatchee and Waterville.

That little Facebook post led to an unstoppable urge to see some pictures of Pine Canyon.  I have a different blog post rattling around my head, that will maybe feature a funny story or two, and would include a detailed description of driving up Pine Canyon in a lemon of a Buick Regal.  But the post is simply not forthcoming today.

What started out as a really good post in my mind, turned into a lengthy stream of consciousness with too many thoughts squished into a single paragraph with hugely ran-on sentences.  (Is a run-on sentence written in the past a ran-on sentence I suppose not, since all sentences one reads are written in the past and if this were the case they would all be ran-on sentences instead of run-on sentences so I suppose there is no such thing as a ran-on sentence what to you think?)

But one thing I did find warranted its own smaller blog post.

Joe often dreams of us being able to buy property in Washington that we could use when we visit the relatives.  It's just a dream, really, because we don't get there often enough to want to maintain a property there.

When I stumbled upon this ad for a couple of lots for sale in the Rimrock Meadows neighborhood, it made me feel nostalgic.  And it called to mind two somewhat poignant memories.

Rimrock Meadows appears to be some sort of resort association where members can go to camp and swim and play tennis or Foosball.  But what I associate with Rimrock Meadows is the rodeo.  There was the Omak Stampede, too.  Rimrock Meadows and the Omak Stampede.  Those two names, in my little girl's mind, meant rodeo.

I have two memories that I think happened at Rimrock Meadows.  I have no idea if they really did; but I'm pretty sure they happened somewhere.  And I'm pretty sure it was at some sort of rodeo or horse and cowboy thing.  I think I was probably three or four years old at the time.

We were walking along the dusty pathway, in some facility that was was set amidst the sage hills and rocky terrain of Eastern Washington.  Prime rattlesnake country.  There was a large group of us there, friends and relatives.  I believe I was walking with either my aunt Elinor or my mom's best friend, Mary Ann, who is also kind of my aunt.  It just might have been Mary Ann's daughter, Peggy, too.  She's mixed up with this memory somewhere, in that crazy way memories get jumbled up. I remember that whoever I was with had strappy seventies sandals on.  Probably Wrangler jeans, too.  But the jeans are not important to this memory, as the sandals are.  Probably my small size at the time made the visual impact of what happened next more lasting.

Suddenly a rattlesnake slithered over the open toe of my companion's sandal.  With a wisk and a whisper, the snake was gone as quickly as it had appeared, seemingly in a hurry to escape the meandering crowds. No harm was done, but I remember it being talked about throughout the day.  I'm pretty sure I asked both ladies about this episode at one time or another later, and nobody remembered it.  But it's a very real memory for me.

The other memory I have is of a possibly more humorous and slightly embarrassing nature.  I threw a temper tantrum.  A raging temper tantrum.  Apparently I liked the flavor of onion rings.  Apparently I didn't know they sometimes had discernible onions within them.  Again, there was a group of us.  We were in one of those outdoor eating pavilions that one finds at a county fair or festival.  I remember the wall going about half way up.  We were able to look out above the wall at all the passers by.  The group of us were sitting at several tables.  The menu items were the type of fare that came in a plastic basket with red checked tissue paper to soak up the grease.

I had ordered onion rings and was really looking forward to them.  The fragrance on the air screamed out grease and salt, and I couldn't wait for my food to come.  But as I took the first bite of my much anticipated onion rings, imagine my youthful chagrin when I pulled that bite away from the crispy salty edges, and a string of onion dangled from my chin.  Horror of horrors!  An onion in my onion rings!  Who put that there?  I don't want them!  I don't want onion rings with onions!  Take them back and get me some different ones!  Waaaaaah!  Waaaaaah! Sob and wracking sob.

I don't know how long I carried on, and I really don't know if it was as much of a production as it is in my memory.  But I remember first my mom, then my dad, then a variety of other friends and relations all trying in futility to calm me down. I remember my dad, particularly, trying to explain to me that all onion rings had onions.  But I was having none of it!  You can't fool me!  I was absolutely convinced that they were all lying to me, in that grown-up sort of way, in order to pacify me in my anger.  What did they take me for, anyway?  I'm not as gullible as all that.  Hmmph.

I did a little search on google to see if I could find anything about the Rimrock Meadows of my memory.  I didn't find much.  But this little news article from the June 7, 1972 edition of the Spokane Daily Chronicle was kind of fun.  I would have been five that summer, and it appears that Rimrock Meadows was being dedicated that year. 

What this tells me, though, is that if my memory has any basis in reality, I'm ashamed to realize I behaved in such manner at the ripe old age of five. I had really hoped it was a mere three or four.

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