The natural order of things


So … once again nature proves it is not to be trusted. As a person once proudly self-described as “indoorsy,” I have tried to be, if not one, then at least not “at war” with nature.

I have come to like camping (in a camper, of course), love boating, and can even enjoy sitting on a porch or deck enjoying the sights and sounds of the natural world (as long as I’m not far from clean running water and a bathroom).

It should be noted for the record that when it comes to nature I am a team player. Why then is the score always Mother Nature 1 — Kym 0?

Last autumn, like pool owners across the Midwest, I carefully tucked our backyard swimming pool away under a nice layer of protective blanket for a long winter nap. I expected to open it this spring to the same blue water and maybe a few leaves. I can deal with that.


Two days ago we uncovered the pool to find we had unwittingly created our own ecosystem. The water is muddy brown, there are frogs galore and I think I might have seen a catfish. What? Why? How does this even happen?

GirlWonder spent most of the first day saving frogs in advance of the copious amounts of chlorine to come. In true natural form, frogs do not really understand that you come in peace when you come at them with an oversized take out lemonade cup and attempt to scoop them to safety. They require a lot of coaxing and even then remain suspicious at best.

Girlwonder is a far better naturalist than I am (no surprise). She gamely scooped those frogs — or attempted to. At some point I just washed my hands of it — and that murky water. I basically lectured the frogs (because nature loves that). “Look you ingrates, it’s my way or the skimmer basket. You choose.”

Frogs are simply unreasonable.


Meanwhile, we went off to the lake to go boating because while brown murky water in your backyard pool is disgusting, a giant body of it is refreshing (don’t question this).

While happily bobbing around beside our boat, thinking how cool and wonderful this lake really was, I was momentarily startled (and by this I mean scared so completely that my entire body seized up before I began to swim. See also: thrash) in utter panic — snake!

As I was swimming toward the ladder screaming for Mr. Wonderful to save me (witnesses may say he was laughing too hard) I realized I was being followed! The snake was AFTER ME! Oh my gosh, was this a nest of snakes? (Passes out in water — almost).


Still screaming, I began the fastest backstroke anyone has ever seen, and yet I still couldn’t shake this black snake. Oh my gosh this is how it’s going to end for me! I was being followed, in a dread panic mind you.

I didn’t want to look, but had to. How many snakes where there? I looked down to see, slithering through the water just inches from me … the drawstring of my own bathing suit. I had just had an entire “episode” witnessed by eight other people, because I mistook the drawstring on my not-fooling-anyone-about-your-midriff bathing suit “skort” as a snake.

I’m sure they’ll all forget and never tell that story again — right after they tell it at my funeral.

Meanwhile, if you need me I will be on the deck.

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