Monday, October 25, 2010


Autumn has arrived wrapped in her cloak of nutmeg and gold. She's brought with her more surprises than I expected....and not all of them lovely. However, I've retreated a bit from the whirlwind and sometimes taking two steps back and pausing--reveals.

This may look like an average kitchen windowsill. Usually littered with treasures from the garden, wine corks and the bits and odds that hover for a moment before finding their way back where they belong. I was washing up after lunch and saw movement. If you look closely....

Yes, there's a stinkbug there. Clinging to the blossom like a raft in the midst of an ocean of stainless steel, glass and enamel. I raised my hand......and stopped. In your own corner of the world you may be unaware (shamelessly) that we've had a storm of stink bugs here in Pennsylvania. Swarms have invaded our homes, flown through the vents in our vehicles, clung to hair and blouse to the point of swatting and swearing inside markets and shops. They're everywhere.
I've done my share of smashing and stomping, more than one stinkie has been flushed. But this particular afternoon, I was in a forgiving state of mind. Tired....and a bit lonely. I made him a deal. If he stayed on the flowers, he could live. I'd even name him.
I mean, really--what if today he was going to die? (how long do those suckers live anyway?) What if he had finally achieved his short life's goal of locating something lovely and natural in this concrete world?
Stanly, sit. Stay. Good boy.
He was there the next day. I watched him go from one flower to the next, his stick-like legs carefully grasping the petals. I whispered goodnight to him as I turned off the light.
It's been eight days. I've told him all about my troubles. He even watched me shed a tear or two. I think he disapproved of my late night cheese raids--woke the poor chap up. I've chopped and roasted, baked and burned....all under the watchful eye of Stanly. Surprising camaraderie. Company.
It's raining today. The windows shimmer with liquid light. Stanly and I are braising chicken, sausages and onions. Later he can supervise while I roast the butternut squash with rosemary and seasalt. (an addiction at this time of year)
I didn't know. How much I needed company.
No judgement, no comments, no platitudes or rebukes. Just company.


Agnes said...

Lets do lunch!I could use your company... Hows ur Thursday...shoot me an email!

Wow, that was awkward said...

I read "stinkbug" and I immediately thought of my chicky in Philly cuz she always has them in her house and always lets them be. And then you said you are in PA - I didn't realize that. I like that your stinkbug is hanging around. Sometimes if more friends would just listen and always be there, things would be better. We need more stinkbugs!

Danielle said...

I am not sure I could have been strong enough to let him stick around, but good for you! LOL
I am glad you have company.
Come to Colorado and be my company!

Susan Erickson said...

he must be hypnotized or something...or just grooving to the great music and cozy home life....I really hope he doesn't multiply though.....

Chantel said...

Ag--Lunch would be lovely!

Wow--Pittsburgh is stinkbug heaven! (I was typing fast and just had to fix "stinkbut") And I totally agree...Stanly rocks.

Danielle--Road trip! *sigh* Well...we'll have to settle for a double vaca to St. in? We'll get nannies....and drink pina coladas.

Susan--Dear God, hadn't thought of that! He doesn't have a pal--unless they're having secret rendezvous while I sleep...

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Interesting how we sometimes don't realize what we're missing.... I probably couldn't have let him hang around that long, but you have courage, and compassion!

Irish Gumbo said...

Did you know that in Laos, stinkbugs are a bit of a delicacy? They crush them up with chiles and garlic, and use the paste like a condiment. Apparently, the aroma is part of the attraction. Go figure.

Having said that, I bow to your refulgent forbearance :)

Mom et al said...

Well, you know me and the whole bug thing. I would have screamed bloody murder and abandoned my kitchen for a week. But I am glad that you are a more rational soul and have found a blessing in your creepy little friend. Blergh!

And now I'm itchy.

chris said...

I enjoyed this very much... touching in its simplicity & a wonderful reminder to look beyond the obvious.

Chantel said...

Bliss--We're on day ten now, I think I may miss him when he goes!

Irish--lol....are you saying I should eat my pal? Cannibal.

Maria--you always make me laugh...if we were neighbors I'd stomp your creepies for you.

Chris--thank you much, although it's possible that my husband thinks me a bit mad...

Therese said...

I hope Stanly continues to obey himself... For his sake and yours!
I've never seen nor heard of a stinkbug before. They are now filed away in my brain as friendly house guests and amiable companions.