Posted tagged ‘mosquitos’

“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?”

November 5, 2017

Outside is dark, damp and cloudy. A wind blows every now and then and adds to the misery of the day. My heat went on during the night. It must have been really cold as the thermostat is set at 65˚. Before I had pets, I used to keep it set at 62˚ at night, but that’s too cold for Gracie and Maddie. I found that out when I patted them. Their ears and their body fur were cold. That’s why the heat is higher.

Last night, Gracie was panting so much I kept waking up. I did the food, treat, water thing, and she still was panting and moving around. I finally fell asleep around four. When I woke up, Gracie was in the middle of the couch lying right beside me, and my legs were bent to accommodate her. It was another bad back this morning. She, of course, is now sleeping soundly. I am tempted to keep waking her up, but that’s a human response she wouldn’t understand. Besides, she’d just go to her crate and sleep, probably snore too just to drive me crazy.

Even though all the stores are now opened on Sunday just like every other day, I still have a bit of solemnity for the day probably leftover from when I was a kid. I don’t big time shop on Sundays, and I tend to stay close to home. I watch a little TV, usually football, and I often nap. I honor Sunday as a day of rest.

I was browsing through youtube the other night looking for something to watch. I noticed the film choice of Thousand Plane Raid. Seeing that zoomed me right back to Africa but to Niamey, Niger this time, not Ghana. It was Christmas vacation, and I was traveling with a couple of friends. The trip didn’t go as planned, but trips seldom do in Africa. The bus broke down twice. Each time, we had to wait for the driver’s assistant to hitch back to Ougadougou for parts. That put us way behind time so we had to stop for the night at a post office for which the bus carried mail. The night was freezing. It was harmattan time and we were closer to the desert than in Ghana. I had only a piece of cloth to keep me warm, and it didn’t. Anyway, by the time we got to Niamey, I had defrosted. We stayed at the Peace Corps hostel. In those days U.S. embassies showed movies on Saturday nights. We found out where and went to the screening. Yup, it was Thousand Plane Raid. You don’t need to know any more about the movie. The title is the whole plot. That night was the worst. The movie was shown in an open room of sorts with 4 low concrete walls and no screens.  I was eaten alive by mosquitos bigger than my hand. They mimicked the movie and dive bombed in groups to attack me. I think I left before the end of the movie, but I was so woozy from loss of blood my memories just blurred. I only remember the name of the move and the hordes of mosquitos.

“Mosquitoes, how wonderful! No one puts them in cages or makes pets out of them.”

July 1, 2017

I am late again. This time I can’t blame my computer. It is my fault. It was close to 10:30 when I woke up then I had two papers to read and a couple of cups of coffee to drink before I could face the day. Last night I was restless and woke up several times. Gracie was the sleep disruptor twice, the first at 3:30. When we went outside, it was so dark I had to feel with my foot to figure out where we were: the grass or the driveway. Once back inside, I had to read a while before I could get back to sleep, back to my restless sleep. It’s no wonder I’m tired.

Today’s weather is like yesterday’s but with a breeze instead of a wind. The leaves at the end of the branches are waving but only slightly. I don’t hear my chimes.

Summer has officially started. The house next door has its first renters of the season. I heard them this morning. They weren’t loud but the open window a bit above the couch where I sleep faces their small deck and slider. I haven’t figured out how many are there yet, but I think there is only a single car.

My house is dark though the clouds are light-colored, not like storm clouds. I can feel the humidity. I’ve nothing planned for today but I might switch out the spawn eaten lights for the new ones I have. The spawns prefer red for chewing.

We didn’t have many organized summer activities when I was a kid. The playground under the trees on the field at the end of my street was about the only close place to spend a summer day. The pool was another spot, but it was about as far away from my house as you could get and still be in my town. Sometimes we’d bike ride to a pond in the next town and go fishing. The library was another place to spend some time before leaving with an armful of books. Other times we didn’t do anything but stay around the house.

My mother kept the living room dark. All the shades were down. She believed this was the best way to keep the house cool. We didn’t have AC back then, and we didn’t have any fans. Upstairs was a hot box. It took a while to fall asleep.

My father had an obsession about mosquitos. He always yelled for us to close the outside doors quickly; somehow, though, that didn’t work. My father hunted down mosquitos.  They were his prey. He had a rolled-up newspaper as his weapon of choice. He’d jump on beds to whack the mosquitos on the ceilings. He woke us up a lot when the beds rocked as he walked across the mattress swatting bugs. All the ceilings had smashed bug marks and a few splotches of blood. My father announced each kill, each triumph. He was a mighty hunter.

“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.

“Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think”

August 2, 2010

Last night had a fall feel about it, like a September night when the chiminea is lit, and we warm ourselves by the fire. By the time the movie had started, we were bundled in sweatshirts, and I wished I’d worn socks instead of sandals, wool socks. My friends had hoods up and heads covered. A few days ago it was sweltering, and we complained. Last night it was cold, but we still complained. The evening, though, was great fun. I went all out, something I really hadn’t done much in the heat of the summer, and made muhammara and marinated olives (which I hate but my friends love) for appetizers. We had beef kabobs with yellow peppers, rice pilaf and panzanella for dinner. I bought lemon cupcakes for dessert. We wanted a light movie so we chose Pleasantville, and, despite the cold, it was still great sitting out on the deck to watch a movie. I do wonder what my neighbors think.

Today we have been blessed with another beautiful day, sunny and dry. Every night this week  will be wonderful for sleeping, in the low to mid 60’s. The summer is whizzing by us.

We had one table fan when I was a kid. I only remember it because my father tried to fix a blade while the fan was running, and he cut all his fingers. The fan was metal and made a lot of noise as it spun from side to side. It stayed in the living room while we watched TV and in my parents’ room at night. Our bedrooms were always hot, but I don’t remember ever having trouble falling asleep. We were so busy all day long we were exhausted by bedtime.

My father was a fierce hunter. I remember him waking us up when he went mosquito hunting. With rolled newspaper in hand, my father went from room to room trying to kill the mosquitoes before they got us. I guess four kids going in and out gave those bugs lots of opportunities to come inside. My father would stand on my bed and jiggle it as he swatted at the mosquitoes near the ceiling. I’d wake up to hear him announce his latest kill. Sometimes I’d hear him say too late on that one. I knew exactly what he meant.


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