Wait just a minute though. These last few days weren't exactly easy going. But not for the reason you might expect. Registering and inspecting vehicles, obtaining drivers' licenses and registering to vote, all went very smoothly. We found helpful people everywhere. While we were at it we even braved a Verizon store visit and added a second phone to our plan. Smooth sailing on that too. (By the way, we found there is a $59.99 deal for two lines, 450 minutes. If you are in the area and need help, the sales people at the Cleveland, TX, store are fantastic.)
But, seriously, the nightmare in this past week has been the invasion of the "love bugs." This was anything but a loving experience. It's a miniature version of "The Birds." These are swarming, repulsive creatures that coat the front of your vehicle with extremely sticky matter that can damage the finish and clog the radiator. We ran into them on Highway 59 heading south from Nacogdoches to Livingston. In about a 50 mile stretch they battered the front of Ferd so that it was getting difficult to see. Every vehicle coming toward us on the highway looked as though it was coated by a king-sized pepper grinder. When you step out the door they are busily buzzing in pairs, surrounding you. The only remotely positive feature about them is that they seem so exhausted from their mating that they move very slowly. They are easy to smash when you have to eliminate the ones inside your home.
Here's the info I found on the Internet about them: Soon after rainy periods in the spring and especially in the fall in the wooded Upper Coast counties of Texas, "lovebugs ' emerge as adults and mate in swarms around roads and buildings. These insects are actually flies (Diptera) of the family Bibionidae, having the scientific name, Plecia nearctica Hardy. The common name "lovebug" has been given to these black colored, orange-backed flies because they are most often seen flying around in mating pairs.
We haven't been to this area of Texas in late summer so we weren't aware that these nasty bugs sometimes emerge after a heavy rainy season. The only way to avoid them seems to stay inside and do not travel during the hours of approximately 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Warmth seems to draw them out. The locals are saying this is the worst they have seen them. Just our luck!
But so much for the Hitchcock experience, we finished our business and scooted out of the area as soon as possible. Besides, hurricane Ike is on the way to southeast Texas. It's time to move northwest toward northern New Mexico or southern Colorado for a while.