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28 January 2002

ants.JPG (9768 bytes) This is what greeted me when I went into the kitchen to make coffee this morning.

We've enjoyed several weeks of an ant-free life. There may be a scout or two who have been ordered by The Queen to see if there is anything good to eat, but the scouts never made it home again, I can tell ya. It's the ant equivalent of suicide bombers.

But suddenly the troops have attacked en mass again.

The frustrating thing about today's infestation is that usually they come because I've left something attractive on the counter. A crumb of bread. A tiny piece of ground beef. An unwashed frying pan. They have incredible senses. One whiff and the nest empties and they all congregate around the tasty morcel.

However, today there is nothing. They just seem to be milling around. They come in at this spot, they march in a mass line around the edge of the sink, and then go back out again.

It reminds me of a picket line.

Maybe they're protesting the lack of food. I looked for tiny picket signs, but didn't see any.

We're having a moral dilemma about the ants today, though. Walt read an article yesterday which says that ants are the mortal enemy of termites and that houses that have ants rarely have termites.

If that's true, this house is going to be standing for a long, long time.

Maybe I should put out a tasty morcel and thank them for their long term of service in the interest of keeping our house termite-free.

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This entry is dated January 28. I wish I could feel something. If Paul were alive, he'd be 33 today. Maybe I've lived through too many emotional anniversaries. Maybe I've finally moved on. Maybe all of this "take charge of my life" stuff is really helping.

You don't, of course, "get over" the death of children. Anniversaries will always bring about a pang. What would they be like if they were still alive? But it gets better. Fact of life. It gets better. Whether you want it to or not.

Paul's birthday was always a Big Deal, not because it was Paul, but because it heralded the start of the big Birthday Season. David has the next birthday--February 4--and I'll be having these same thoughts then too. Maybe even moreso, because David has been gone longer. He's permanently frozen at age 24. It's hard to believe we'd be celebrating his 30th birthday this year. I can't picture David at 30. I still see that youthful grin the last time I saw him, Mother's Day 1996.

But then I can't imagine my sister in her 50s. She would have turned 50 in 1997, but she, too, like David, is permanently frozen at age 24.

Walt's sister's birthday is Feburary 11, mine is the 17th and Walt's is the 26th. Paul's wife, Audra, has a birthday in February too and I'm ashamed to admit that they weren't together long enough for me to have the date imbedded in my memory banks. (I do remember it's February, though).

In times past we'd be planning our yearly AQ&D party celebrating the birthdays of all of us. Now that we don't dominate the birthday year any more, AQ&D seems to have fallen by the wayside.

A part of me wants to feel the emotion that I've felt in the past knowing that AQ&D is changed forever. A part of me is glad that this year, finally, it's not a big emotional upheaval.

Happy Birthday, Paul--wherever you are.

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These Magnets are from Sunshyn

One Year Ago


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Created 1/26/02