Thursday, July 22, 2010
Insects are the topic of the week
Here's a little blog secret: Joanna picked this topic because she's so Zen she can catch a fly in her hand. Right out of the air. I'd like to see the Karate Kid do that. When you have mad skillz like that, girl gets to brag.
The only insect I feel any kind of emotional connection to is the praying mantis. I remember staring at one for what seemed like hours when I was five or six years old. It was so elegant. The color was subtle, beautiful green and sometimes disappeared into the grass around the house. I spent all that time trying to coax it onto a stick. I was convinced that this bug had a fast track to heaven because of all the praying it did. Yes, the nuns had messed with my mind.
Until I was twelve, we lived in a tiny house in Niagara Falls. Six, seven, eventually eight, of us in a thousand-square foot 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch. It may not surprise you that us kids were sent outside. A lot. We spent our days in the streets, at the local parks, walking to the candy store to buy cigarettes for our parents. Ah, the good old days. The boys spent their time on the high speed, which was what we called the train tracks that ran along our neighborhood. My friend's grandmother was killed at the crossing when she was hit on the way home from the grocery store. In my pea child-size brain, I thought she'd been buried right under the asphalt along with her milk and produce.
No one in my family would have thought it weird if I'd managed to capture the praying mantis and bring it home. Strange pets were the norm. A giant old tortoise showed up in the driveway one day in a dented tin wash bucket. We had him for a while, although he wasn't very interesting. The way I remember it, he just sat there. Until he wandered off.
We had garter snakes. And by we, I mean my brothers. They were about the same green color as the praying mantis. Hmmm...I never made that connection before. That was well before Hakuna matata, you understand. I knew nothing of the Circle of Life. Except what the nuns had told me and that seemed to involve being very, very good all of the time.
Well,while I may not be able to snatch a fly out of the air like Joanna, turns out I can write a blog post about an insect. Ta-da! Thanks for the challenge, Joanna.