Sticks and Bricks Signs: The Jellyfish

I had no way of gauging whether Bear was receiving the same signs that I was as far as living in a sticks and bricks house. You have to be in tune with your inner voice in order to hear it speaking to you.

My bathroom sink emitted an odor, so I filled the sink with bleachy water and let it overflow into the upper drain hole, and it worked — for about three days, then the horrid smell came back, so I’d bleach it out again.

This went on for weeks and I didn’t understand why the bleach wasn’t working, not until Bear changed out the faucet and drain. Inside the inaccessible space between the inner and outer wall of the sink, that place where water drains down from the upper drain hole, a gelatinous gob of goo had taken up residence.

When he changed out the drain and removed what I’d dubbed The Jellyfish, the odor disappeared for several weeks. But as soon as we started talking about moving into an RV, the smell came back.

Two of the things that people fear on moving into an RV include stinky mildew and invasive ants. Campers and RVs are notorious for both, with poorly sealed joints just begging for the pests to barge in and take up residence.

But here we were in a sticks and bricks house battling ants in the kitchen, and a smelly jellyfish hiding in my bathroom sink. I saw this as a reminder that no matter where we lived, things could go wrong, repairs would be needed, pests would find a way in, and sometimes life would get stinky.

We’d battled ants in our last house as well, in the form of an army of ants in the upstairs bathroom. Every day a column of ants marched across the bathroom wall, disappearing behind the toilet tank. I figured they were coming in where the pipes came through the wall, so I kept treating that area, to no avail.

One day I picked up the lid to get a closer look behind the tank, and the bottom of the lid was swarming with ants. In a panic I set it down in the bathtub and rinsed it off until all the ants disappeared down the drain. It’s a miracle I didn’t drop and shatter it when the ants started swarming over my hands.

But just minutes later, the lid was swarming with ants again. I found their nest — they’d taken up residence INSIDE the lid of the toilet tank. Two small holes on the bottom of the lid served as doorways to the inside. It’s said that all of Georgia is built on a giant anthill and I believe it wholeheartedly.

While I was seeing the jellyfish and ants as a sign, a reminder that living in a sticks and bricks house didn’t shield us from such things, Bear was moving in the opposite direction. He wasn’t moving toward freedom of travel, he was digging deeper into the sticks and bricks house.

We’d talked about the workload that this house created, and even without moving into an RV it made sense to downsize to a smaller home that didn’t suck up so much time for cleaning and yard work.

If we downsized our monthly payment as well, we could use the difference to hire help once in awhile so that we weren’t slaves to the house. He took my suggestion to heart, but not in the way I’d hoped. He spun it so that we could stay in THIS house. He still didn’t get it.

He figured that our Sport Trac truck would be paid off in a few months, and he suggested that we use the truck money to hire a lawn service and a maid twice a month. I knew it wouldn’t work. This house was just too big to keep clean with one person working two days a month. Even four days a month wouldn’t do it.

The point was that I had my answer. He was looking for ways to stay in this house, not leave it. He truly did not want to give up the house, and that was the one thing I wanted most of all, even without the RV. This house prevented us from having any free time. We were slaves to the house, and to change that would cost hundreds of dollars a month.

In the meantime, the signs kept on coming. Whereas our electric power signal was generally stable, suddenly we were getting blips and surges and momentary outages — another reminder that even in a sticks and bricks house, we could not rely on electricity or internet.

Another sign came from a road trip where the people we stayed with had just battled bedbugs a few weeks before. We didn’t know that beforehand, else we’d never have gone. They traveled a lot and must have picked up bedbugs in one of the hotels they stayed at.

They’d hired an exterminator to come treat everything in the house, and they swore that they never would have let us come if there was any fear of survivors. Still, finding out that you’re staying in a place that battled bedbugs just a few weeks earlier makes you long for your own traveling hotel room.

Another sign was the closing of our favorite Italian restaurant — Provino’s. We’d been to a lot of restaurants through the years, but this one surpassed all. The ambiance, the music in the bathrooms, the chocolate coffee drink, the wine… none of the other Italian restaurants even came close.

But more than anything, they had two items that came with every meal that no other restaurant served: rolls topped with minced garlic, in a bowl of garlic butter for dipping, and the only salad I would eat anywhere. I’m not a big salad eater but something about theirs was utterly delectable.

Provino’s Italian Restaurant is a family-owned chain in Atlanta, Georgia, and some relation of theirs runs a kindred restaurant called Scalini’s. Both serve the same rolls and salad, and as far as we could tell, everything was the same except that Scalini’s had a full bar and Provino’s served only beer and wine.

Technically, the closing of a single Provino’s did not eliminate the restaurant from our itinerary, it just meant a much farther drive through a lot more traffic. Still we couldn’t help but wonder… if one closed up shop, would the others soon follow? Was this yet another sign?

The reason you plant roots in a place is for the local businesses that you’ve grown attached to, like Provino’s, and it wasn’t the only special place we’d lost. It seemed as if the moment we found a place we liked to visit, whether an antique shop, or restaurant, or garden store, or minigolf course, it went out of business or moved away. The world doesn’t stay where you want it to stay.

* * * * *

Enter into the journey with us as we share the full lead-in for the Big Change to living in an RV full-time, and to what lies beyond…

In the meantime, follow me on a very different journey of high strangeness. Alien Nightmares: Screen Memories of UFO Alien Abductions shares memories and dreams relating to my personal experiences with extraterrestrials, along with the little-known UFO flaps from the time periods which swept me up into an extraterrestrial neverland of high strangeness.

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    Alien Nightmares - Screen Memories of UFO Alien Abductions
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