Friday, August 18, 2017

Perambulating Wasps and Nonagenarian Mothers

~~ Letters From My Sister ~~

From my most recent letter from Barbara, dated Monday, August 7, 2017:

"...In Mom's little kitchen window, between the glass & the screen, is a perfect spiderweb.  It's been there for a while, & I've never seen a spider on it, so it may be abandoned, but I wonder what that spider was thinking when it built there. How much business could that web ever have seen? The window is almost never opened, & the screen seems to be intact.  

"The other kitchen window frequently hosts perambulating wasps on the inside of its screen. They travel endlessly, up & down, up & down, up & down, now and then moving into a large circle, in case there is something more to see that way.  Maybe they're looking for the way back out, but I'd think wasps would be better oriented than that.  Whatever little tear in the screen gave them admittance should have been mapped on the way in, shouldn't it?  I thought insects were pretty good with maps.  I would understand if they built nests between the screen & glass, as that would be a nice, safe place; they don't.  

"Continuing around the kitchen, and carrying this subject to a ridiculous extreme, wasps did build nests between the kitchen door & its storm door.  When is the storm door propped open long enough for wasps to scout the location, & then (presumably) dart in & out with nest-building material & no one sees it? They have to lay eggs, & don't they put something in each cell for the larvae to eat?  Paralyzed caterpillars, and so forth?  And all the time, we're going in & out through the door, & no one notices.

"This has so far been an odd letter, hasn't it?"

And then follows bits of family and pet-related news before she brings it full-circle (no pun intended) back to the insects.

"Mom is up & stirring now.  She's taken her pills & is ready for her coffee.  She's been doing her exercises better & walking around the house on the porches, out the back door & around to the front, then back down the ramp and around the corner & up the steps to the back door again, & then repeat.  (Now that I think of it, I wonder if those wasps walking up & down the window screen are just taking their constitutionals, after all.)

"For what it's worth, this odd letter has flowed along very nicely;...I hope you like odd letters."

I DO like odd letters. These are exactly the types of letters I so look forward to getting from my sister, who still takes the time to hand write or type out a letter to me and put it in the mail.  I really need to get on with my project of sharing bits and pieces from her letters (see tab above) on a regular basis.