Posted tagged ‘flies’

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”

September 19, 2017

The window by my head was open. When I first heard the rain falling, it was so gentle I thought it might have been a breeze rustling the leaves, but when the sound continued, I knew it had to be rain. It stopped and started again and again, and that’s been the morning. I opened and shut the window a few times as the dampness was chilly. Finally I grabbed the afghan and left the window open. Gracie joined me and we both fell back to sleep.

Tropical storm conditions are expected on the Cape within 36 hours. What is left of Jose will bring rain, 2 to 4 inches, and heavy winds of around 65 MPH. The surf will be high,  and there will be rip currents and coastal flooding. I’m going out to the deck later to take down the decorations hanging from the trees. I’ll leave the bird feeders until the last. I have to go out later as I have no dog food. She had her morning can but will be looking for more this evening. Besides, I need bread.

The flies are still here, but their numbers are far smaller. I see two on the ceiling in this room, and I killed four buzzing around a dining room window pane. Three others were set free. They had been on the door screen. This was quite the infestation. I’m trying to figure out what offense of mine has caused such wrath.

It is a dismal day, a dark day. I need to go to the library as I have finished the books I got last week, and I can’t imagine being housebound without books and snacks. Need I mention chocolate?

From when I was a kid, I only remember hurricane Carol. I suspect there were probably more but Carol was so exciting it still hangs around my memory drawers. I was too young to notice damage or destruction so I only remember the wind and the pelting rain.  I watched out the picture window as the trees bent and the tops of the bushes seemed to touch the ground. After Carol moved on, we went outside. The streets and the yards were filled with debris, mostly branches. Some of the leaves still on the trees had died; they were shriveled and brown. Some of the trees had healthy leaves on one side and dead ones on the other.

Tomorrow is my Coffee day off, but if Jose lives up to its hype, I’ll keep you updated.

“An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out.”

May 27, 2017

We have some blue sky and a sun which can’t quite make up its mind about coming or going. It is also chilly, not a morning chill: it’s just cold.

My dance card is empty today. I do have some Gracie stuff to wash but nothing else. Yesterday’s amazing spurt of industry has left me with nothing needing doing except to put my banners and flags on the fence.

The lawns are green and lush from the rain. Even the leaves seem to glint in the sun which seems to have made up its mind and is staying for the duration. I’ll go on the deck later and empty the water from the furniture covers hoping they’ll dry so they can be put away for the season. Next week is buy my flowers and open the deck week.

My neighborhood is eerily quiet for a Saturday. Once in a while the dogs across the street bark but usually at Grace and me walking to my backyard. I don’t know where all the kids are, but I’m glad they’re missing. I’m happy for the peaceful morning.

My around the house cozy pants have permanent creases from sitting down when I wear them. One crease has given way. I didn’t figure sewing it would work as it wasn’t torn so I did the next best thing. I duct taped the worn area.

Some of the best things I learned in Ghana were to make-do, throw nothing away and repurpose. Tires became soles of shoes and sandals. Beer bottles were filled with palm oil or groundnut oil for sale in the market. Cones made from newspapers held rice for sale. In the butcher’s market, newspapers were used to wrap meat being sold. That mightn’t sound all that healthy, but the butcher’s market was filthy anyway. Newspapers might have been a step up. I always think it’s amazing what I learned to ignore or tolerate during my time in Ghana. Water with floaties (our word for whatever was in the water sold in beer bottles ), food from the street vendors or from the tables of aunties (older women) who were selling along the sides of the roads and, my favorite, eating in a chop bar ( usually a hole in the wall with a few wobbly tables and mismatched chairs serving local food) never gave me pause after my first few months of Peace Corps training. I even shooed flies off my food before I ate it and sifted my flour for as many weevils (small worms) as I could get. The rest just became protein. All of that became a part of life in Ghana and didn’t merit second thoughts.

