Granddaughter Addie is fearless, for the most part. She does fear being left out when the children are playing, and she does fear being upstaged, but what eight-year-old doesn’t. For that matter, most fifty-something-year-olds fear the same.
She is one of my heroes. I love watching her play, using her imagination to solve problems and overcome any fear life might toss at her.
I was inspired by her when we got to the restaurant one Sunday. I had a “what would Addie do” moment and wanted to impress her. We were in Jacksonville, Florida, celebrating her eighth birthday. It was a terrific celebration with out-of-town friends, a Moana cake, lots of gifts and a boat ride on the St. John’s River through Jacksonville. Memorable.
I credit the family psychologist John Rosemund with teaching me to say yes as often as possible to my children as their mother. That way, when I said “no,” it could stand. I endeavor to say yes as much as possible, to what life offers me, so when I say no, I mean it.
It was our first visit to the restaurant called Clark’s Fish Camp on Julington Creek. You need to go there. Say yes to the trip. Add friends. The restaurant is set along a river that runs between and beside communities. Go there, if not by river, by car. It’s the “People’s Place.”
The restaurant serves exotic meats and I was feeling adventurous. Among the offerings were gator, rabbit, kangaroo, ostrich, frog, turtle, llama, yak, camel, and buffalo. And if it was not on the menu, it was likely on the wall.
At one time, the restaurant billed itself as having “one of the largest privately owned collections of taxidermy in the country.” And now, having been there, I know it’s the largest single collection I’ve ever seen.
I will go back to the restaurant. Just to see the animals. They are amazing. They are interesting and worthy of study. I was impressed. There are preserved lions, tigers, monkeys, bears, giraffes, deer, bobcats, and birds. I haven’t been that amazed since we left Alaska.
And then I tried the snake. Python to be exact. I shouldn’t have.
In fact, many at the table did the respectable thing and declined my offering of eating the snake. In fact, it is my opinion no one should. Ever. Eat snake. I blame my choice on Addie.
If I hadn’t been trying to impress an eight-year-old, I’d have stayed with the familiar, gone with something less exotic, maybe more like gator toes, which can, according to the menu, be served charred, grilled, fried and ready for dipping. Look it up on the Internet. Clark’s Fish Camp.
At any rate, I’ve learned my lesson. No matter how bad the snake, better to have tried it and know better than to never have tried it at all.
At least I think that’s what Addie would say.
What is something you’ve done that did not live up to the hype?
What one thing did you risk that had unexpected results?
Are risks worth the gains?
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