Are There Bugs in Arkansas?

| 8/28/2013 2:49:00 PM

Nina“Aren’t there a lot of bugs in Arkansas?” my soon to be ex-sister-in-law asked when she found out I was leaving city life and her brother behind. I had not really thought about it, but it didn’t seem like a few bugs would be a deal breaker, considering how much I loved Arkansas and country living. The human brain is a funny thing – selective memory is one of those that will produce “HA HA” moments if you don’t cry first.

I am traveling down Interstate 57 at 2 in the morning. My vehicle, a well used diesel Excursion, is towing a trailer crammed to the rafters with the remains of my life in Chicago. My dogs, Otis and Moose, are snoring away, awaking and showing a keen interest in our surroundings only when the smell of a flattened skunk wafts into the car. If it is true that a dog’s sense of smell is so much greater than ours, this obsession with the Eau de Cologne of Skunk confuses me. They seem to actually enjoy the smell, standing at attention, quivering noses pressed to the air vents or cracked open windows, sucking in as much of the acrid odor as they can. They give me that “you don’t know what you’re missing look” just before falling back to sleep.

I am out in the middle of nowhere; no city lights nearby to reflect off of the atmosphere. Now this is what being out in the country is about. There are thousands and thousands of stars visible. Bright white light on the horizon lets me know that a service station is open. I need a break, the dogs need a walk, and I can fill the tank, so up the off ramp I go. When I get to the top of the ramp, I have a perfect view of the surrounding countryside. There is nothing but miles and miles of cornfields, not a single house as far as the eye can see.