Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tropical Paradise?

So...I am suffering from some mild panic attacks here in the GU lately, all stemming from the creatures which inhabit this tropical paradise. As previously mentioned, I've made my peace with the geckos. That does not mean, however, that I jump for joy when they dart out of my cosmetic bag upon handling it, or surprise me by hiding in the shower curtain when I am about to take a shower. I hate being taken by surprise (a fact which my husband can attest to), and that is exactely what these little guys seem to do best. I often open the kitchen blinds in the morning to find a larger variety of lizard clinging to the screen-sometimes two or three. There is also a particular pair of lizards that enjoy frolicking on the outside of our front window in the earlier half of the day. My husband serves me wonderfully by being on trash duty most of the time. However, on the occassions that I do need to dispose of something in the outdoor containers, I have learned to steel myself for the inevitable scurrying of frightened lizards upon opening the lid. I can never seem to steel myself adequately though, and the kids relish the enjoyment of watching mommy shriek.
Another species which I have now encountered several times are frogs. We experienced frogs a bit in Albuquerque, but they were small and somewhat cute. The frogs we have encountered here are larger and slow- moving. Bleh. According to my neighbor, they are very prolific during the spring and, being as slow-moving as they are, the streets are commonly littered with flattened frogs during this season of the year. According to my neighbor, they are also poisinous. By the way, I have come to rely quite a bit on the authority of my neighbor about all things concerning Guam, and I am constantly quoting her information and opinions regarding life here as fact to PJ. I will most likely quote it as fact to you as well. She is, after all, super woman. More on that later.
This past weekend, we headed into the backyard for a bit of fresh air and PJ proceeded to play ball with Grant. He decided that it would be a great idea to kick the ball as far/high as he could and let Grant run for it. You know, kind of like you would for a dog. He ended up lodging the ball in the tree which is in our backyard. This is the same tree which our children and their neighbor friends frequently climb upon, hang from, and enjoy. I headed over to dislodge the ball from the branches with a basketball in hand. As I was peering through the thick leaves to try and locate the ball, I noticed a web. Upon closer observation, a large and menacing spider became apparent in the middle of the web. This was unlike any spider I had ever seen in person, and I had no desire to disturb it. As I backed away from the tree I noticed yet another web with the same variety of spider clinging to the corner of it's monstrous and intricate creation. It was then that the proverbial veil was lifted, and what seemed like hundereds of webs and spiders came into view all at once. The branches were absolutely inundated and I was aghast that I had been sending my children out daily to play in such a tree.
The following afternoon I was carrying groceries on the two mile trek from the carport to the front door. After several trips I realized that I was having to shoo (or at least attempt to shoo) more flies than usual in an effort to keep them from entering the house with me. My whining children and crying baby, along with the rapidly melting frozen goods which needed to be strategically stuffed organized in the freezer, quickly turned my attention away from pursuing the reason behind the increased amount of flies. It was not until early that evening when the kids and I went out to greet PJ on his arrival home from work that the source of the excess flies was discovered. It was found in the form of a dead frog resting upon the very stick to which Grant was attracted to for the purpose of throwing it at something...anything. Why would he desire to throw the stick you might ask? Because it was a stick, he is a boy, and that is what they do. The End.
That was enough dead frog to last me the whole year. Unfortunately, my attempt to re-establish some healthy habits post-baby backfired when, while on an early morning jog, I lept off the curb to avoid jumping on a mouse....and landed directly on a flattened frog. I was already suffering from some mild creature-induced panic attacks by this point, and the experience did nothing except to aid in throwing that panic into a temporary overdrive.
I spent the next rainy day in the house with the windows fogged up due to the extreme humidity, feeling as though I was living on the inside of a gigantic terrarium. When the rain subsided later in the afternoon I allowed the kids to venture outdoors to play with their neighbor friends. At some point during their play one of the kids threw the lid off of our empty sand table exposing a large, creepy white lizard. It quickly made itself scarce and I breathed a sigh of relief as I stepped outside, baby in tow, to check on the kids and replace the lid. It was then that I noticed the "boonie" beehive that was clining to the underside of the lid with several bees buzzing nearby. If I have ever come anything close to running with a baby in my arms, it was at that very moment. We continue to hear about the awful stings which these bees impart, and I myself witnessed the effects of a sting for the first time just several days prior to this incident. Our neighbor was stung on his finger while taking down Christmas lights. When I ran into him at the clinic his hand still resembled a latex glove inflated as a balloon. Upon describing his hand to my husband, he shuddered and told me that he would most likely scream like a little girl should he ever get stung. I hope that he never ever has such an encounter...Almost as much as I hope that I will one day get to hear him scream like a little girl because, frankly, that is one of the funniest mental images I have ever entertained.
Upon escaping from the bees I spent several moments chatting with my neighbor while our kids played. When we both decided that it was time to head back to our respective kitchens to finish dinner preparations, I directed Mads and Bubs to head back towards the house. I had to think carefully beforehand in order to determine which route they should take. Option number one did not sound great: "Hey kids, why don't you walk past the spider-saturated tree of terror, around the house to the front door-mind the rotting frog- and just try to keep moving upon arrival so that the flies don't bite you while you wait for me to open the front door for you from the inside." Option number two was even less inspiring: "Hey kids, why don't you walk past the spider-saturated tree of terror to the back door where the bees of death await to sting you over and over until your body swells up like a marshmellow". We went with option number one for the kids, while I had to brave the back door since it was the only open door available. Thankfully, we all emerged from our trips to the house unscathed. I say 'unscathed' and not 'no worse for the wear' because, by that point, I was feeling like a mental case.
When PJ came home that evening he disposed of the dead frog and then graciously and bravely headed out to deal with the hive...flyswatter and kayak paddle in hand. As soon as he stepped out onto the patio I quickly slid the sliding glass door closed, and the kids and I watched from the safety of the house. It took me awhile to figure out just why he thought the kayak paddle would be useful to complete this task. In the meantime, I began to appreciate the humor of the situation as I watched my husband. He was sweating and his stance was noticably rigid/intense. He successfully killed the few remaining bees with the flyswatter and then annihilated the hive with the end of the paddle despite the fact that Mads, Bubs, and I had dissolved into laughter-along with him- as we took in the scene.
The following day, I did not set foot out of the house. I was not planning on going outside ever again until after dinner that evening when my man lovingly encouraged me to get outside for some exercise/time to myself. If I did not know any better, I would say that the Lord planted the huge frog that greeted me the moment I opened the front door just to get a laugh. PJ certainly did.


  1. You are a trooper! I'm glad you're getting all of this down! :)

  2. only three years. then you may return to the land of milk and honey (La Mirada, CA).

  3. Good night! I could handle the lizards and dead frogs, but the spiders would kill me. Eek! Keep up the good fight.