Creepy Crawly Creatures


I love the outdoors. That’s why I prefer to walk around the neighborhood, in almost any weather, rather than join the local gym.

I love nature. That’s why I try to avoid stepping on bugs when I’m outdoors.

But my love of nature is not unconditional.20130619-080431.jpg

Creepy crawly creatures, which are part of nature, belong outdoors. When they occupy my indoor space, especially my bedroom at camp, I will do what I deem necessary to reclaim my territory.

I know that my spouse and children will read that last sentence and react with disbelief, because when I’m home I try to avoid this distasteful task. In fact, my younger daughter usually protects our home from six-legged and eight-legged invaders. But at camp I am alone in my room, and I must be brave.

I feel obligated to reiterate that I love nature when it stays outdoors.

There was a creepy crawly creature in my room last night. I saw it moving pretty quickly down the wall and sprang into action. I grabbed my sandal from next to the door and simultaneously turned on the overhead light.

Perhaps it would have been more prudent to slam the shoe against the wall and get a closer look at the bug after it was rendered motionless. I think that split second when I reached for light switch cost me a decent night’s sleep.

Nature came indoors in the form of a miniature scorpion, about an inch long, with a furry, dark-brown body and tiny pincers that would definitely leave a mark on my tender skin. I couldn’t count its legs, as they were moving too quickly. Just as I drew my arm back to swing, it arrived at the chair rail and lodged itself in the crack of the molding.

Turning the shoe toe-down, I tried to reach it. I slammed once. Twice. The bug stopped moving, but I knew I had missed. I turned the shoe heel-down and tried again to kill the invader. I realized that my attempts to rid my room of this creepy crawly creature were futile.

On my way to turn out the light, I glanced at the bug’s safe haven only to find it moving again; it crawled behind the mirror.

I prayed that it would continue its journey along the molding to the door.

Then I crawled into bed.


4 Words


You may have heard that, even as I settle comfortably into my mid-forties, I’m experiencing the normal maintenance required by the human body in its dog days of summer. Grateful for my reasonably good health until now, I did not complain being fitted for new multifocal lenses and I suffered the replacement of several cracked molars with good humor and grace. It was only this last incident–symptoms of a potential tear in my retina–that blew the door to my anxiety closet wide open.

The thing that I noticed lately is that all of my doctors have been cushioning the blow of their diagnoses with the same four words. These four words so rankle: “As you get older…”

“But, but I’m NOT older,” I sputter at them.

I don’t actually sputter. I keep my indignant reply inside my brain, safely ensconced by my aging skull.

It’s not the physicality of my 40’s that makes me feel older. Not entirely, at least.
It’s the physicality of my children’s adolescence that really stupefies me.

Watching my kids grow older and wiser–through the lens of my healthy retina–and realizing that they are preparing to move on to the next stages of their lives, I can feel my youthful maternal joy transforming into something different.

“As you get older…”

Many good things happen as you get older. Life happens.

I think I’ll add four words to my doctors’ mantra.

As you get older, you appreciate life more.


Summer Newsletter


I know I’ve been prompt replyneglecting my post(s), and I apologize. I’ve been writing and accepting teaching assignments for the fall, so there is much news to share.  If you want to catch up, be sure to subscribe to my quarterly newsletter.

The next edition will arrive in your mailbox on June 10th.