We have acquired our first tick. He (or she?) is in a plastic cup with a trivet on top. (This is in case an infection ensues – we can have the tick examined for whatever disease it might carry.) I found her (let’s assign a gender) sucking blood from Eric’s back the other sunny afternoon during “tick inspection.” As I extracted her, expertly I might add, utilizing my super-bionic myopia and a pair of tweezers, I found her “who, me?” attitude particularly annoying. Someone asked me how on earth a tick got onto Eric’s back. I guess this person thought he had been rolling around in the woods naked – which would not be that large of a stretch of the imagination, actually, so enamored of the woods is he – but, no, ticks are wily. They make their way very, very sneakily up your pant leg or down the back of your shirt, until they find an opening to a juicy, fairly hidden spot, where they can quietly park, and enjoy a meal “on you.”
So here’s the thing – yes, I am trying to practice “living in the moment” and “not sweating the small stuff,” and all that jazz, but it’s hard to do when people keep telling me things like there are now ticks that can kill you within fifteen minutes of latching on. As if Lyme disease were not bad enough. (And it is horrible.) So although, for months, I worried about catamounts, tigers and bears, oh my! – not to mention bobcats, coyotes, fisher cats, and Sasquatch, for pity’s sake, it turns out something the size of a match head (or smaller), something I could crush with my bare hands without even realizing it, is the real monster of the woods. Hooray! I thought worrying about Eric being taken down by a hunter’s bullet while ecstatically skipping through the maple trees, was a good use of my time, but now I get to worry about ticks. Way more of them in the woods than hunters, that’s for sure. And we haven’t found one single bear, catamount or Big Foot to keep in a plastic cup. But we already have a pet tick!
Eric keeps telling me to stop obsessing about ticks, already. He asks me randomly throughout the day, “Watcha thinkin’ about, Babydoll?”
I’m not saying the romantic honeymoon of living in the woods is over. However, it does have its apparent small, but mighty, challenges. And I guess you can get all manner of diseases from tiny mosquitos and chiggers (whatever the heck THOSE are), too. The mini-menaces of the Vermont woods. Oh, and the other night I got up, per usual, to go potty in the wee hours (no pun!), and after that, came out to the kitchen to have a drink of water. Keep in mind I was not wearing my glasses, so my aforementioned super-bionic myopia was in full force. I glanced out the kitchen window while sipping my water, and two eery, greenish, ghostlike orbs about the size of grapefruits appeared, blinking and seeming to float across the back yard. A shiver went up my spine. Was someone out there with a couple of flashlights? Was it some sort of vehicle from outer space?? (Living in the back woods, we are the perfect target for aliens, right? “Officer, I swear, it was green with a big, bald head, and it asked us to take it to our leader!!”) I ran back to the bedroom for my glasses, and when I returned, the two “orbs” were simply reflections in the kitchen window of two tiny, green pinpoints of light from my computer, resting innocently on the counter.
Just waiting for Sasquatch now.