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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ashamed of My Termites

How do you feel knowing that everything done in secret will someday be revealed?  (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1458).

I live in a frame home in Florida. This means like clockwork every 5 years or so I must have my house tented (fumigated) for termites.  Every time this is required I go through several stages.  The first time I see the shed wings of dry termites a dull dread overcomes me.  My first response is denial--I attempt to hide the fact even from myself.  I quickly discard the wings.  I vaguely feel having termites should be a cause of shame.  I am careful to hide the fact from anyone and try to go about my life as if nothing were wrong--nothing is steadily destroying my home.  I will let months pass--almost a year--half successfully pretending that all is well.  Yet my underlying dread is that the termites will swarm again, and the fresh supply of shed wings will doubly convict me for now a year of inexcusable inaction has passed.

For the uninitiated I will list a few of the negatives brought on by fumigation for termites; their elimination is expensive; all ingestible items other than canned goods must be removed (even those in regenerators or freezers) or double wrapped and sealed in special plastic bags; all life will be killed--so all plants will need to removed or temporarily transplanted; any limbs or branches above the house that would impede putting up the tent must be removed; one must vacate the premises for two nights; the fumigator by contract is shielded from liability for any damage done to the roof of your house or break-ins or theft during the process;  the natural gas must be shut off the day preceding fumigation and turned on again the day after--yet another inconvenience and expense.

Thus approximately twice in  every decade I encounter a practicum of sin and shame. But one thing I have learned.  Once I come to my senses and call the fumigator--the one I've used for thirty years--I immediately feel a great weight lifted. When a date for the fumigation is set, many things are automatically placed upon my agenda.  Nevertheless, I have the immense satisfaction and relief of knowing I am doing the responsible and right thing, and a great sense of rectitude, competence, and optimism immediately overtakes me.

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