Friday, March 23, 2012

open doors, open windows

The old house had a large screened in porch on the back, just off the kitchen. A nice 14 x16 room. I grew there... on the porch... and it was the bestest place to be.  The house itself was an old Queen Anne... not a particularly nice one, but it had that porch that we pretty much lived in all summer and fall.  We ate meals there, watched TV and when the weather was hot in the upstairs rooms, we slept there... us, the kids.  It was the all purpose space.  The only rule was, in my mother's admonished words every time the back  screen slammed, was "don't let the bugs in".  She could be on the porch or in the kitchen or living room or anywhere and when the door opened she would intone...." close the door, don't let the bugs in".  Letting bugs in was something my mother feared. There was always a fly swatter at the ready.  Bugs will fly around, annoy you, steal the bakery... and possibly leave muddy footprints on the clean floor.

But no matter how careful you are, bugs do get in.  I have bugs in the eyes... and I have to get them fixed.  It is what it is.  A friend I know has the cancer bug.  Lotta trips to the hospital.  It is what it shouldn't be.  Another acquaintance... her husband had a stroke and things are not good. Bugs get in.
And old Buddy called last week.    His mother had died.  She was 90 and things had not looked well for weeks. But, he said, " My parents were born on the same day.... two years apart.  They died on the same day.... ten years apart."  Sometimes, when the door opens, more than bugs fly in.  Maybe.


 The green has struck my part of the world.  It has been exceedingly warm... almost a month ahead of a normal growing season and everything is turning green.  The lilacs are sprouting, the daffodils are blooming, the tulips emerging and lawns may need mowing in a few days, even.  It has been good to open the windows and feel the cool spring night creep in after dusk.  No bugs.  Not yet.


Got the word last week that LT had died.  Not sure about the what's and why's.  He had settled down in the Virgin Islands many years ago and I would only hear from him from time to time, mostly if he had had a few drinks and he wanted to talk about the Packers or something.  He lived though, as if everything was a screen door to slam open..... I know he left a lotta bugs in.  He really didn't care all that much whether he did or not.  Maybe I do.  Not sure yet, and in some respects... I do not want to think about it much.  I just want to leave my windows open.

10 comments:

Sue said...

Sorry about your friend, Jim...

I love your screened porch story. I want a porch just like that so bad, but it'll never happen. Shoulda done it yrs ago...

I'm the same way about letting the bugs in, it drives me crazy and I'm always screaming "shut the door"! Flies congregate by the back door, I hate them!! My fly swatter is close by all summer..

We cut grass today for the first time, and bugs are everywhere...Spring is here and summer is coming quickly! Gotta get the AC units in the windows fast!

Sherry Peyton said...

Oh bugs, lots of bugs in the woods. Lots of bugs when you got a passle of animals. Sigh...sorry about your friend. I'm moving to get away from the bugs. I wonder if I will succeed?

susan said...

I too am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Bugs do get in but it seems to me that some people are so busy building screens they forget to look out the window. It sounds as though LT reached the conclusion it was best to share the air with them.

Alecto said...

Open the windows, open the doors... if you need the fly swatter now and then, so be it. If the chickens periodically come in the house and roost on the kitchen counter, shoo them out. Oh wait, you don't have chickens. Maybe you might like a chicken or two? Just a thought.

I'm sorry about your friend. Hugs.

okjimm said...

Sue... about LT... he used to say, "some people treat their bodies like temples.... I treat mine like an amusement park." it caught up with him.

Sherry, Susan... open windows are best...even if the bugs do come in.

Alecto... ha....nope... no chickens for me.... but there are mice in the basement I was thinking of domesticating. Does that count?

Beach Bum said...

Awesome story! Given the stuff that has happened for me personally I have to figure some bugs getting through is the price I have to pay to appreciate life.

Not including mosquitoes, they are a scourge from God, like frothy Rick Santorum.

Snoring Dog Studio said...

I left the screen door open when I started writing a blog. But more than bugs came through. But now I have these new friends who get sick and hurt and have awful things happen to them. I guess you've got to take the icky bugs along with the butterflies, because I've made some great friends. Lovely post, Jim.

Leslie Parsley said...

As I began reading, memories of our own screened-in back porch surfaced but we were more likely to hear, "Don't let the screen door slam behind you." I'm sure there were admonishments not to let the bugs in as well but I don't remember them as keenly, probably because I flew in and out so fast the bugs didn't have a chance but everybody heard the door slam each and every time, including the bugs and the neighbors across the ally.

You do have such a way with allegories, Jim. They always have a way of yanking one out of their comfort zones. I'm truly sorry about your friend. Leave the windows open but keep the screens in.

Larry said...

Learning to live with bugs ... not always easy but many things in life are not. Many things of course are and it seems like you found one of those in your back porch view of the world.

okjimm said...

Dear Bum....ya, dat Santorum sure is buggy.... pass the bug spray.

SDS...screens? for Windows? Whoa... what will they think of next! Thanks for the kind words.

Larry... better bugs than snakes I'm guessing. But then, Snakes can't fly...... unless you have too many beers.

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