We live at the end of a long, straight, boring stretch of country road on which the speed limit is 55 mph, which ends at a T-intersection. Over the years, cars have driven off the road and into our yard. Just weeks after we moved in, we were jarred awake by the sound of a school bus crashing through the yards and into a tree. No children were on the bus, and the bus driver (who had fallen asleep at the wheel) was only slightly hurt. We started petitioning the state and county highway departments back then, but nothing much was ever done. As a general rule, T-intersection problems are “solved” with rumble strips, which we and every neighbor within a half mile is firmly against, because of the noise.
Our solution, over the past eleven years, has been a 100 watt red light bulb facing the highway. It really has helped, and people stop us all the time to thank us for it (it’s visible on a foggy night and lets drivers who know the area just where they are); even the police approve. The light is on a timer, on at dusk, off at dawn, thus, the electrical cost is negligible, and really, who would put a price on the peace of mind it gives us? Friday evening, the light didn’t go on, and we assumed the bulb was burned out. When Chris went out to investigate, he discovered tracks in the snow leading from the road to the light . . . apparently someone had stolen the bulb.
I know that people who steal don’t give much thought to who they are stealing from and what effect it might have on them. I suppose the thinking is “I want it and I don’t care how I get it”, and they simply take the item and feel no guilt, empathy, or shame when they look at or use the item. For most of us, the guilt and shame would forever taint the item and certainly limit the pleasure we derived from having it, but we can’t count on thieves to do much thinking on those lines. We understand this, but even a theft this minor makes us feel vulnerable and violated. We wonder if we will now have to replace the light more often (the bulbs are around $5.00, and last around six months) as the perpetrators make a game of stealing it, we wonder if those same thieves would also break into our house, we wonder if now is the time to make a stronger case to the state for a solar-powered stop sign (retail cost: $600.00, cost for county to install: $10,000 and up—don’t get me started). We wonder if we drove around town some night, would we find our red bulb lighting someone else’s yard?
While Chris and I enjoy wondering about nature’s mysteries, whether we’ll have good weather when we need it, what it would be like to be independently wealthy, and how we could get that way . . . we are not enjoying the wondering that comes with crime, however minor.
I stand at the window and wave until the brake lights blink three times, and then I close the blinds. It has been our morning routine for over a year. At some point, I started watching him drive away on the highway and saw the brake lights blink again, still sending the signal, not knowing if I was receiving it. I count how many times he blinks: three, six, nine . . . sometimes twelve, before the taillights disappear into the darkness. In the early days, I saw the blinks, but thought he was just testing the brake lights. Then one day, he asked me if I noticed them.
“Sure,” I answered. “Checking the brakes?”
“Saying ‘I love you,’” he told me. Each blink a word, sometimes with bright and lasting emphasis on the last word.
That is the love story I live each day. That is the magnitude of my good luck. That is my great blessing. I have the privilege to be loved by a man who thinks in terms of signs and symbols, cryptic messages, and countless acts of kindness. To be loved at all is such a gift; to be loved by a man who lives to demonstrate how high, how deep, how wide is his feeling—that’s incomparable treasure. That the gift has been bestowed on a pragmatic, earth-bound creature like me is incongruous; I can match the love, but I fear I fail in the presentation. He creates signs. I make sandwiches.
However, for several months a few years back, I was the sign maker. I think it started when I made him a sandwich with grapes–here is a link to the blog about that:
The next day, after the grape controversy, I put a Post-It note on his sandwich that declared “This grape-free sandwich is brought to you by the wife who knows better!!!” After that, I kept thinking of funny things to put on notes in his sandwiches. I started drawing pictures of the cat, creating cartoons of events around the house, and adding silly captions. Chris, in his typical fashion of adoring everything his wife does, saved all of the notes. I’ll share a few here:
The mouse in question in that note makes his own memorable appearance in the blog “Dead Mouse Hunting”:
On Valentine’s Day, it will have been 33 years since Chris slipped a ring on my finger and asked me to marry him. I would have been totally shocked, but he’d been measuring the third finger on my left hand with pieces of paper and string for weeks; more signs and symbols. Nevertheless, having the man you love more than life itself place a shiny diamond ring on your hand is a thrill beyond the element of surprise. Years later, when you watch at the window for tail lights to blink a message, you realize that of all the choices you’ve made in life, saying “yes” to that question was one of the best.
