July 9th, 2000

Chalkboard

Firecrackers, Date Palms, and Black Widow Spiders

Hi Pals,

Well, tonight sure finished with a bang. Beau got out an old firecracker, called a magic wand, and thinking it was a sparkler, (one of those semi-harmless ones we all miss being able to light at night, and watch trail sparks through the dark), set it on fire in the kitchen with the gas flame on the stove. Good plan.

Of course it erupted in staccato bursts of gunpowder and we all came running from our respective rooms. The house filled with dark grey acrid smoke. Beau was so scared, he had gone into shock when it started exploding and threw it down on the cheap Formica flooring. There were fifty or more splayed out marks of black soot in a circular pattern on the floor, and about three or four nice little melted spots.

Coco thought the electricity had somehow gone bad. I thought my man Scott was desperately trying to get some fresh air, by roughly pulling open the vertical blinds. Beau thought he was going to die. Poor Beau. Poor us. Poor funny old ugly floor.

I won't kill things. Even dangerous things that could bite and hurt you. It just feels wrong. I mean we're all just trying to survive and rarely do the kinds of things that poison us ever seek us out for an attack. Bees lose their stingers and die. Snakes, well, I don't know enough about snakes. But it doesn't seem likely that they slither around looking for people to sink their fangs into, or spit at their eyes. Now spiders, well, spiders scare me.

Ever since Charlotte's Web I think they have all have big hearts, deep feelings and little families they hope to hang out with. Yeah I know, it's called, oh shit I know this word so well, onomatopoeia, transmogrification, Mississippi, ha, ha, ha, no. Ah well just another example of one of the many fine side affects of antidepressant medications.

So when we finally arrived here late last night, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the prospect of safely eliminating six, no lie, six, big, fat, juicy black widow spiders. Yeeeeeeeeeee, not nice. The problem for me of course is how to get the spiders away from the house without harming them, freaking them out into biting them or releasing them anywhere near people or other animals they might harm. I failed pretty miserably and the spiders won, at least until Wednesday which is the first appointment I could get with the very popular exterminators. I don't want to kill them, it feels so wrong, but it kind of comes down to them or us, and I have to protect these little kids. Baaaaa, not baaaaaah like our beloved goat mascot, but baaaaa, like oh baaaaaa, shoot, damn.

I love it here though, despite the relentless heat and sun, the bugs, and the long distances you have to drive to get anywhere. I love the desert creatures; the bunnies, the road runners, the birds, the bats, the little ground burrowing desert dwellers, the big horn sheep, the crickets and the cicadas. I love the way the mountain look in the early morning and in the evenings when they become pink and then purple. I love laying in the pool at night looking up at the stars framed by the palm trees.

The kids are having a blast, literally. They're so excited about this big pool. I'm using my screwed up laptop. The one some big Tahitian baggage handler crushed. I have pieces of a screen to view things through. Kind of like looking at the world through a very basic kaleidoscope.