Lifestyle & Culture

A Weekend in the Country, Stephen King-Style

April 5, 2015


IT IS 7:30 IN THE MORNING and my husband is noisily exterminating ladybugs with his Shop-vac. Everyone thinks of ladybugs as so cute, adorning such things as baby quilts, knee sox and Vera Bradley quilted bags. At our house they adorn just about every surface,iStock including outside and inside all light fixtures, around doors and windows, on the toaster, inside the microwave oven and even on the top of my head as I write this. As soon as Mitch clears away a cluster, more of them show up. What fun!

Sadly, while he was distracted by the vacuuming, and having begun preparation of the morning coffee, Mitch neglected to put the glass carafe in place and so the coffee came streaming onto the newly installed white tile counter and bright white cabinets, all just painted and cleaned by a professional service, and dripped onto the newly installed wood floor where it settled in an oozy, black puddle of mucky grounds. And kept coming until paper towels and said carafe could be found, but of course they could not since “someone” had moved them. (We share this place.)

Arriving late last night in a driving downpour for a supposedly relaxing getaway at our vacation house in upstate New York, I’m pretty sure we made a wrong turn somewhere around Claverack and ended up in the Twilight Zone. Besides the ladybugs there are squirrels living in the walls and floorboards. This has been true since early fall, when we discovered black walnuts hidden all over the house, sort of like an Easter egg hunt for the criminally insane. Naturally we called Orkin to come and work their magic; it cost nearly a thousand dollars, but they did make the nuts disappear. Unfortunately better magic, which would include getting rid of the actual squirrels, costs more.

So we called Orkin again and they came last week, leaving a note on the kitchen table–also covered with ladybugs–that says, “Performed a thorough inspection and found two holes that were not found on the original inspection because the foundation was covered with snow. Captured and removed one red squirrel from multi-catch trap by back door. We will be back on Monday to rewire and rebait them.” So now we have several little prison boxes around the perimeter of our house with freaked-out squirrels inside, rattling the bars and squeaking, “Guard! Guard!” in their little squeaky language. If only I could tell them to relax, they are in a Catch and Release program and not on Death Row, I’d feel better and so would they.

The imprisoned rodents go nicely with the three dead fish we found first thing this morning floating on the top of the lovely little pond right outside the kitchen window, naturally covered with ladybugs. This is the saddest of all as we had come to think of them as our pets, feeding them and naming them. (The fish, not the ladybugs.) Now we have a lot to do to get this place in shape since friends are coming for dinner and the husband told me emphatically that his wife does not like fish, dead or alive. (We’re having chicken.)

–Andrea Rouda

Andrea Rouda blogs  at   “Call Me Madcap!”

*In an e-mail, writer Andrea Rouda notified MLB that the name of her blog has been changed to Daily Droid.

One thought on “A Weekend in the Country, Stephen King-Style

  1. Nancy Gold says:

    Good chuckle!

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