The tolerance and forbearance I learned are forever a part of me. I admit my standards are definitely higher now, but I’m not squeamish about most things. I still flick flies.

“To lovers of adventure and novelty, Africa displays a most ample field.”

July 31, 2015

And the heat goes on! Today is just a bit better than yesterday, and tonight is supposed to be cool. We did have some rain last night around 11:30. I don’t know how long it lasted. I know it was small rain as I was outside on the deck watching Gracie and barely got wet.

A large fly was inside the house yesterday. I hate flies. I suspect this one was logy from the cold because when it landed I was able to sneak attack and whack it with my hand. No more fly!

I wish I could describe the excitement I had when I was flying over the Sahara on my way to Ghana. It was like seeing my geography book come alive. I almost couldn’t believe it was the Sahara below the plane. It seemed more like a dream. Seeing it got me even more excited because it meant we were getting closer to Ghana. I had no idea what to expect from Ghana. The books I read had described the country, but then it was my imagination, my mind’s eye, which conjured the way I thought it might look. Exotic came to mind. A place different in every way from the familiar was the overwhelming thought. In many ways I wasn’t wrong.

The first few days were filled with eye-opening sights. The compounds, not houses but compounds, had tin roofs rusted by the rain. My whiteness was an attraction. Everywhere I went a parade followed. I met a chief, a real African chief. All the sights, sounds and smells overwhelmed me. I couldn’t process fast enough. I almost needed to pinch myself. I was really in Africa.

One of the first lessons I learned in Ghana was not to have expectations but rather to take everything as it came. I didn’t grouse about what I didn’t have. That was the key to living happily. I didn’t like the flies and I wasn’t thrilled about peeing in a hole, but they were part of life for me. I swatted the flies and aimed well at the hole. I came to love Ghanaian food and wore dresses of Ghanaian cloth. My sandals had soles made of tire rubber by the man in the market, sort of an outdoor cobbler. I rode in crowded lorries and buses and ate food sold along the roadside. I never gave any of it a second thought. I was home.

Sometimes even now I am amazed I went to Africa. I can’t remember what made me at twenty-one willing to go, to leave everyone and everything behind me. Whatever it was, I am forever thankful.

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana”

July 13, 2015

If someone knocked on my door and handed me a plane ticket, I’d take it in a heartbeat even with the destination unknown at the offering. In the last year I have traveled to New Hampshire, but that wasn’t a trip. It was a visit. The bug is getting itchier. I am in my saving mode so I can get somewhere. Ghana in a year is a possibility. I’d like to go back one more time though maybe I’ll wait for two years and treat myself to a 70th birthday trip. I’d add on a stop or two probably going rather than coming. I’ve always wanted to go to Timbuktu. It was the most exotic name I’d ever heard when I was a kid. I didn’t even know it was in Africa. I’d add on a safari but that’s drifting into dreamland. I’d have to live an austere life to save enough money which would be difficult as I like creature comforts, good food and a night out now and then. I guess I’ll have to give my destinations a bit more thought and work on keeping that travel bug under control. I do have a back scratcher.

I like today. It is less humid and the sun isn’t overwhelmingly hot. A few clouds cover parts of the sky. They are white grey, nice day clouds not rain clouds. A small breeze appears and disappears.

One of the plagues of Egypt returned. I had left a trash bag beside the car in the morning a day or so ago anticipating going to the dump. When I didn’t go, I put the trash in the trunk so nocturnal creatures wouldn’t open the bag and strew the trash about. The next morning I opened the trunk to add trash and a swarm of flies flew out of the trunk right by me. I’m not talking a few flies. I’m really meaning a swarm. Yesterday when I got in the car, more were buzzing around. I opened all the windows then went back into the house hoping the flies would be gone when I returned. When I got back to the car, there were a few lingerers. I kept the windows opened and some flew out but a couple needed my help. Now for the gross part of the story: I found dead flies on the back seat of the car, lots of dead flies. I hate flies.

