"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lord of the flies, chapter 5--Do you smell something?

The scratching continued, and I had to reassure my wife that it wasn't a cat, since we didn't hear any crying. Only scratching. I still didn't know what it was...Squirrel? Possum? Rat? Something Else?

I've learned through the years that sometimes it is best not to do anything, and problems will work themselves out, or go away.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

So we left for a short trip over a weekend to a cooler climate. At home, the thermometer continued to register above 100 degrees.

When we got back home and I walked back in through the garage door, I thought the kitchen area had a mild odor I'd not smelled before.

"Do you think it died?" asked my wife, and I said "Maybe."

The next day, the increasing temperatures and increasing odor told me, "It died." The smell was the strongest in the wall of the dining room. It was a good thing the odor was on that end of the house in the coming days. If it had died above the bedroom where we'd first heard it, we'd have had to move out.

"What are we going to do?" asked my wife.

Then I thought it might be a good idea to look for solutions. My first choice was the easiest--let it desiccate in the wall and the smell would go away. My wife had other ideas, like calling an exterminator. I could see the dollar signs ebbing from my bank account.

She called one , and he was obviously brilliant, because he agreed with me. My youngest son, a muscular, fit 32 tears old, told me I should tear out the sheet rock and extract the corpse, sanitize the area, replace the shee trock, tape and bed it and repaint.

Even my wife didn't think that was a good idea, because she could see me tearing the wall out and then taking forever to put it back right.

"And if you do that, I'm moving out. I don't want to see whatever it is."

So we started burning candles and spraying lysol. Others told us to put out coffee grounds and baking soda in open containers to soak up the smells. We did that, including in the lower kitchen cabinets next to the dining room, because the smell now dominated that end of the house.

We'd come home, light candles, and go to the other end of the house. My wife, who loves to cook, quit cooking. We went out to eat a lot.

And over about two weeks, the smell did start lessening.

I thought the horror was over.

I was wrong again...


  1. This needs editing. It was the wife who did all the research and passed it on to discuss with her husband. The Internet which the wife browsed stated to either tear it out of the walls or ride it out. After the wife discussed this with the husband and also called an exterminator for an expert's opinion it was then decided to ride it out. I could ride out the monster in the wall but what was to come became the true nightmare.

  2. As it all history, this version is also colored by the views of the author

  3. We cut down a tree in the front of our house and the nicely cut and stacked limbs are still in our front yard. Get my drift readers!

  4. And that tree was cut down weeks ago :) (see earlier blog--death of a tree)

  5. Love ya honey! We can build a bonfire in the front yard and roast marshmallows!

  6. The tree will be removed, in fullness of time, to the backyard wood pile for fireplace use. It is drying out, preparing to be firewood. When in the course of human events the temperature drops below 100, The husband will tote the pieces, heavy as they are, by wheelbarrow, to the backyard. There will be numerous, yeah more than 20, loads. Then in the backyard when he unloads them, he'll select the heaviest pieces, more than a foot in diameter. Then he will have to find a log splitter and sledge hammer to split the logs. He can already feel the aching muscles, but will stock up on ibuprophen, and hope his heart holds.

  7. Well the high on Sat. is 82 degrees. Once the wood is moved, the wife can plant beautiful mums and she is very much in the mood to do so!


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