Ahhh, contentment. This was a picture I posted on Facebook as we settled into our cozy new spot in the bluegrass state. A few hours later I was a ruthless fly killing machine! The sound of these little buggers buzzing in your ear, landing all over your food, and swarming the dogs like dairy farm livestock is enough to drive the average person crazy. However, I happen to live with someone who possesses a deep-seated aversion to winged insects. He has been known to spend hours before bedtime with every light on in the camper stalking these bacteria spreading vermin with an OCD fueled intensity. He will not rest until they are all terminated. Many a morning I have awoken in horror to a sink full of tiny mangled carcasses! Gag me with a spoon…
I have come to a point with my blogging where I feel comfortable enough writing about anything and everything. As long as the subject matter pertains to family life and fulltime traveling I feel it’s a relevant topic to explore. It seems people enjoy hearing about the good experiences along with the harsh or difficult realities. And since my husband Pete already exercised full disclosure with his “issues” in Dear Lilly, this frees me up even more. Free enough to share both of our quirky pet peeves and neuroses.
They say marriage has its peaks and valleys. We sure have had our share of both throughout the years. As of right now we have been blessed with a season of peaks as we transverse America sharing so many experiences with each other. That is not to say that living 24/7 in the very tight quarters of an RV and being put in stressful, unfamiliar situations does not get the best of us at times. Here’s a little glimpse of what I mean:
Recently, I was packing for a long trip through the muggy South and we were to be traveling at night. Pete came outside while I was busy playing pack-it-up-Jenga with our limited space in the Excursion. He immediately started complaining that I had all the truck doors open during, “Mosquito happy hour”. Back and forth we bickered. I asked how I was supposed to pack without opening the doors. He was obsessing over the fact that the interior lights were on attracting blood sucking creatures of all shapes and sizes and I was hastily moving things around to fit. When we finally hit the road, he made us drive with all the windows open for the first 20 minutes creating a vacuum like suction to expel them from the vehicle. The kids were all screaming and complaining about the wind tunnel, papers were flying about the cabin, and I was wondering to myself, “Is this normal?”
Ahhh, contentment captured in a simple photo on Facebook. But this… how do you capture such spontaneous mayhem? It’s all part of the memories I guess. The trying times, the silly inconveniences, the price for living a traveler’s lifestyle.
When that photo was taken it really was contentment that I was feeling. We completed the long drive and just finished setting up our new spot and it was simply beautiful. Plus the air was a perfect 75 degrees. But we soon realized that the gorgeous view of the horses in the meadow comes along with the flies from the barn. Every time the screen door opened they swarmed in by the dozen. They would sit there waiting for some unsuspecting child to fling the door ajar and welcome them into our little home. The camper was soon besieged with buzzing, landing, irksome flies.
Pete suggested fly paper. He said he used it often in college. I had no experience with it at all. I came home with a box of ten strips. Pete quickly stretched them out like decorative streamers all around the camper. They hung from the antennae crank, light fixtures, and from open cabinet door handles.
Me: What? Are you kidding me? You can’t hang those here in the middle of the camper. I’m going to walk right into them and they’ll get stuck in my hair!
Pete: Trust me, this stuff works. But, you can’t let it touch anything. It ruins everything it touches. It has to just hang here and they will come, oh yes… they will come!
Me: Can’t you thumbtack them near the corners at least? Not in the middle of the camper.
Pete: I’m not making holes in the ceiling. I know what I’m doing!
Me: Um, this is not ok!
An hour later the fly tape in the middle of our camper had captured 7 flies and the ones in other areas had captured about 4 or 5. So I will give him the satisfaction of saying that his strategy was very effective.
Pete walked me up to the shower and on the way back said, “Watch out for the fly tape.” (referring to the one hanging right in the doorway). I said “ok”, but with my 2 second attention span forgot by the time I stepped inside and was abruptly greeted with a piece of fly tape right across my face. SERIOUSLY! Gross! Please, someone tell me why this stuff is so unnecessarily sticky? A fly could stick on a piece of scotch tape. Why does this crap need to be THAT sticky? We agreed to keep the tape up until bedtime and then throw it out.
After breakfast the next morning, I emptied some leftover cereal in the garbage. It was from one of those plastic children’s bowls with the straws attached. As I shook it into the garbage the bowl came up with clumps of gooey fly tape attached to it. Washing the adhesive off of the plastic was maddening, Grrrrr!
And as I sit here typing, Bear looks like a lion dozing contently on the plains of the Serengeti surrounded by flies. He will occasionally flinch or swat his tail, but it is clear that he has surrendered to their unrelenting onslaught. Oh flies, you have got the best of us. We are moving out on Saturday!
Facts About Flies
Flies have 2 eyes with up to 4,000 smaller “eyes” within them.
They can smell things up to 750 yards.
Flies are the only insect with 2 wings – all others have 4.
Ewww, they vomit on their food before eating it.
Flies defecate every 4-5 minutes.
They can fly at a speed of 5 mph.
A sticky glue like substance is produced at their feet to help them stick upside down.
The housefly “hums” in the key of F.
Flies can carry many, many pathogenic bacteria that cause typhoid, T.B, gangrene,cholera, diarrhea, amoebic dysentery, bubonic plague, leprosy, scarlet fever and yellow fever… So I don’t feel bad swatting them!