My husband has always been my guide to the heavens. I can’t even count how many times we’ve gazed up at the skies and he has introduced me to a constellation, a star or planet. At times, we’ve watched natural phenomenon, such as the aurora borealis, other times, he’s spotted a satellite, and once, we saw the space shuttle shining in the last rays of the setting sun as it passed overhead. In December, he was my escort to the Geminids meteor shower.
It was 18 degrees outside. I figured it for a two layer bottom (long undies, polar fleece pants) and three layer top (sweatshirt, fleece-lined hoodie, down-filled jacket) kind of night. Chris set up chairs in the driveway for us, and we settled in for the show at about 8:45 p.m. Websites about the meteor shower had predicted that the best viewing time would be from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., with a peak at about 2 a.m. There was a time in my life when MY peak time was about 2 a.m., but nowadays, I peak at around 4 p.m., and am heading downhill by about 10.
Chris saw the first streak just minutes after we sat down. Now we had an idea of where to look in the sky, but really, with meteor showers, you just never know where to look, so you try to “keep big eyes” on as much of the sky as you can. This caused us to slouch down in our chairs, leaning our heads back as far as we could. I commented that we really should get lounge chairs for this activity, and Chris suggested that we head into town right away to find some. I didn’t want to leave the show before it had even started, so we just stuck with our uncomfortable positions and watched the sky. Soon, we had each spotted smaller streaks and one large, green glow worm that had caused us to gasp and grab for each other, asking “Did you SEE that?”
Throughout our viewing, we were a little bothered by lights. We live in a mostly dark rural neighborhood, but there are some bright yard lights across the street, and car headlights shone in our eyes as they passed. We talked about other places where we have watched the skies and wondered if we should try for a darker location with a bigger view of the sky. Finally, after a long lull between meteors, we decided to explore some other options. Chris packed our chairs into the truck and we headed off down the road. He had one place in mind and I had another—for better or worse, my location won the toss, and he drove there. I hadn’t been there in quite awhile, and had forgotten that there were streetlights even on that lonely stretch of road, not to mention no safe places to park. Chris drove on until we were completely enveloped in fog. It was like driving into a garage—one minute, we could see the road and the sky, and in an instant, it all disappeared into darkness.
On the theory that the fog had appeared so fast, it was just as likely to be in a limited area and we could simply drive out of it, Chris continued on . . . and on. It was slow going, and I was a little panicked. We passed a well-lit farmhouse and I wanted nothing more than to pull into that driveway and wait for clear skies, no matter if it took all night. Chris is calm and steady at the wheel in all situations, no matter how nerve-wracking his wife finds the conditions. I was rapidly becoming a basket case, convinced that we were poking along through a farmer’s field, but Chris assured me that we were on pavement, headed for home and in minutes, we would arrive there safe and sound. We were only about a mile from home, but the landscape in fog was completely foreign to me. Finally, we came to a stop sign, indicating that we’d reached the highway, and a little farther down that road, the fog disappeared. The entire drive had probably taken no more than a half hour, but I felt drained from the strain of worrying.
I have no explanation for it, but on a night when the Hubbells wanted to see a pretty spectacular meteor shower, the entire area was fogged in, except for a half-mile circle of clear sky directly over our house. I guess it turns out that Dorothy was right, there really IS no place like home!
I’m thinking of holiday travelers on this Sunday before Christmas. Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve and I hope every one of them has made it safely to their destination by then. If you have moved far away from your family, traveling home for the holidays can be a joy and a pain. Chris and I used to travel to his parents’ home in Duluth, Minnesota for Thanksgiving, but Christmas was often spent with my side of the family in the Twin Cities. . . . except for a few times, such as the remarkable, magical Christmas of 1983.
I’m not good at heeding the subtle signals that sometimes come from within, or the Universe, or God. If anything, I find interference with my plans a great annoyance. Once we made the decision to travel north, nothing was going to stop us; not the weather (minus 16 degrees in the blazing sun), not the broken spark plug wire the day we were leaving (which meant Chris had to make a hasty repair in an unheated garage), not the anxiety over our 1976 Buick LeSabre being able to make the 250-mile trip. We were going, dammit.
When we pulled into Gary-New Duluth, where Grandpa and Grandma P. lived, the wind chill was minus 65 degrees. Our Buick had performed beautifully on the trip (probably in part from a new spark plug wire and the good used tires we had recently bought). On Christmas Eve, it became the family transport, since most of the other cars wouldn’t start. We kept saying “who’d believe the oldest car in the family would be the only one that runs?”
