As I sit outside and try to swat bees off of my beverage, with a fly swatter, it reminds me of the downside of this wonderful season…BUGS! Ants start invading our patios, kitchens, and dog food bowls. Spiders come out of their hiding areas and into our living areas. Fruit flies, that have been missing all winter long, become prevalent on the fruit. I've always been confused where fruit flies come from. Do they fly south for the winter? I guess technically, they're small enough to fit under your door, without being spotted.??.. But then there's the house fly, that irritate EVERYBODY, for at least 6 months of the year, and longer if one has been fed well, in the cold months. They are especially bothersome during a summer nap. I have gone to the extremes of wrapping my entire body and face with a full blanket, risking suffocation, in hopes that I won't feel a fly land on me, tickle my skin, and awake me from my slumber. However, it seems like even if I stick my nose out, just a little, to score just a bit of that fresh oxygen, almost every time, the fly finds the flesh.
I used to be one of those people that would flail my arms, scream, and run around in circles, at the ice cream shop, just to get away from a rabid bee. My head and neck were always further back than my body, because it couldn't catch up to the speed my legs were going. I would never allow myself to look this foolish now. I've even been able to befriend 3 borer bees, that are as big as hummingbirds, and living in my backyard. Still, my defenses remain on guard, because just when you think you've figured a bee out, you haven't! A couple of days ago, when picking my kids up from school, I saw a wasp nest in the walkway, where the children exit the school. Fearful for the children's safety, but too scared to move it myself, I told another mother next to me (who is also my friend), that we should move this before someone gets hurt. Clearly, I meant for her to do it. To my horror, she just walked up to it, without using caution, and picked it up! I was prepared to run if I had to, but there was no need, because when she turned, with a giant smile on her face, she said…..”it's styrofoam!!! Thank god the kids were safe!!!
I've gotten better at handling bugs, but my fight or flight response still kicks in, at first sight of any one of these little insects. My first response is to scream, usually for Renee, but sometimes the kids, who all are savers of these dreadful creatures, and always say “Don't kill it”. A couple of years ago, I saw the most gigantic spider I'd ever seen. It scared me so badly, that I froze, and started screaming at the top of my lungs, “HELP ME! This is an OUTRAGE! If you're NOT going to SPRAY for bugs, hire an EXTERMINATOR”!!!!!! Annoyed, and with her eyes rolled back in her head, Renee, as SLOWLY as possible, comes to my rescue again, kicks the spider, and in a matter of fact manner says “IT'S A LEAF”! All I can say is thank god we didn't have this size of spider running loose in our house.
Another time , when I was home alone, I saw the second biggest “real” spider I'd ever seen, in my kitchen sink. It had big brown eyes, that moved every time I moved. I was determined to be brave so I gathered all the supplies. Fly swatter….Check. Garden gloves… Check. Long sleeves…check. Water pitcher…check. Something to protect my neck..check. I was definitely prepared, and I tried so many times to get near that sink, but I always ended up on my kitchen table, looking down to see where it went. Finally, I had to shamefully call my neighbor to come and get it for me. I tried to make a good case by saying “I can't be expected to go on with the rest of my day knowing that thing is roaming the house, you've just got to come”. She basically told me that she didn't have time for this nonsense, because she was baking. She assured me that if she got time, after she was done, she MIGHT come over to help. I knew she wasn't coming. So I got back to it. It took another 15-20 minutes or so of alternating between swatting it with a flyswatter, and spraying it with the kitchen sink sprayer, which was extended to full capacity, so I could do all of this while standing on the kitchen table, in case it lunged at me. I smiled, knowing after all this hard work, the battle was finally over. I then looked around the kitchen, to see water dripping everywhere. Not only had I been throwing water from my kitchen table in to the sink, from the pitcher I was still holding, I had also sprayed way more than the spider. Right as I was recognizing all the clean up there was to be done, my back door opened and I heard “I'm here”. We both looked at each other, with the same thoughts running through our minds. I know I had to look ridiculous, but I felt pride, not embarrassment. All I could say was “I killed it”!
I think I am slowly overcoming some of my phobias, a little at a time. Just last week, I flicked a jumping spider off of my chair, with the real flesh of my finger. I'm healing by leaps and bounds already…..