SO THE YARD MAN AND I HAD TRAVELED to Richmond, Virginia, to see the new little celebrity. We were smitten! Our son had to say such things to the two of us: "Okay, now I believe you've had him long enough; time to give....(the other one) a turn!" We were like overeager kids with a new toy.
We ran out to buy a few things for the little guy, and we went ahead and reserved a motel room for the night. Well, it was The Yard Man who steered the car into the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel and came out with a key card for room 218. "Did you take a look at it first?" I asked.
"Take a look at the room? No," said the man. "It'll be fine!"
"Well, I hope so," I sighed. "Just so it's clean!" I quietly considered the possibilities. " Oh, and doesn't have a bad odor...you know, that real strong scented air freshener stuff. Ugh. I sure hope it smells okay."
We had a nice evening celebrating our grandson turning eight (uh, days, Dear Reader, eight days!) and then we made our way back to the motel. Trotting up the carpeted stairs behind The Yard Man, I studied the accoutrements warily. Everything looked passably clean. And when we opened the door and entered the room, thank goodness, it smelled finely odorless.
But there was one more circumstance upon which this night's lodging pended. When we 'd stopped earlier and reserved the room, I'd plumb forgot one must always consider the possibility of bedbugs. I only thought of it when we had gotten back to Only Son's house and mentioned where we planned to stay. "Oh, my goodness--bedbugs!" I'd exclaimed. "There might be bedbugs!"
"Just check for them," had suggested the new mother, "You can see them. They look like crumbs in the bed."
So now I went straight for the nice big king-sized bed and threw back the covers. Ahh...nothing but clean white sheets! We could rest in peace!
And thus we did.
Next morning The Yard Man opened the curtains and sunshine flooded the room. He plopped into the upholstered chair by the window and remotely flicked on the TV. I was still in bed, but had thrown off the big slippery spread, thin well-worn blanket, and top sheet. The expanse of sheet we'd slept upon was a white sea around me......and that's when I happened to spy a black speck. Hmm. My eyes roved slightly, and I chanced upon another. And, gasp, another!
"Look here!" I said to The Yard Man. "I'm finding little black things--stuff--something! This might be bedbugs!"
"Ah, not likely," he responded. He wasn't even curious to see. He was watching some political pundit pontificate about a blathering by Donald Trump concerning the president's birth certificate.
"Well, here's another," I said. "Oh, and this one...!" My heart sank each time I spotted yet more. But they were so tiny--these little critters. Were they critters? I squinted and studied. They didn't all look exactly the same, but all were too small to be identified. "I've got eight or nine of them here! What if they ARE bedbugs?! You know we can't go back to the little grandbaby's house if they are! That would be dreadful!"
I showered and dressed, then nervously stuffed every piece of our clothing that had touched the bed or the floor into the plastic liner I pulled from the trash can under the bathroom sink. "Now ...what are we going to do?" I asked The Yard Man. I'd picked a couple of the black dots off the sheet and transferred them to the windowsill.
The Yard Man examined them. "It's probably just little pieces of dirt," he said. "This one here looks like maybe a tiny piece of fuzz."
"I have a small magnifying glass in the car, I think. Or maybe there's one in my purse..." I was rooting through my bag full of daily necessities--(amazing how many!) "Aha, here!" Peering intently through the card with the magnifying panel and the printed admonition: Take time to pamper yourself today, we couldn't make out much more than before. Except that suddenly
The Yard Man saw one of the specks move. He got a stub of a pencil from the night table where it lay beside a Super 8 note pad. Nudging this particular crumb with the point of the pencil as we both bent over the magnifying lens-- it jumped!
"Could be a flea," said the yard man. But was it? And what of
the others?! What were we going to do?! Clearly, one or more of these questionable smidgens was a living creature!
"Well," suggested The Yard Man. "We could find an exterminating company and stop by there...why don't you go online and look for one?"
"Can't do that," I said. "Didn't you hear me say last night that I couldn't connect--even though they told me at the front desk they have wi-fi." But it was a good idea. I tore two sheets from the Super 8 notepad and scraped together the small cluster of possible bedbugs. I folded them carefully into one of the pages and wrapped the folded up page carefully into the plastic liner I swiped from the trash can near the night stand.
"We could look in the phone book," was The Yard Man's next idea.
Well, okay. But I was very aware of time passing. If we left the motel right now, we'd only have an hour and a half with the grand grandbaby and his parents before they had to leave for their first post-hospital check-up. "The phone book?!" I protested. "We'd have no idea which company is closest! And no idea how to get there! By the time we found the place..."
But The Yard Man was already on his way out the door--heading for the front desk. He had his overnight bag in hand. "Bring all your stuff with you when you come down!" he said.
And what a guy! By the time I made it down to the motel lobby, there he was with a printed-out sheet--Dodson Bros Exterminating, and all the details to find them!
"Wow, how'd you manage that?" I exclaimed as we headed for the car.
"I just went to the front desk and asked if they could give me the name of an exterminator," said The Yard Man. "She looked up the closest one and printed out this sheet for me."
I giggled. "Do you suppose she had any idea why we'd want one? Oh, open the trunk, would you? I'm not putting anything we had in that room inside the car until we know!"
This was turning out to be a great solution to our quandary. As horrible as it would be to discover I had bedbugs tucked inside my purse, at least we would know. We wouldn't have to forgo seeing our grandson again just out of uncertainty.
Now I was on the edge of my seat--I would be navigating, and there was no time to waste driving around the city--lost.
We did quite well, missing only Hull Street--and not having to backtrack far. With relative ease, we found it--Dodson Bros Exterminating Company!
We didn't waste any time parking, running eagerly to the entrance door.
But......no. No! The door was locked! I leaned in to peer through the glass, and it was dark inside! This couldn't be.
Ah, Dear Reader, what now?!!I'll have to leave you pondering this, same as we are.
It's just too much for me at the moment.
Are we going to have to drive
straight home without
saying goodbye to
our darling new
simply because we don't know?!
Even worse--when we
finally do find out--arrgh,
if they're actual, awful