Wednesday, January 23, 2013

the beetle in our bathroom

OK, after my rather elongated navel-gazing last post, I realized what I was trying to say is encapsulated in a poem by a woman I think named Elsie Langstrom called "Song to my other self". Neither of which--her name or the poems name--I could find anywhere on line. But today, I realized where I read it: in a book called Our Many Selves. So, I went to Amazon and found the book and ordered it, paying for express shipping, so I hope to share that poem with you soon.

After all that and a trip to the Y where I walked for 2 miles on a treadmill and read a book called The Beautiful Mystery, which is really good, I came home to take a shower.

When I opened the shower, there was a beetle in the middle of the floor in the shower. I'd seen him a couple of days before and wanted to keep him going so I put him in the sink while I took a shower. After my shower, I put him on the floor (it could be a female beetle, I realize) but he/she wandered off toward a little hole in the wall. A house built in 1850 has lots of places beetles can squeeze through.

But, after all, what is a beetle doing in our bathroom when it it 8 degrees outside? Where did he come from and what's the chance she could stay alive until spring? I don't even know how long beetles live. And, by the way, I'm not even sure it's a beetle. It's about an inch long and has a triangular head and a square body--but, not knowing what it is (and knowing it's not a roach of any kind) I wanted to give it a fighting chance. How did he/she get in the shower--the door is always shut when it isn't being used...?

Lot's of thing to ponder about this bug that has ended up, on the coldest day of the winter, in our bathroom. Well, if you were a bug and were in our house, which we keep at 65 degrees, I guess one of the bathrooms would be the best bet where there might be some steam and an electric heater for taking showers. So s/he is showing some intelligence.

It is very cold. When I went to bed last night the thermometer on our back porch read 6. When I got up it was 4. I don't think it got above 12 all day. (All those are Fahrenheit, by the way, though the Celsius reading make it sound better.)

I just went downstairs and had a cigarette and saw it was 4 degree (-21 Celsius) so the Celsius readings don't sound better at all! Which reminds me that I'm personally glad that the US never accepted Celsius and Metrics. It never made sense to me and I'm gratified that it is only +4 rather than -21 right now. And the Australian tennis Open, which I watch from time to time since Bern watches it pretty much all the time, records the miles per hour of serves in the metric system, which makes less than no sense.

But I was writing about the cold. I don't  mind the cold nearly as much as I did when I was younger. When I was younger, I loved heat. People would say when it was 92 or so (which honors heat better than saying it's 34 degrees Celsius) "Is it hot enough for you?" And I would answer, "Hell no! And I'd like a little more humidity!" When I was young, I loved to sweat and steam.

But now, as I'm a senior citizen (I got 15% off a pair of jeans today at Bob's because it was Wednesday and I'm over 55...) it's no big deal to go out in 4 F/-21 C to have a cigarette. I even say a little longer to look at Jupiter and the moon with just a hat and a wool sweater.

So, it seems to me, I'm not a typical elder person. I wouldn't live in Florida for a million dollars (well,maybe $1,000,000 but not by choice). I'd move further north though Connecticut suits me fine. Not so hot as some places and colder than many.

I grew up in an apartment in Anawalt, WV that didn't have central heat. We had a warm morning stove in the living room and a wood/coal stove in the kitchen. But both were 25 feet or so from my room. So it got cold during the winter. I would turn my electric blanket up so high that when I woke up in the morning, my pajamas would be pressed. And our bathroom wasn't heated at all except by a kerosene heater that covered your wet body with little black dots when you got out of the bathtub--no showers in my childhood. So, I was cold a lot back then.

But now, 65 degrees seems pretty warm (and I have lots of hats and sweaters) so the cold, I suppose, just isn't as big a deal as it was earlier in my life. I've even started calling it 'brisk', the way real New Englanders  do (though I'll never be, really, one of them). I actually like the cold better than the heat, so go figure.

But I'm still pondering the very existence of that bug I call a beetle. I'm glad to keep rescuing him, but what in creation is he doing in our bathroom?

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.