31 May 2008

At Least Ticks Don't Fly

Yesterday, my daughter and I spent some time at a local pond during an end-of-school-year picnic. We just sat in the grass, watching the birds, and soaking up the sun. It was another PERFECT day in Maine.

We know about ticks and we’re very careful at this time of the year. We won’t go near tall grass, cat tails, or spend unnecessary time under trees. But this grass was short and flat.

Still, there was a point where two little girls out in a rowboat lost their oars and we had to wade through tall grass and wildflowers to get to the other side of the pond and help them. I won’t go into all that – the little girls were saved and the only casualties were some jeans and shoes that got covered in pond mud.

Not long after that, we headed home, but first I had a couple of stops to make.

As I grabbed a few things at Rite Aid, I was walking down the candy aisle (yes, I admit it) and I felt something crawling on my arm. Yeah, you guessed it – it was a tick. One of the biggest ticks I’ve ever seen.

I had one of those freak-out reactions, and without thinking clearly (or at all) I frantically slapped away the tick. It went flying across the floor of Rite Aid, and then I couldn’t find it.

I didn’t want to just leave a huge, evil, live tick crawling maliciously around our local Rite Aid, but what was I to do? Besides, I had to get out of there and check to see if there were any MORE ticks on me or my daughter – or in the car. Eww – freaks me out just talking about it.

We raced home and went into our respective bathrooms to, you know, disrobe and make sure there were no more ticks anywhere on us or our clothing. My daughter quickly jumped into the shower, and I would have, but there was still yard work to do here at the house. After shaking out my clothes and my hair, all of which came out tick-free, I went back outside.

I might add here that we have NEVER found a tick in our yard or on one of our dogs – or on one of us for that matter. The only times we’ve acquired ticks has been when we walk through the local woods to the pond, or go elsewhere. Our yard is blissfully (knock on wood) tick-free.

I might add that right now, a whole day later, I’m itching from head to toe, just writing this.

Ok, so after a few hours of yard work, and then a pizza dinner, I finally got around to taking a shower. And guess what. Yes. There was a tick on my back. I have no idea if it had been in my hair, in my clothes, or what, but understand that THERE HAD BEEN A TICK ON ME FOR AT LEAST FIVE HOURS.

I don’t remember how many times I washed my hair. I only found the one tick, and I drowned it in the shower and then flushed it down the toilet, but I figured there had to be more.

In spite of all the creepy crawliness, I can’t seem to get this song out of my head:

Today I’m doing laundry and cleaning the house. If there are more ticks, I will find the little buggers.

This is war, people.

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes


Maine-ah John said...

Right now my friend I am laughing so hard it's not even funny.
Only because I'm glad my wife and I are not the only ones to encounter this kind of thing, you see we went for a walk last year in a bird sanctuary in Georgetown last year and got covered with ticks, and again this year out in North Bath when I didn't think we had to worry about it, it always freeks us out especially when our pants were covered with them from foot to hip, and that Brad Paisley song always comes to mind when we think about it...lol
So every now and then I blert out, I'd like to check you for ticks...lol
Have a good day my friend, and thank you for sharing...now I know we are not the only ones who's had to deal with this.
They say Ticks are going to be real bad this year, so keep a check on your pets and yourselves...

Elizabeth said...

You are too funny Paulla. But I know exactly how you feel. The garden out back that we line iwth hay for the pathways is just a breeding ground... I have the itchies everytime I come back inside. I have them now just thinking of your story. Thank goodness the chickens this year are taking care of most of that issue for me. I wish you peace soon!

KathyLikesPink said...

Oh I HATE HATE HATE ticks. I had never seen a tick before moving to New England.

The only time I have ever found ticks on my daughter is when she played at one particular child's house. The fmaily is very big into playing in the woods. Never failed - every time she visited - TICKS. eew.