This has been a bad year for ticks. Actually, it’s been a good year for ticks, a bad one for humans and their pets. The dogs race inside the house inevitably carrying a commuter or two. Luckily having white hair (or fur, I don’t know the difference) it is easy to spot ticks on them. Sometimes. And sometimes it isn’t until I am petting one of the girls that I discover one of the little buggers attached to the skin. And boy, do they attach. As gentle as I try to be, with my semi-official tick removal kit (alcohol, cotton balls, tick tweezers, neosporin) at the ready, there is no way to detach a tick without some discomfort. For everyone involved. I am including the tick since it does have a stake in this, though it is of short duration, culminating in the flush of a toilet.

Even as I write this I feel twitchy. Soon I’ll start whipping around to search out the cause of an errant itch or twinge. I know this about mysef. I get caught up in the ickiness and start envisioning some kind of tick SWAT team studying maps, gathering tiny little climbing gear and figuring out how to take me down. No matter my neurotic fantasy, the reality is I do find them on me. So far it’s been as they are ambling along, kind of window shopping as it were. I don’t know if I’ve missed any who had time for a sit-down meal. Inevitable, I suppose. I try to be careful but I am not going to let these bloodsuckers deprive me of walking in the woods or enjoying the winter sun sprawled out on a grassy slope somewhere. I’ll just have to accept that after indulging in any close-to-the-earth activity I’ll need to carry out a ruthless search and destroy mission.

Ticks- ick.