Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

House Fatigue

Especially during the harsh sunlight of summer months when I look around our house I see, on a bad day, only the areas that need work.  Popcorn ceilings.  Tiled counters.  Faltering appliances.  Tired blinds that are older than my now grown children.

Charm and character?  Nope.  The backdrop of our fond family memories?  That's what photo albums are for.

I walk from room to room and all I see are dollar signs, projects never started, days to weeks of living with construction noise, mess and chaos.  It feels like tackling any one small thing will only serve to highlight the many other big things yet undone.  It gets to be overwhelming in a hurry.

Ugh and oof and pass me another drink.  Not one of those "here's an inch" restaurant drinks, either.  I'm talking a glass filled with something.  Stat!

The cherry garnish in this cocktail of my discontent was a recent nighttime mis-adventure.

The Hub and I are old enough to have joined company with Paul Simon. We don't expect to be treated like a fool no more and we sure enough don't expect to sleep through the night.

Recently when The Hub flung the covers off in an especially vigorous gesture that had his arm slamming up against my right-up-until-that-moment totally somnolent body, I was initially and immediately angered.  I have enough trouble falling asleep at night. Waking the other person up thoroughly violates well established getting up to pee etiquette.

"Hey!" (I thought but did not speak. Silence is baseline strategy in the maybe I won't wake ALL the way up game.) "You don't have to throw the blanket off to get up to pee!".

Judging by the way the Hub hopped up out of the bed and then began to brush himself off vigorously I knew before even reaching full-alert status that this was not your regulation bladder-call.

I resigned myself to wakefulness.

"Did something bite you?" I asked wearily and somewhat unsympathetically, without making a move.

"Yeah" he said.  "I think so..".

At this point he was lifting up the light quilt we use during hot weather months to get a good look at the presumed malefactor and I realized I was still recumbent merely inches away from whatever it might-have-been that may-have-bitten.

Suddenly I was fully awake, adrenalized. I performed my own ungraceful leap up out of bed.

Lifting my side of the cover, we both spotted what first looked like a little round spot, about the size of a pencil eraser.

I pointed.

"Is that IT?"

He nodded.

"It's a scorpion." he said.

"No it's not!" I replied emphatically because I really really wanted that to be true.

The little dark dot unfurled and...yeah.  Of course it was.

A scorpion.

In our bed.

With us.

While we were asleep.

Fast forward eight and a half minutes. After arming myself with the usual plastic food container and spatula scorpion-wrangling combo, said scorpion had been stunned, contained, and transported to take the wild water slide into city sewers that is the preferential exit point for all conquered scorps.

I don't want them dead.  I want them dead and gone.

I was standing there, panting, spatula still in hand as I realized I was alone.  The Hub was back in bed, and by the sound of his breathing, already nearly asleep.

Fully adrenalized, I sat at bedside, shakily petting our cat, scolding her for not being a typical hunter-protector when I needed her.  I waited for the pounding in my ears to subside.

I worked to convince myself not only were the chances of there being two scorpions in our bed on the same night way past astronomical, but we had thoroughly investigated said sleep platform and visually confirmed: a la Zelda Rubenstein's famous line in Poltergeist, this bed was clean.

It took me several full minutes of interior encouragement dialogue ("you can do this", "you saw for yourself, nothing else is in there" "it'll be fine") before I could get back under the quilt.  Time crept by as I timidly approached the concept of closing my eyes. Ever. Again.

I'm fairly sure it was another good half hour beyond that before I gingerly,  s-l-o-w-l-y and fully extended my legs back towards prime scorpion real estate - the bottom third of the bed.

I surprised myself by falling back asleep fairly promptly.  But before I did, my last thoughts ran something like this: "I am so over this house.".


Anonymous said...

I am fairly certain I would never sleep again if scorpions were involved. Then again, I'm from scorpion-free Canada. And I'm going camping in beat country next weekend...whee!
Seriously, great post. And we have similar house issues.

TexasDeb said...

Karen: Welcome - thanks for dropping in. I'll admit - bears - even the idea of bears, freaks me out. Scorpions I can step on. Bears? Not so much. Here's hoping your camping trip is bear-free.