I never thought that I would be married to someone who loved nature so much. Growing up I was never much the camping girl. Sure I would go every once in a while but never had this feeling of just HAVING to be there in nature. It has taken me a while to figure out the extent of Dusty's passion. I have since understood that nature, snakes, reptiles, zoos and anything closely related with be a part of my life forever. And I am OK with that. (Note that I say that now and not when I find lizards and snakes in their pockets while doing laundry....)
Everyone who finds out about Dusty's hobby immediately asks questions like "How do they breed?" "Have you ever seen them do it?" People who come over usually get the full educational version of how male snakes actually have two penises. And from that point on in the conversation they are fascinated. The conversation lasts at least an hour of a nonstop Q&A session.
Let me tell you, I know more about snakes than I EVER thought possible. I retain that information too. I can tell you which snakes give live births and which ones lay eggs. I can tell you what is different about the Loma Alta line of Subocs. I can tell you some genetics of the snakes we have. And I can even tell you the Latin names of some reptiles. Oh yeah, I am a herpetologist in training :) (Disclaimer: Herpetology is the study of reptiles...that explanation was mostly for Mike....it's not the study of herpes which is what most people think when they ask Dusty what he studies.)
Why do I tell you all of this? Well, Dusty just left yesterday for his big West Texas trip. He is going on 8 days of camping, snake hunting (no they don't kill them...), he gets to meet his publisher and he gives a presentation to 3 Herp Societies. He is way excited and I know he will do awesome!! I am so happy he is there.
However, we have a lot of snakes to take care of. There are a lot of mouths to feed while he's gone. We have eggs in the incubator that will hatch any day and a snake that will lay more eggs any day. Luckily he has a great friend that is coming over to help him feed them the live mice they require. I'm just not there yet! I might be able to feed them dead ones....we'll see.
Dusty left me a list of things to do while he's gone and if the one snake lays eggs I am responsible to put them in the incubator. I think the only thing that is helping me to overcome this obstacle is knowing that by me putting the eggs in the incubator...it means more money in my pocket :)
OK. I guess I am just doing a little reflecting out loud because it dawned on me how different my life is. Now to the point.....
Dusty is gone. He's miles away in the middle of nowhere. A old neighbor knocks on the door. He speaks very little English and hands me a Coke bottle. Upon further inspection I see a snake in it! Without much conversation he just leaves. What the?! Luckily Dusty was in range with his cell phone when I called. He told me to just give it back and tell him to let it go, but the guy was already gone! Then I was instructed to put it with the other snake the guy brought by a few weeks ago. My biggest fear was taking the lid off of the Coke bottle. Dusty would be ashamed because he would start telling me how stupid and irrational that fear is. (But don't worry honey, I was playing that lecture over in my head and it got me through...)
Anyway. I couldn't just open the bottle and stick it in the cage because the cage was too small and the lid wouldn't fit over it. So I was standing there for about 30 minutes waiting for the snake to come out of the bottle while trying not to have the other snake get out of the cage. Everything worked out in the end but I kept checking the lid to make sure it was fastened good.
I realized how "unique" my marriage is and how cool people think that Dusty is too. Our goal in life should be to do what we love and I can definitely say that Dusty is doing that no matter how many people have told him he's crazy or there's no money in it...he keeps on keeping on with his vision in sight. I know that he will go far in this industry...he knows it like the back of his hand. A passion for something and solid knowledge of the industry is a good combination. So, no matter if I signed up for this or not, this is the lot I have chosen and I am excited to see where this slithery path takes me!