One of the boys informed me the other day that chiggers always creep up along the underwear line and other discreet places because their bodies are so tiny that they cannot burrow into the skin without having some sort of resistance. In other words, they aren’t looking for a hidey spot, they just go where you have clothing already pressing into your softness, and they use it to burrow their own frail bodies in for a snack.
Those poor, frail chiggers! You almost begin to feel a little sorry for them.
This week I must’ve fallen into hostile chigger territory, because I’ve been eaten alive while cleaning the barn and burning trash. They didn’t even bother to crawl to the underwear line (too much information), so they must be the stronger, hardier breed. It’s made me sort of miserable. I’ve held off from the work to recover a bit.
I imagine there are all sorts of bugs living in those pillows, sheets, and clothes that have been rotting away in the loft for decades. I touch them with gloved hands and I never hold things close to my body, but I’m going to be more aware of it now.
The old barn loft held lots of hay back in its day which was then forked down to the horses in their stall. There’s still mounds of hay amid boxes of Christmas decorations, thousands of discarded toys, bottles of perfume. I wonder what the folks were thinking when they boxed up Grandma’s old eau de toilet and Christian Dior powder and heaved it up into the loft.
We’ll deal with this later—?
It gives whole new meaning to the wise words of Jesus, lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
Also the parable about the barns…what was it? A man who kept building bigger barns to store more things inside and told himself, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years..”
But then the Lord told him he was foolish—the man wasn’t thrifty, he was a greedy hoarder, and tonight he was going to die, so what good was it after all?
I think about those stories every time I go into that beautiful red barn. And I also wonder what good it is to try to clean up such a huge mess—after all, what if I die tonight?
(I am staying far from Ecclesiastes, trust me. I certainly don’t need to hear about how cleaning up old messes is meaningless.)
Martha left behind a typewriter and even a page still attached in the scroll. It says at the top,
Martha Martha Martha
One mistake after another its been a long time since I have typed anything.
She was just getting warmed up when she quit.
That’s exactly how I feel about the barns in this moment.
But I am finding treasures still, and I do enjoy smelling the old perfumes and spritzing them. The dog usually moseys over and sneezes disapprovingly. I am reminded these folks lived in the time pre-deodorant, and I respect the fact that they packed the cologne in its original packaging, tucked discreetly inside bedpans. (From what I’ve learned, bathrooms weren’t plumbed into the house until the seventies.)
We made a video on preparing and eating giant sunflowers, if you’ve ever wondered about those sort of things. Truthfully, I don’t think it’s exactly delicious, but it is fun, and a novel experience for the under-12 crowd.