Bill and I were in the office when Mom got up from her second morning nap. After tooling all over the house, she finally landed back in front of the office door.
“Oh, hi there!” she said with a note of surprise.
“Hi,” I responded. “Did you have a nice nap?”
“I guess so. But I think you have termites.”
Bill and I looked at each other and, with a shrug, he returned to whatever he was doing on his computer.
“Why do you think we have termites?” I asked.
“Because they’re eating the paint off the walls,” she replied.
“First of all, I don’t think termites eat paint,” I said. “They eat wood. And second … “
“Well these termites are eating through the paint to get to the wood. See,” she said, pointing over her shoulder towards her bedroom.
“So you’re telling me there are termites in your bedroom?”
“Not yet. They’re in the hall, though, right outside my bedroom. Come and look.”
I slowly pushed up from my office chair and walked over to where she was parked in the doorway. “I’m afraid you’ll have to move if you want me to come out into the hall.”
“You don’t have to come out. You can see it right there,” she said, pointing toward the entry way into her bedroom. I glanced at the paint chips that were scattered on the floor.
“Mom, that’s damage from your wheelchair. Yesterday you scrapped the paint off all the way down to the flashing. We just haven’t vacuumed it up yet.”
“Oh, I don’t think I did that. I’m pretty sure it’s termites. You better call the bug guy.”
“I’m thinking maybe a wall repair guy would be better.”
“No, you have Bill for that, maybe when he gets back from his walk. But he doesn’t know about termites. Better get it checked out before the whole house falls down,” she ordered before driving away.
I glanced over at Bill, who was furiously pounding on his keyboard. “Honey, when you get back from your walk, you better call the bug guy,” I joked.
“Hmmmph,” he muttered. “How about I look on Angie’s List and find us a good general contractor. Or a good painter. Or, even better, a competent psychiatrist.”
“Or maybe a live-in bartender,” I offered with a grin.