By: Dianne Neuman Whittington
We lived at 1909 Michigan and it was always hot most of the year. Where our driveway ended the vacant lots seemed to go on forever. My mother and father were campers and outdoor people so they cautioned us to not roam in the vacant lots as rattlesnakes had been found there. They told us if we ever heard a rattle to freeze and not move. I think I was six and my brother and I went out to play in the neighborhood—probably barefooted. I heard the rattle as I went out the back gate. I froze, looked down, and saw the snake coiled in front of me. My brother got my mother and she killed it with a hoe. I will never know how I was not so traumatized that I never went outside again.
Maybe it was because I was too young to realize the danger or perhaps it was because my mother acted like it was no big deal and sent us on our way to play in the neighborhood. I am happy to say that I have never seen another rattlesnake up close or far away. Another early memory was when I decided that I was going to run away from home because things were not going my way. I was 4 or 5 and I thought that my mother should know so that she could change things to be the way I wanted them. She told me that she would pack me a lunch since I may be gone for some time. She did, I left, went about 2 blocks down the street, ate lunch on the curb, and figured I had given her enough time to change some things. When I got home things were still the same and I got to stay in my room for the rest of the day.