The suburbs: my frustrations and killer bees.

killer beesI can hardly believe that it’s the beginning of September already – but, this makes just as good of a time as any to start blogging regularly again. I like to begin things at the beginning of other things – for example, new blog at the beginning of the month (and sort of the beginning of a new season, unless you want to be technical about it), I only start new diets and exercise routines (or any routines at all) on Mondays (the beginning of a new week), and when new eras of my life begin, I usually find myself starting a bunch of other new things. I suppose it feels appropriate.

Regardless – hopefully you’re excited to know that I am officially blogging again after my somewhat brief retirement.

Over the past year (school year?) — to be more specific, since I returned from the Dominican Republic (as a side note, I find it curious that my time there has become sort of a benchmark in my life – I now find myself categorizing things as “pre-DR” and “post-DR” – it’s strange that we do that with things in our lives) So, again – since having returned from the DR, I went through a flurry of drastic changes – my life was so different upon return, and I had been so far removed from anything that was ‘mine’ for so long, that I think I reverted to a sort of survival mode – my thought process was something along the lines of, “I’m back. “x” is a problem. There, fixed.”

Throughout all these changes, I decided to move to the suburbs. Like, the REAL suburbs. I’m not talking Media, PA (where I have lived over several periods of time) where the town is smaller than the city, but kitschy and fun and obviously an extension of all of the best parts of the city (albeit lacking the buildings and the level of noise), I’m talking trees, grass, cows, and neighborhoods. No – make that forests, pastures, HERDS, and little clusters of houses all situated around a small epicenter (and, by epicenter, I of course mean the courthouse, jail, a wawa, and a pizza joint. OH, wait. MY suburbs also happen to have a skating rink. Talk about random…).

To be fair, the small town of Franklinville, NJ has been moving up in the world of suburbs – in case any of you are sitting around ranking the local towns and their attractions. They’ve added some strip malls, store fronts, and a couple of restaurants. People are generally civilized (I use that term loosely), and the locals won’t hunt you down and burn you at the stake or anything like that (for the most part).

Truth be told, I grew up in Franklinville, and I remember liking it. I have memories of my family, roaming the small town with my sister and cousins, fishing trips, swimming in the lake, and the overall quaintness of it all. These are the memories that lured me back – I was taken by the thought of being close to my family, having a yard, front porch, and garden, and walking along the lake in a cheesy-introspective sort of way.

I have no garden. Turns out that I don’t care enough about the outside to will any number of plants to survive the unforgiving Jersey sun. Not to mention that while I have a yard and space to grown things, there is so much sand in my yard that the grass barely survives.

I have made attempts to walk around the lake being brilliant and such, but whatever inspiration I have found has been quickly erased by the onslaught of mosquitoes. These little sessions of idealism usually end just as quickly as they began, with me racing back to my house from the swarm of bugs that I’m sure is following me, and then hating myself for never remembering to buy bug spray. And then hating the humidity for making me sweat while I rushed to safety.The same thing happens when I try to make use of my porch – the escape distance is just shorter.

Did I mention that there are bees in my house? Yeah – you’re probably picturing a little fuzzy bumble bee or something. Nope, try two inches of GIANT bee coming to end with an equally as GIANT stinger. IN MY HOUSE. I have no idea how they manage to get in, but I have learned that they seem to be attracted to light. That leaves me with the choice of sitting in the dark or single handedly hunting them down – one by one – as they get into my house, all without being stung, breaking anything, or getting mauled by my cat in the process (It mostly consists of me hiding behind anything I can with a dollar-store spray bottle filled with water. The bee buzzes around my house looking for something to kill and I try and hit it with enough streams of water to render it unable to fly. It usually takes me twenty minutes to incapacitate the intruder, and involves a lot of ducking ad weaving, water everywhere, and my cat, Miles, getting all riled up about the “game” we’re playing).

And, most disappointing of all is that I don’t see my family all that often. The days of fishing, swimming, and playing with my cousins are long over (although the opportunity does come around occasionally for us to play in a different way – that, as you can probably guess, usually involves as much liquor as we can afford to get our hands on). I’m not even sure that I see them any more than I did when I lived in the city, though, as has been pointed out to me, I do have a full time job now (and when I lived in Philadelphia, I did not).

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all bad. I was here when my niece, Ryli, finally said my name (it’s about time! JEEZ), and I haven’t missed a family gathering since I moved. I can walk to my parents house (and do) and have shamelessly taken advantage of their pool and washer/dryer all summer long.

It’s a love-hate relationship, at best.

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