Chistmas Came

How does the saying go? Everything that can go wrong, will, or something to that effect. That kind of sums up Christmas week around here. And yet, it doesn’t.

My husband and I had our suspicions confirmed a week before Christmas…we had bed bugs in the house we are living. The owner of the house found out the previous occupants had experienced the same problem while living here, however, they neglected to let anyone know. Trust me when I say that that was information I would have greatly appreciated having before we moved in.

This is not a subject I want to discuss necessarily, nor is it a topic that I want to know so much about, especially by first-hand experience, but alas, I do. Bed bugs suck…pun intended.

On the Thursday before Christmas, we had the house sprayed. The prep for spraying was…how to put this delicately…well, it was hell. I had to wash and dry every article of clothing in the master bedroom, and put them into bins (after purchasing them, of course) in a different room. Our room is where the majority of the bugs were sited. The other three bedrooms… I just washed those things in the drawers. The closets were emptied and things put away for spraying purposes. Placing them in a dryer for 20 minutes before being put back into drawers/closets was the post-op process, if you will.

I still had shopping, baking, wrapping and other such Christmas chores to tend to, but that was definitely put on hold for the spraying event.

To make a long, painful process into a short story, the house was sprayed and the exterminator didn’t see a single bug the entire time he was here, which is both great news, and very unusual. We’ll take it.

Two more treatments are to take place over the next couple of weeks and we’re good to go, all to the tune of $900, courtesy of the homeowner. We decided to replace a couple of beds and mattress sets during this time so we did incur some extra expense during this month of spending, but not as much as it could have been.

There are other things I could go into, such as the broken- down dishwasher a few days before Christmas (still broken), and the beds we bought that are missing a few key parts. We are patiently awaiting the arrival as our sons continue to sleep on their mattresses on the floor of their rooms, but what’s the point of crying over spilled milk? We all have things we have to deal with, right?

What put this all into perspective for me, in the midst of it all, is the 60-something year old woman who has become a friend during the last year or so. She recently moved to LA where she once lived. She had a friend who was going to let her live with her, and another friend who was going to help her get settled in and acclimated. She had worked in the movie industry while living there before, and connections had been made so that she would be making money shortly after arriving in LA, doing what she loves.

It didn’t happen. It all fell through. This woman, our friend, is living on the streets. She is getting in line everyday to see if she will have a bed for the night. Sometimes it is days before she is able to bathe. My husband was telling her of our bed bug ordeal while talking on the phone with her Christmas Eve day. Her response? “Bed bugs ain’t no thing. At least you have a roof over your head.”

I had a change of attitude after that. I had a change of heart. The best gift this Christmas was wiring that woman money so she could spend Christmas in a motel, which would enable her to take a shower. She was assured a bed for a night or two. She was touched beyond words, though she managed to relay her love and gratitude.

Help me, God, not to take for granted the many blessings I have in my life. Help me to see beyond myself and reach out to help those who are hurting. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of learning many lessons during my earthly stay. Amen.

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