Under the Big Top: Termites

termite-tentIt began with the car. First a traffic ticket and then I dinged a poor guy at a stop sign. Next came the body….a few weeks ago I got the shingles (Take normal pain, and multiply it by the kind of numbers astronomers use….there you have it.) And the recall business with the mammogram. And now it’s the house.

Sometimes the universe attacks from all sides at once.

I reached down to touch the odd-looking place at the foot of the sliding glass door in our bedroom. The painted surface crumbled under my fingers. Even as a serious amateur in the house construction biz I know that is bad bad bad.

I’m thinking dry rot.

Turns out I am right, but not completely right. We have a bonus of….termites! We live in a termite-prone area. Common wisdom, at least according to termite fixers around here, is that you need to have your house tented every seven years. It’s been ten years for us.

The scramble is on to get ready for “tenting”. The chaos is a cross between turning your house inside out and moving. Plants far away from the house, Food into huge plastic bags that they PROMISE will keep the poison out. Medicines into the bags, toothpaste, anything that goes into your mouth. Even food in the freezer and refrigerator. Turn off the ice maker.

And of course Christmas is next week and I’m trying remember everything…..gifts go into the car NOT into the big plastic bags. Dog food also goes into the plastic bags. ATM machine. Sweaters into my suitcase. Dogs in the car. Cards into the mail. Incoming mail into the suitcase. Suitcase in car, not in plastic bags. Breakfast? Everything is in bags, so I run down to Noah’s.

Giant plastic bags are all over the house, like the house is a homeless person.

And tomorrow the house itself goes into the big plastic bag.

I’m tired.

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One Response to Under the Big Top: Termites

  1. Audrey says:

    Yes, termites are persistent critters! I was being a conscientious home owner by having my home termite inspected every year to keep them at bay, but there’s more to it than being conscientious. I thought my chair with wheels had damaged a board in my office, and so I called Big Mike, my trusty workman who refinished the oak floors some years ago. When he lifted the board, he told me I have TERMITES!! I was shocked since the inspector had only been here a few months ago. The first round of poison in a trench dug around the room on the outside did not kill them and so they had to be sprayed directly–that got them! Now they are gone, at least temporally, and I am no longer naive to think my home inspection is a guarantee. I’m sure they will be back as they have been here far longer than us humans. But I hope not too soon!

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