Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ahhh, Spring! It Really, Really BUGS Me...

Spring is a lovely season, and is admittedly one of my favorites, but I have a love/hate relationship with it. Let me give you a few examples:

1. Spring brings an end to frigid temps - but the beginning of wardrobe uncertainties: Do I wear jeans and risk heat stroke when the temperatures unexpectedly reach summer-esque highs, or do I wear shorts and risk freezing my- yes, well you get the picture...

2. Spring brings the return of green leaves and colorful flowers - but also brings the return of that sinister substance known as pollen. The mere sight of that telltale green layer coating anything and everything either stationary or nearly so signals my nose and lungs to instantly rebel and refuse to allow sufficient passage of air.

3. Spring brings breezes carry the sweet melodies of birdsong after a long and music-less winter - which is welcome, except when the blasted things choose to twitter their melodies nice and loud right outside my bedroom window on the rare mornings I'm able to sleep in.

So, I do have some fairly contradictory feelings toward what many call the season of rebirth. But there is one part to spring that I dread most of all:

...the return



Yes, I mourn the passing of winter most of all simply for the fact that in amongst all this love/hate rebirth stuff lurks all manner of undesirable creepy crawlies. And they all seem to think that my house is the perfect place to hang out. 

The biggest nuisance are the big, black flies that manage to weasel in one door or another despite my best efforts to keep them out. I can't stand that buzzing, and they taunt me - taunt me, I tell you: always zooming right by my head and just on the edge of my vision, then zipping out of sight. Then they bzzzt around behind the blinds or inside a light fixture, or behind a plant, double-dog-daring me to come get 'em. It creeps me out. I chase them down with a twirled up old hand towel - 'cause I can't stand having to clean up smashed fly guts off an icky, guts-crusted fly swatter - and manage to catch most of them. The hardest ones to get are the little suckers that haven't grown into full-grown, gross, big 'ol slow flies. Man, are they hard to towel-snap. And let me tell you, that stuff you read about the common housefly only living 24 hours? Well, my flies must be most uncommon, 'cause they sure hang on a lot longer than that in this house.

Next on the nuisance-o-meter are those teeny tiny ants that begin to parade over my main floor, without fail, just as the weather turns balmy. Last spring was the worst: they were boldly traipsing in looooong lines through my foyer, milling around, and going nowhere in particular. So, I declared war. Armed with a butter knife and some spackle, I followed those little soldiers to the source, and smugly plugged up the hole, then smashed the stragglers with the flat of the knife. Figuring that was that, I put away my arsenal. Later that afternoon: "Mooommmmy! Ants!" Crud. They found a new hidey-hole to come through. Out came the knife and the spackle. Plug, plug, smash, smash, smash. The next morning, they not only found a third hidey-hole to come through, but they had also managed to bust through the other two spots I spackled the day before! This continued to the point that I spent the entire time the kiddos were at school chasing teeny tiny ants and hastily spackling holes and crevices, until I realized they had fanned out to three rooms, and showed no signs of stopping. Admitting defeat, I bought a bunch of ant traps, set them by all the hidey-holes, and that finally did it. I hunched down and watched them crawl enthusiastically in and out of this new supermarket I seemingly installed just for their culinary delight, whispering with glee, "That's it, my pretties. Come and get some tasty goodies..." I have to say, though, I can't figure them out. Not one of those ants went anywhere near my kitchen. Go figure.

Here is an unwelcome visitor more creep than nuisance: a crunchy bug that skitters across my basement family room floor every once in a while, usually when I'm down there after dark, watching tv. I don't know what they're called, but they are these inch to inch-and-a-half long, hard-shelled, bullet-shaped, black, beetle-looking things. They're fast little suckers, and if you flick them, you hear the click as they bounce off the walls. You can't smash them by ordinary shoe-whacking, either. (And yes, I keep a spare heavy shoe down there for just such an occurrence.) You have to really slam down on them, and you can actually hear a sickening crunch when the whack actually works. Gross. I can't even bring myself to do it anymore. In fact, once, when C (my husband) was away on business, and one of them went scuttling on by the tv, I trapped it with an upside down glass, and stacked three thick books on top of the glass. Then I called C's cell phone, and told him I had a bug for him to kill when he got home. (You can imagine his response. He wasn't due back for two more days.) And do you know, when he came home and dutifully went down to dispose of the interloper, that bug was gone... with the glass still firmly held down by the big thick books. I didn't go back down there for a week.

Finally, another basement invader. This one is by far the most creepy: big, black, silver-dollar sized wolf spiders. Yep - thick hairy legs, huge bodies, and fast as anything. I get the willies just typing this. Ick. Even C doesn't like to smash these, and get this: they actually run toward you when you come after them! To this day, I won't put my feet on the floor when I watch tv after dark in the spring. I sit all coiled up on the couch, one eye on my show, the other scanning for big, black, scuttling spiders. And if I'm alone when one rips by, I just let it go. Listen: anything that willingly comes skittering right at something thousands of times its size that's wielding a big, heavy shoe to crush it, well, that is the definition of fierce, my friend. And I for one am unwilling to challenge guts like that. Uh uh. Nope. Not me. Besides, maybe it'll eat that *&%##@ fly I haven't caught yet...


  1. One more..........


    Live near woods, a creek and let grass grow too high and BAM! Weed wack one and find others under old yard "stuff". No more weeds, No more "stuff" and no more sssssssssssssssnnaaaaaaakes!

    Hubby now calls me INDY....... since me and Indiana Jones have this in common! Creeps me out still writting about this! EEEKS!

  2. Oh you are my soulmate about the bug thing! I am exactly the same way. I HATE bugs...and I especially hate having to kill them. Not because I think they have the right to freedom of life or some weird thing....but because of the squish factor...the sickening "crunch" factor...the "when-i-lift-the-broom- will-it-really-be-dead-or-will-it escape" factor.

    I also share your groans over The Great Wardrobe Debate that comes with spring. I am always wrong. I wear a t-shirt and I freeze. I wear a long sleeve shirt and I fry. I bring along a sweater and I never need it. I forget to bring one and I could cut glass with my nipples. Ugh.

    I also really love the author quote from E. L. Konisberg. :) I should write that out and paste it to every surface of my home, as discipline is my main problem. However, there is also the fear of reader criticism. You know, the people who think that they can say anything to you, being under some misguided notion that you no longer possess human emotion just because you are published.

    There is also the "what if no one comes by my table" fear. I finally get published, I am sitting in some random bookstore with a stack of my literary brainchild next to me, pen in hand, just waiting for my dear fans to request my precious signature. But the moment never comes. I just sit there playing with my pen, counting the tiles on the floor or something while I mentally curl up in the fetal position and cry "why don't they like me?".

    Ok, so this is a VERY long 'comment'...sorry!

    I'm glad I stopped by your site! I found you on My Semblance of Sanity and I am really glad I came by for a look! Would you mind if I linked your site on mine?

  3. Beth, absolutely - a link would be lovely! I visited your site today, and especially liked the post on your son's discovery of a new "toy!"


So, what's on your mind?