Our son, Jason, was nine at the time, full of all the feisty energy of his age and his position (our only child). It was a great trip for him, with all those cousins he adored close at hand. He had been in charge of packing for the trip, and naturally, he had remembered his latest games and music and forgotten his pajamas. Grandpa P let him borrow a warm set of long underwear, which he modeled for us before bedtime. Jason and Grandpa P discussed household chores at length, when Grandpa P suggested Jason take out the garbage for him. “Well, it’s your garbage,” Jason told him. “Don’t you think that should be your job?” The discussion went on for days (although the garbage mysteriously went out each day). Grandpa P began calling Jason “the G-Man”, which Jason loved, because it sounded like a rapper’s name. The head-butting was affectionate, and the laughter genuine. Grandpa P was the only grandfather Jason would know, and it was great to see them enjoying the experience.
Christmas Eve was fun and chaotic, with family crowded into the tiny living room, paper and ribbon strewn everywhere, the oohs and ahhs over presents, and much, much laughter. Grandma P was in her glory, surrounded by family, opening gifts she had already peeked at, pressing her guests to try this or that treat she had made (she spent weeks baking, dipping, frying, and decorating Christmas goodies). Grandpa P joked with his grandkids, grinning over at his wife from time to time, delighting in how happy all the crazy hubbub made her. It was idyllic. It stays in my memory as one of the best Christmases ever.
Like I said, I’m not good at heeding the little signs we sometimes get, but I think that year, we followed what might have been a pre-ordained path. What I do know is that when Grandpa P died that March, we all agreed that we had been wise to get to Duluth for that last Christmas with him.
I realize that weather, flight schedules, car troubles, work schedules, and other obstacles may make it impossible for people to travel to their families over the holidays, but if you can, take the trouble, make the trip, overcome the obstacles. It is so much better to remember your loved ones with “glad I did” than “I wish I would have.”
1. An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
2. An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.
The tipping point came when I saw the words “you just don’t care about the troops.” It was a phrase too far in a world filled with quotes and aphorisms and opinions and “personal appeals” for support for some cause or another. It is like driving through your quiet neighborhood and finding that someone has erected giant, brightly-lit, and very ugly billboards in all the front yards. My cyber-neighborhood is Facebook, and although I still enjoy the company, the signs are starting to get to me. I wonder if others are thinking “there goes the neighborhood”?
Like everything that eventually comes to excess, it started quietly and with no ill intent. First, there were photos and cartoons. Some were funny, some were thought-provoking, and some contained quotes that were inspiring and hopeful. Sometimes, a beautiful photograph was “enhanced” with beautiful words. Sometimes, the beauty of the piece was marred by misspelling or poor grammar, but that gave many of us a chance to poke fun at the writer. Within the past year, a homelier meme was introduced: solid color background, a graphic piece from advertising archives (the 1950s seemed to be a popular theme), and some sarcastic or humorous comment. I find them, and the art, tiresome.
Some are funny, graphically clever, well-designed, carefully proofread, and what I consider “share-worthy”. I try to be discriminating, because I believe that “less is more” particularly with memes. Can I get a show of hands here: How many of my fellow social media users have blocked posts of friends who post dozens of memes in a single sitting? It’s got to be more than just me. They wear me out! It’s like being corralled into endless small talk with the most boring person on the planet! The memer may be the most erudite, clever, intelligent, and delightful friend you have, but they don’t understand the concept of “less is more” when it comes to memes. They seem to have lost confidence in their own ability to generate an interesting post (or maybe they’re just as tired as I am after wading through a bunch of memes, and hitting the “share” key seems like the only reasonable option). Maybe, as we see this opinion, and that joke, over and over, we lose the ability to discriminate between what we actually like, so we share everything we see. The thing is, you lost most of your audience after the fourth one.
Two of my least-favorite memes (and incidentally, the ones I NEVER share) are the “post this as your status for one hour to show you support for . . . .”). Sometimes, the meme includes the words “this is personal for me” and I think why should I care, when I don’t know who created the meme? I always wonder what the meme creators get out of the product; is there a counter built in to see how much it is shared? Is there a thrill when it finds its way back to their own Facebook or Twitter page?
