Thursday, May 12, 2011

Love is in the Air

It’s May, and in Central Florida love is in the air. Literally. And on the ground. Crawling on walls. Clinging to window screens. Swarming our cars. Splattering on our windshields. Dissolving our paint.

What kind of love is that? Glad you asked. It’s the love bug. Also known as the March fly, although why I do not know since they take flight twice a year—in May and September.

In late spring and early fall, adult love bugs swarm up out of the grasses and mate. The male dies, but the happy couple remains co-joined while the female flies around for a few days. Blech! Adults live less than a week, but I have to tell you, these little buggers are the bane of my existence while they’re in flight.

They don’t bite—thank goodness—but they have enough heft that if you walk into a cloud of them, you know it. My advice? Don’t swat. They leave a nasty stain. They’re attracted to heat, and hover in huge swarms over the roadways, making it a good time of year to own a car wash. Or a radiator shop. Many a car owner has faced expensive repairs after bug bodies clogged their car’s air intake.

Talk about a love gone bad.

Some say love bugs were a present from my alma mater. But the story that they escaped from a UF science experiment is only urban myth. They actually migrated up from Central America, passing through several southern states before finding Florida's moist climate to their liking.

Lucky us.

All that being said, I simply don’t like them. I don’t like bugs in general. I hate and fear spiders. And love bugs make my skin crawl. Which I can handle, I guess, as long as there aren’t any love bugs crawling on me.

Love bugs crawling on the wall outside my office made me close my window blinds.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


When I think of my mom, I think of her love of family, her cooking and her flowers. She passed away eleven years ago and it’s especially nice to remember her on this day. When my brothers and I were grown with families of our own, we always wanted to take her out to eat on her birthday and Mother’s Day. She did not see this as a good thing. “What’s wrong with my cooking?” she would ask. Somehow she took it as an insult so we gave in and let her cook.

I would go out early to help because it was supposed to be her day. She had a large vegetable garden and all the fresh veggies and new potatoes were to die for. That was her joy – cooking for her family. We never again asked to take her out. We showed up with presents and enjoyed the day with her. Now me, you take me out to eat and I’m a happy camper.

My mother also loved flowers and her yard at this time of the year was always blooming with color, especially roses. Easter lilies were another favorite of hers. They were red and white and covered a whole flowerbed, just gorgeous.

This winter was brutal here in Texas. I brought the plants in from the patio that I wanted to keep. A couple was looking bad so I left them. Of course they froze. Something green came up in one of the flower pots. I thought it was a weed. For some reason I didn’t pull it out and it kept growing and then a bud appeared on it. I was intrigued. On Friday it opened up. It’s a white Easter Lily. I have no idea how it got in that pot on my patio. I had a weird feeling, as if my mother had sent it. It’s a strange coincidence, but it makes my Mother’s Day.

How are you spending your Mother’s Day? I’m going out to dinner.

Have a wonderful day.

Aug ’11 – The Texan’s Secret