I have been working on our fixer-upper home for six-months and have run into several challenges along the way, all unexpected developments. The last hurdle was something you might call ordinary but it certainly surprised me. On Thursday afternoon, just over a week ago, I arrived at the property to put on some finishing touches before the final move from the mobile into what was to be our new home and was surprised by a cloud swirling about the garage door. I left my car and walked closer to discover that the cloud was a swarm of termites and many were crawling into the garage through the multitude of gaps available.
Well, I quickly unlocked and threw open the overhead door, grabbed for my gallon container of insect poison, began spraying, and did not stop until I had the upper-hand. While inspecting the carnage I discovered dozens of pairs of discarded wings next to the wooden lathe stand and became worried. The lathe had been my younger brothers and when my older brother brought it to me I noticed and he confirmed that it had once had a termite infestation. The previous infestation meant that there were already openings and tunnels in and throughout the 4×4’s that comprised the main structure.
Because of the weight of the stand and the lathe itself I was unable to move it and had to wait for the arrival of my wife. Between her and I we unbolted the lathe and lifted it to the floor and then rolled the wooden stand into the front yard where I cut it into pieces with my sawzall and loaded the debris into the garbage can.
As I inspected the unfinished garage for more of the tiny denizens I realized that the wooden stand likely acted as a lure that had enticed the insects with a ready made development and prevented their settlement elsewhere. And for that, I was grateful.
Swarming in nature is a common occurrence and not just for insects. Birds swarm, fish swarm, and sometimes even people swarm. Lately, I have realized that there are swarms I never thought about before as, for example; the swarm of tragedies that has beset our family of the past year culminating in the unexpected death of my mother last week. Or yet again the swarm of nightmares that awakened me in terror no fewer than seven times this past Sunday night while on an overnight campout with the grandkids and family.
There have been swarms; termites, tragedies, and nightmares but now that our home has been made ready and we are finally moved in I am hoping for some completely different swarming. Even though there is much more to be done with our new home, like finishing the garage for one, I am expecting more swarms, but of a more pleasing nature. Swarms of writing, composing, piano, guitar, woodworking, and who knows, maybe I’ll even get my sketchpad out of mothballs, work on my stamp collection, or maybe even do some modeling.
May your own swarms be always filled with joy.