A newer trend, and the one at which I now draw the line, is the “threat meme”. I dislike manipulation of any kind. I don’t buy under a hard sell. Some memes include vague insults “I think I know which of my friends will share this” (in other words, the doodieheads won’t); or “If you can’t take a minute out of your busy day to share . . . “ (well, considering that at least 60% of us are at work, we might be well-advised NOT to take a minute for anything BUT work). Then there are the ones that put my tolerance for memes right over the top: “If you don’t share this, you can’t say you support the troops” “if you don’t share this, you don’t have a heart”, “if you don’t share this, you don’t care about kids with cancer, abused animals, my friend Howard . . .” etc., etc. I find it pretty ironic that the memes that tell me “the troops are fighting for your freedom” don’t want me to exercise the freedom to choose which memes to share. Threats and insults make for a pretty mean-spirited neighborhood, and it makes me seriously consider moving to a kinder, gentler place where people don’t rely on little boxes to tell them how to feel . . . I wonder where that will be.
Reverb Broads Bloggers
Prompt 5 – What is your all-time favorite work of art/film/musician/book and why? (Prompt by Dana)
This prompt makes me believe that my “thinking cap” is too tight and it itches; therefore, I might have to fly by the seat of my pants and choose the first thing that comes to mind.
Art: I love the impressionist paintings of Monet, the bright colors and light in the paintings of Leonid Afremov, but I have to say that my lifelong favorite art was created by Norman Rockwell. I love his stories of people caught in ordinary life, the serious, the whimsical, the funny. My favorite of his works, however, has no visible person in it, and yet I can say that he painted my mother beautifully. The work is called “Spring Flowers”, a depiction of a back porch in which a gardener has left the flowers she just cut, her work gloves, and her gardening shoes. Those sweet blue sneakers are clear evidence to me that he had been painting my mom when she suddenly had to dash into the house to answer a phone or the call of a child, leaving the artist and her lovely flowers behind. My mom loved to garden, but she never had much time to devote to it, nor a plot of land where she could see her efforts come back year after year. When we rented a house where she could have a garden, she whistled as she dug and planted, and we ate our fill of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and green beans.
Film: “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I was too young to see it when it first came to the screen, but when I discovered it years later, I was captivated by the story, the characters, the choice of stark black and white, and the music. I love movies, and I’ve seen thousands, but “Mockingbird” stays with me like no other.
Musician: I admire people who are able to create music more than just about any other beings on the planet. Music is an odd combination of mathematics, timing, and sounds. I’m not good at math and my timing stinks. I have a nice voice, but I can be what they politely call “pitchy” on American Idol. I find it so amazing that there are people who can sit down to a piano and make recognizable music emit from it. I’m always surprised when someone picks up a guitar and makes the strings sing a song, and I am struck nearly dumb by the singer who can belt out a tune a cappella, on a second’s notice. My son, Ozzie, was able to do all of those things and more. I can’t even count the number of times I sat, awestruck, as he performed. So, I have to say that even with my love of the Beatles and Pink Floyd, my all-time favorite musician is my son.
Book: I read a lot; it’s hard to nail down a favorite. Off the top of my head, it is “Testimony of Two Men” by Taylor Caldwell. I’ve read it many times. The writing is excellent, of course, although I’ve heard from others who have read it that she describes some things, such as décor, in too much detail. In the case of this book, details about the variations in Victorian décor tell the reader much about the character who lives in those surroundings, so I’d have to say it serves a very useful purpose. The story winds and weaves through many lives and a fascinating time in history. I learned a lot reading the book, and was inspired to read more about some of the things I learned. It’s a long read, it can be a difficult read, but I believe that it is well worth it!
Reverb Broads Bloggers
Prompt 4 – What makes you laugh? (Prompt by Laurie)
I was blessed with my father’s sense of humor and my mother’s sense of whimsy; laughter comes easily, often, and without regard to propriety. I might be addicted to it, since I need a daily dose of it. I’m kind of a tough sell, however, on what gets a whole-hearted belly laugh and what gets an obligatory snort. Spontaneous humor: the unexpected comment, the crazy hat, the “did you see that?” of being in the right place at the right time, those are the things that get the real laugh. Oft-told jokes get the polite chuckle or snort, and I’ve always thought they should serve as a signal to the joke-teller that he’s wasting his time on me, but, regrettably, it often encourages more. In fact, that was almost the kiss-of-death before meeting my future husband. My friend told me “he tells a lot of jokes!” and I groaned inwardly and hoped never to meet her comedian friend. On meeting him, I found him funny in spite of the jokes, because he popped a couple of one-liners off the top of his head. Thirty-odd years later, he still makes me laugh, although not always at his jokes.
