I adore spring. But I loathe two things about spring: ants and the time change. Springing forward is absolutely jarring to one’s well-being — mercilessly catapulted into the twilight zone where strange things happen.
This year, on the first day of the time change, I received a text message from my 87-year-old mother out of nowhere. Suddenly she has a smartphone and is using technology — sending me a text! While I was sitting there reading her messages, I kept hearing a scraping sound above the ceiling.
I had been hearing scurrying above our bedroom for a while, but was always too drowsy in the middle of the night to care. But this was late afternoon. I figured whatever had been running around above our heads had finally built its nest and was clawing or chewing its way to freedom where we lived down below. Since my beloved husband wasn’t home, I sent my neighbor a text:
“So … something is in the ‘above’ space … I’ve heard it for a while but today it sounds like it’s going to chew its way through the ceiling into Luke’s room.” I finished the text with about 25 panic-faced emojis.
I instantly shot him another text: “When the man of the house gets back, I will tell him. Just thought I’d let you know in case we come up missing. You might find us in some giant nest, food for the babies.”
His response: “Lol! I don’t know how it would get in there. I think the attic is in the closet in the hallway.”
Me: “I’m just going to shut Luke’s door and pray it doesn’t want out. Egad!”
Me again: “Never. Mind. Leaf on window. BUT … there has been something scurrying above, but it’s probably just a mouse or a gross alien. Either way, if you don’t see us for a few days, bring your rifle.”
His final text: “You’re nuts.”
I blame all these strange happenings on the clock, my good neighbor!
But the ants! Talk about scurrying! I’ve tried traps. I’ve drowned them, used natural sprays, oils, poison they’re supposed to carry back to their nests — they always come back. They are minuscule and mighty, and they know it.
Every spring we live in a Hollywood B horror movie titled “Invasion!” I think if there wasn’t something else making so much noise trying to claw its way out of the ceiling, I could hear the ants marching, ever marching, toward our kitchen counter and sink.
It doesn’t matter if there isn’t one dirty dish left out. It doesn’t matter if I wipe everything down every day, several times a day. They are always coming. Because they can. They are fearless, and they drive me crazy, which I think is part of their sick plot.
It’s much like those who decided that we need to be forced to turn our clocks forward, even though the clocks have been working just fine for the past six months, after we were told to “fall back.” As soon as my brain fog clears, I must dream up a better defense against the troops that just keep marching in.
But that can wait. I gotta grab my phone. I just got another text from Mom.
McClain writes from Greenwood, Ind.