Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Front Porch Massacre

Saturday dawned. Recklessly,I swung my legs over the side of the bed and got up. Something had to give. I wasn't taking this lying down anymore. Under stress I usually do one of three things.

#1 Bake something yeasty. Never underestimate the power of therapeutic thumping.

#2 Clean something. I mean, really clean. To within an inch of it's life.

Or, most recently

#3 Blog something---the more banal the better.

Saturday's stress relief of choice was #2. Armed with a broom, I headed for the front porch.

Our front porch is probably my favourite part of this house. We have comfy chairs out there, and a variety of bushes screen it from the road. If you can't find me in the house, or out the back, I'm sure to be on the porch, reading, sewing, or writing. If you come over for tea, we can sip it out there.

But not in July and August. Way too hot. That's when the spiders move in and set up housekeeping, twelve feet up on the ceiling. Wasps like to build nests there, and Daddy-Long-Legs abound. The Bean has been sneakily taking over more and more of the porch space with his seedlings, and saplings, and cuttings, and graftings, and watering cans, and rooting hormone......

Enough! Saturday morning I am a woman on a mission. Out to reclaim control of at least this small corner of my life. From spiders, and wasps and budding botanists and mis-aligned planets.

Hmmm. The best place to start, I reasoned, was the ceiling. So.... Step out of the shoes, onto the chair, steady now. Another step up to the table. Reach, sweep, move the table, repeat. Of course it took longer than I expected. Doesn't everything? No problem though. I had no train to catch.

I did feel a little twinge to be causing such consternation among the ceiling residents. All those sentient beings. On the other hand, who wants a sentient, or any other type of being, rappelling down to settle on one's muffin?

Another implement had to be employed. One with a sharp edge. To dislodge the strongholds, which appeared to be made of petrified mud, of some other determined insect. I had to admire their skill and the strength of their creations. No need for them to have hurricane insurance.

I approached one wasp nest with trepidation, unsure whether or not it was still occupied, telling myself I'd better be nimble in case I had to escape in a hurry. It was empty. But what a fascinating piece of work! What makes us think that we are the cleverest inhabitants of the planet? I'd give a lot to have the unerring instincts of a bird, an insect or an armadillo. Sigh.

The truth is I'm not so shallow and self absorbed as to think that the events of last week mean the world is coming to an end. But they do parallel other events, or non-events, in my life, and the lives of people I love, which I am powerless to do anything about. I want my superpowers back. Now!

BUT! I am a fearsome force with broom in hand. The daddy-and mommy-long-legs didn't seem too concerned by my clean-sweep efforts. They just moved a few feet away and resumed their nonchalant stances. But their teeny tiny boy- and girl-longlegs progeny were scattering in every direction, probably squeaking, a la Chicken Little, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

Now it is Tuesday. And the sky has not fallen. The porch looks nice and inviting again. Spiderless and swept.

The birds are singing out there. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. The leaves are rustling. And best of all, Fall is coming. So I'll quit my bitching and count my blessings.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

I often think when I am clearing away spiders from my ceiling that they live or die on the whim of a creature they cannot even comprehend.

Does this mean that I am God to the spiders?

Ali Honey said...

Maybe it's just as well "things," get us going or the porch would turn into a cave.

I enjoyed your cleaning binge...maybe the mud house was a mason bee if you have those?

Birdydownunder said...

I often think the Big D L Ls have a bigger mummy or daddy thats gonna come and get me. Funny you clean up for Fall (autumn) I am cleaning up for Spring.

Anonymous said...

Nature is so very clever if you take the time to stop and look!

meggie said...

I have been in Springclean mode too.
We dont seem to have any spider lately, but dust is always lying about thickly, waiting to be inscribed!