Over the years, I’ve developed a litmus test for the truly funny: if it made me laugh until I cried, it was truly funny; if it made me pee my pants, it was hysterical. Surprisingly few things that are meant to be funny fit those categories. Here are a few:
Carol Burnett Show: the Elephant Story, an outtake
Carol Burnett Show: The Dentist
Fawlty Towers: The Health Inspector
I’m only providing a link to the first of three parts to this show, hoping that the laughs at the beginning can entice you to watch the other two parts—in the right frame of mind, the end of the show has left me flat on my back, laughing, crying and peeing with abandon.
Prompt 2 – What is your strongest memory tied to music? (Prompt by Sarah)
It’s taken me an inordinate amount of time to consider this, not because I have no memories connected to music, but that it seems ALL my memories are accompanied by music of some sort, and it’s hard to sort them out to the “strongest.” I’ve written about the different songs that played as background music to some movie moment in my life: The unfortunate timing of Paul Anka’s “You’re Having My Baby” with my being pregnant and Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs” while dancing with my baby on my hip, but I’ve been around awhile, so there are many more . . .
I can remember nearly every occasion where I heard some new music that I had to own. I discovered “Grand Funk Railroad” while picketing my high school for a relaxed dress code (yes, kiddies, once upon a time, we had to wear dresses to school every darn day of the week, and the hems of those dresses were to touch the ground when we kneeled, in spite of the fact that the rest of the planet was wearing their skirts a minimum of two inches above the knee, and in spite of the fact that we would have all been much more modest and comfortable if we had been allowed to wear the blue jeans we really wanted to wear! Ooops, still resenting, after all these years!). One of the “bad boys” I had a crush on at the time (he was in a rock band, for crying out loud!) walked by with a tape player blaring the song “Inside Looking Out” and I was hooked. I blew a week’s allowance on the double album “Grand Funk Live” and never regretted it.
At a party in 1971, I heard mysterious music coming from a dark room down a hallway. I followed it, and the smell of incense, to find a black-lit room and the most exotic sound I’d ever heard. “What IS this?” I asked a guy by the door. “Hashish,” he answered, handing me a pipe. “No,” I handed the pipe back. “The music. What is this music?” “Pink Floyd. Meddle.” Until I bought the album, I thought the band name was “Pink Floyd Metal”. From that moment on, Pink Floyd was to be the number one of my musical loves, above even the Beatles in my esteem, and I can attest that it will be a lifelong love, having lasted over 40 years and still going strong.
Perhaps my best memory of Pink Floyd is that the music spoke to my son in much the same way it had spoken to me (although he was much, much younger the first time he heard it), and it was his lifelong favorite as well. The day my husband, Chris, and I put Ozzie’s ashes into the keepsake containers we gave to his friends, I tried several different types of music for the task (silence was much too oppressive and bleak) until I put on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” (one of Ozzie’s all-time favorite albums) and a feeling of rightness and peace came over us. We wondered if he was hanging out with us, listening to the music and letting us know that he was doing just fine . . . and so were we.
The Reverb Broads are at it again! Our goal: three blog posts a week based on prompts from our fellow bloggers.
Where is your favorite place in the world? What makes it so special?
I’ve been on the planet nearly 59 years (counting womb time), and in that time, favorite places have been many and varied (starting with that cozy little womb!). At this point in my life, one of my all-time favorite places is my back porch, which is screened against bugs and has a beautiful view of the Apple River and our garden. I could ramble on about the pleasures of having my morning coffee there, enjoying a good book or a really awful one (that’s how a really nice location can affect your tolerance for bad storytelling!), watching swans take flight in the spring, and geese take naps in the waning sunlight of a fall afternoon. I could . . . but this has me remembering other favorite places.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is the mothership of my people (the Oswald family). I didn’t get to live there long as a child, but we went back for many visits and I never lost the feeling of “coming home” when we were there. Terrace Park was just a block or so away from our grandparents’ house, and it was beautiful and exotic (although a little run-down in the 1960s), with stone steps, the terraces for which it was named, and stone pagodas built at intervals along Covell Lake. The Phillips mansion on the property served as a community center and was where we kids could learn to make leather lanyards and play board games on rainy days. In the winter, the garage behind the mansion housed lions from the zoo, and we loved to roar at them through the bars, although we couldn’t get one single adult in our family to believe they were actually there!