Saturday night was entertainment night at my school in Ghana, and I remember one particular Saturday night. It was movie night and a USAID rep had left a cartoon for my students to view. It was about keeping bugs away from food and people. One sketch showed a fly stopping at an outhouse pile and then flying away with a bit of the pile on its legs. The fly’s next stop was food on the table, and it flew away with clean legs. The message was to cover your food to protect you from diseases. My students didn’t get the message. They were too enthralled with the first cartoon they’d ever seen. They thought the movie was a wonder and they clapped. They liked the flying, buzzing fly best of all.

“I’ve just been bitten on the neck by a vampire… mosquito. Does that mean that when the night comes I will rise and be annoying?”

May 27, 2014

Yesterday was a weird weather day. It was cloudy then sunny then rainy then cloudy and rainy again. We ate outside under the umbrella. I could hear the heavy drops over my head and loved the sound. The rain didn’t last long, but the clouds hung around the rest of the evening. Today is really warm and the sun is playing hide and seek: disappearing and then returning. The prediction is for rain and the cloudy skies make me believe it.

The Cape was filled this weekend and the line of cars waiting to leave over the Sagamore Bridge stretched for miles. The paper today was filled with glowing predictions for the summer based on this weekend. I groaned a little, but that’s the price to pay for living here. I knew it going in so any complaints are just from frustration, useless at best.

My world is turning green from pine pollen. My voice is already raspy and I cough. The windows are closed as I’m trying to keep the pollen at bay, but I am Sisyphus with a dust cloth instead of a rock.

I grew up in summer darkness. My mother kept the shades down all day so the house would stay cooler. We didn’t even have a fan to push the night’s hot air around, but most times we kids were so exhausted from playing all day sleep came easily despite the heat.

I have these wonderfully funny memories of being wakened up at night from the bed rocking and finding my father standing on my bed trying to keep his balance as he chased down mosquitos on the ceiling with a newspaper in his hand. My father was a bit obsessive sometimes and flies and mosquitoes were among his nemeses. He wielded the fly swatter with perfection. The fly would be stationary, and my father with swatter in position would sneak up on it, swat it and then throw away what was left of the fly. Sometimes he’d have to clean the ceiling or the lampshade or worst of all, the kitchen counter. He kept count of his triumphs, “Got it,” was his summer refrain.

“If you know something can go wrong, and take due precautions against it, something else will go wrong.”

June 7, 2012

We actually caught a glimpse of the sun this morning. It was a fleeting glimpse but still heartening.  It seemed a perfect day to get out and clean my deck for about the tenth time, but clouds have appeared   so I’ll wait a bit hoping for a return of the sun. Last week I bought a new pump for my fountain. I couldn’t connect it because I needed new tubing so I went to the hardware store, one of my least favorite shopping spots, and bought some. Now I can’t find where I put the pump. I have checked the usual spots and come up empty. I hate getting older.

The bird feeders need filling so that’s a good task for today. I saw a cardinal pair the other day, and I’d like to keep them around so I’ll bring out the seed and get busy.

A fly is buzzing around me and the house. I hate flies. I like to whack them with rolled up newspapers. Fern also likes to catch them, but she is sleeping on the couch and has no interest in any activities. When I was a kid, we had a Woolworth’s turtle which lived for years in a lagoon on the kitchen counter. The lagoon was plastic and had a resting spot in the middle with a tiny fake palm tree. That turtle loved live flies so we’d stun them and put them in the water, and the turtle would go right after them and scoff them down. We’d always watch. When the turtle went to his reward, we buried him in the small grove of trees just below the last duplex on the street. We used a metal box to put him in. On that spot where the trees were is now apartments for the elderly, a place my father always called wrinkle city.  I’d like to think the turtle’s tin survived and is still buried somewhere under the grass.

I will make a concerted effort to find that pump because I know if I buy another, I’ll find the first. I consider that one of Murphy’s Laws because it happens to me all the time.

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