“What’s next – locusts?”
That’s what a friend said to me last week, after hearing about the computer viruses, the broken down car, the hole in my son’s ceiling the night before we were leaving town, the air conditioning that died and required repair – twice, water pouring into my bathroom through a light fixture, the return of critters scampering in the rafters.
Not exactly the ten plagues, technically speaking. No blood, no boils, no hail. As for the plague of darkness, does walking the street at midnight count, searching for someone – anyone – to lend a hand?
It gives me pause. Pause to wonder what next, pause to ponder how I incurred the wrath of gods of any sort, and all wry histrionics aside, how I’ll manage. My daily plate of crazy keeps getting crazier. And single motherhood + home ownership = constant headache.
Money means maintenance
I know. A house requires maintenance. Like a vehicle. Like the human body.
And all of that takes money.
The root of all evil? Don’t think so. More like a necessary part of life. The means to maintain a home, health, raise kids the way we want to. Surviving recession means you take shelter – literally – in a house of cards. Sometimes credit cards. Sometimes a trick deck. And in this case, my house of cards appears to be inhabited by poltergeists, sniveling spirits, and Murphy over Moses.
I’ve always taught my sons that persistence pays. Of course, that’s a euphemism. It’s actually stubbornness, but I’m going for positive spin.
I’ve moved boxes, hauled out bags of trash, and I’m chipping away at critical organizing activities. I’ve been taking care of business in all those nooks and crannies of life that aggravate us – paperwork, cleaning, emotional obstacles. Of course, my back feels like a tow truck ran over it, and one arm is only partially usable. But it will pass, and I’ve been basking in attacking these tedious tasks. And getting somewhere.
So two nights ago, when a swarm of insects invaded through a pair of closed windows, all I could think of was my friend’s remark.
Not locusts. Carpenter ants.
That was followed by more woeful wandering in the dark, eventually ringing a doorbell and asking for assistance moving a 200-year old piece of furniture that I couldn’t budge. Right in the path of the marauding little monsters.
“Hello, God? Plague control department, please”
Yesterday morning started with tears (frustration, anger, exhaustion), one plaintive “when is enough enough?” and then adulthood: the delights of phone calls and price quotes from pest control services. (Have questions about critters? Boy do I have answers!)
And yes, the overloaded credit card will be hit again, as the rescue team heads this way in a few hours. I’m hoping they arrive in superhero costume (or Biblical robes and staff?), and they’ll certainly be bearing traps, potions, ladders and other tools of their trade as they hit outside, inside, attic and basement.
Pearls of positivity?
Meanwhile, I’ll look on the bright side.
- Maybe the bug busters could also feng shui my rooms.
- At the very least, they can mark my door to be passed over. Or perform an exorcism.
- I now know the name of one of my neighbors, and his wife.
- The ants didn’t get into the old wood.
- If I count carefully, I may have maxed out on the plagues.
- If I need to, I’ll count the car twice, the A.C. repair twice, and there’s always hexadecimal.
Ever feel like you can’t win? Like you want to throw in the towel?
I’m not a violent woman, but I’m ready to take that damn Murphy’s tablets, smash them over his head, and cram them down his throat.
Go on. Give it your best shot. I’m not going down. Stubbornness, remember?