The old movie theater in Bismarck, North Dakota. The seats were plush, the walls decorated with ornate light fixtures and velvet curtains . . . and the movies they showed could bring a young Catholic child to say three Hail Marys in gratitude for a ticket to see “Mary Poppins”. In that very special theater, I saw my father get tears in his eyes during “South Pacific” and I jumped and cheered with my very best friends when the Beatles’ “A Hard Days’ Night” came to town. The next year, we jumped and cheered in our fathers’ shirts, which we had decorated with song titles in honor of the showing of “Help!”
White Point/Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro, California. When we first moved to Lomita, California, in the late 1960s, this beach was a wild, rocky place to explore tide pools, watch surfers who braved the rocks, and see Catalina Island when conditions were right. It’s undergone a lot of changes in the years since, with a paved area for picnic tables, restrooms, and parking. But the tidepools remain the same, with star fish and sea urchins living their lives just inches beneath the surface and pelicans that make their stately flights within a few feet of visitors. I love the sound the waves make as they hit the rocks and stir the pebbles to a song like no other music.
The Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota. Birthplace of my husband, Duluth offers many places that I love. Some of our best memories, however, were made at the Canal Park, where one can watch big ships navigate a narrow canal and head out to Lake Superior and big waters beyond. Chris taught me the trick that captivated me and which we shared with our son and his cousins. Within the Canal Park is a lift bridge that traverses the canal. When ships leave the port, a whistle sounds and counterweights lift the center portion of the bridge, which is an interesting sight in itself, but the illusion Chris taught us brought a whole other aspect to bridge watching. Once the bridge had reached the top and began to descend, Chris grabbed my arm and gestured for me to lay my head and shoulders back on the wall that borders the canal. Eyes focused on the descending bridge deck, I got a sense of falling, and as it got closer, it seemed as if it wouldn’t stop until I was pinned to the wall. It’s very exciting!
The Apple River Access, near Little Falls, Wisconsin. We discovered this hidden treasure of nature in the 1970s, and it has changed very little since then. After a climb down through the woods, visitors are rewarded with a swimming area, and a walk along a river that winds through rocks, creating rapids and tiny waterfalls. It is a place where nature reveals treasures around every corner. Since a quiet little ceremony last summer, this magical place is also where we left a little piece of our hearts.
I hope to have other favorite places as I travel along in life: the Grand Canyon, the Irish countryside, a quiet café in Amsterdam . . . but for now, I think these will do.
It is so ubiquitous in the Midwest that it was the very first insect name I learned as a child, the “box elder bug” is the guilty secret of our otherwise glorious autumn. Often described as a “flying cockroach”, these insects congregate on the warm, sunny sides of structures and try to find ways to sneak into said structures when the temperatures fall. Thus, toward evening, Chris and I are kept busy swatting and smashing the little horrors that have invaded our home. Actually, the preferred method is to simply vacuum them up, but we are sometimes startled into swatting (as I said, they FLY). We have a little hand vacuum that does the trick nicely, although it is loud and scares the dog and cats. During box elder bug season, we keep the vacuum in the living room (our south-facing sunny haven) and have to stop television watching and other activities periodically to “bug suck” . . . seriously.
For the first few days, the cats, Godiva and Zamboni are entertained by the red bugs that fly by so enticingly (they are slower than flies and less dangerous than wasps). The novelty wears off, however, and they become as tired of them as we are. Godiva gamely chased one earlier today, but I suspect she actually caught it and tasted it, because she has since disappeared to the haven of the guestroom. They aren’t really much help with hunting them anyway, since they only want to bat at them a few times and then leave them to crawl up my chair, where I will be startled into screams when one climbs over the pages of the book I’m reading.
I remember thinking they were so pretty when I was little. Such a nice shade of red, with a cute little graphic design on their wings. I also remember that my mother didn’t share my fascination with them, and, armed with a tissue, she would snatch them from the walls and windows with a ferocity theretofore unseen. She’d have enjoyed bug-sucking time. I’m loath to admit it, but I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures and no bugs.