It is simultaneously the most glorious time of the year here, and the most dreadful. We finally got to the warm and get let out of winter-jail. But because it’s also Mosquito Season, we get grounded back to our house to look at it from the inside. Sigh.
Because of the short growing season, our plants and all things green show up literally overnight and grow like they’re tropical! Our apple, cherry, and plum trees are in full blossom. The days are in the 70’s and 80’s all of a sudden. The air drips with the scents of lilacs and promised fruits.
But with that, the blood-suckers have arrived en masse, and we have to survive it to get to the beach. What I mean is, the beach is calling and will soon be one of the most heavenly places on earth and like everywhere else, there is a price to pay for the beauty.
If given the opportunity to live anywhere else, Kauai wins the game in my opinion, but the prices to pay for living there are too high. To me, it is too vulnerable — that tiny little jutting-up piece of land that lives threatened and isolated. The cost of living in the forever-summer states: hurricanes, ridiculous heat half the year, and too-big-spiders.
The price for this place is winters and bugs. And the worst of them all, mosquitos.
We arrived six years ago, almost to the day. My sweet man had JUST and I mean just, left ICU from Henry Ford Hospital. We almost lost him, (for the story, start HERE <—) and our determination from fighting that epic battle to get here, has no other words to describe it, but epic.
Because he was in no condition to drive, and because we had to close on our house up here, I had to drive our box truck on the twelve hour journey. It is, to this day, one of my greatest accomplishments. There simply wasn’t room for an I can’t. We arrived late in the evening and parked the moving truck in the driveway and I sat there, beyond exhausted with literal hordes of mosquitos surrounding the truck windows like a literal plague, and I wondered what in the heck we had done. Was this place even habitable? How did one survive this many bugs?
I am 100% convinced that one could perish from mosquitos in the woods here. They swarm by the thousands and they fly up noses, in ears, in eyes, and bite through thick clothing. The native Americans that first settled here, did not settle here, rather choosing the coastline where the breeze keeps the nasties at bay. But we settled here. Deep in the deeeeep woods.
Here’s how we survive:
- No windows or doors are opened unless it’s midday or very breezy outside.
- Don’t go out past about 4:00 PM or pretty much anytime in the morning.
- We broke down and bought hats that double as a personal screened porch!
- We literally sit with electrified tennis rackets in our living room. We have six of them, and we each bring one to bed at night. My sweet man and I sleep in one of our guest rooms where they aren’t as rugged. If we sleep in our own room which seems to be the favorite of every bug, we literally use a bug net over our bed for the entire summer.
- We have a little device that burns the crap out of your skin if you have a bug bite. Made in Germany, this little device is sweet torture. 20 seconds of burn is indeed, better than days of itching.
- We are on a quest to find a bug spray without DEET that actually works. We ordered $50 worth — all different kinds — and they arrive this week. I’ll keep you posted.
- We pray for the arrival of the dragonflies aka the allied forces. They’ll be here soon and they’ll be hungry. Those guys feast so we can usually emerge by the 4th of July. I’d totally kiss a dragonfly out of gratitude if they’d let me.
So, that is the story of Mosquito Season in the western U.P. What things make it a challenge to live where you live? Tell me all about it so I can remember that every place has its things. :o) And no worries, once this is over, I’ll be back to bragging about this most magnificent place to live that no one else should ever move to.