Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How About a Nice Coat of Paint on that Knotty Pine?

“Isn’t this peaceful?” my husband, Fred, asked me as we sat on the porch of our weekend rustic cabin rental.

“No.”  To me, the wilderness is totally over-stimulating. 

From the dozens of chattering chipmunks, invisibly darting through the tall grass like “Predator,” to the twittering birds, buzzing wasps and the annoying rustling leaves, I longed for my serene, painted walls and bird-less, tree-less living room.   

Inside, the unfinished, natural knotty pine look was just as over-stimulating.  I understand the charm of white pine--it arouses the pioneer spirit, the urge to shoot a gun and to eat baked beans.  A room made from this material coordinates perfectly with “Little House on the Prairie” era quilts and furniture.  But the irregular, hundreds of “eyes” on the wood surface make perfect camouflage for bugs.  At night...I know critters crawl out of their deceptive, dark do their evil, woman-frightening work. 

At bedtime, after final inspection and conclusion that the only bugs inside were dead (or at least faking it), it was mutually decided that my daughter, Krista, and I would take the bed and Fred would take the futon in the front of the cabin so he could do “Woodsy-Man Things” like whittle or shave himself with a hunting knife. 

“Mom, that dark spot up there just got bigger,” she said after a few minutes in bed.  I tried to follow her finger to the knot in question, but without my glasses on, the knots were all beginning to look like bats--which, as all women know, are much worse than any unidentified “night bug.”  “Your eyes are playing tricks on you.  Go to sleep.” I said.

“I hear something buzzing!” she cried minutes later, and, in one movement, attached herself to my side like a Koala Bear to a Eucalyptus Tree.

“Something....tickles,” I said and wildly batted at my leg.

Fred, hearing the commotion bolted in, saw the huddled females and grabbed the only weapon he could find--a long-handled, plastic broom. “What?  What’s going on?”
“Daddy!! There’s a bug diving at us up by the light!”  Krista screamed.  

“I’m gonna get it and then you’re going to sleep.”  Fred announced and crashed the broom against a ceiling support above the bed.  The reverberations from the sudden smack caused dust, bug carcasses and the moth he just killed to come showering down on the bed.  Krista and I looked at each other and together screamed:

“OH, MY GOOOOOOOODDDDD!” and rolled over out of the bed still “koala-ed” together at the hip, “Are you CRAZY?” I accused.  Fred, crestfallen, retreated to his man-room and scrounged around for ANY kind of alcohol he could find.  “It’s gonna be a long night,” he muttered.

Next year, we would prefer a wilderness-themed Hotel...without knots, please.


Jenie Dahlmann Altruda said...

Damn that Naughty Pine!!!! :)

Joanne said...

That definitely would have been me! Good job! You succeeded in giving me the creepy crawlies!