17 Years

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 30 Comments


West Virginia has been invaded. Again. As predicted. 

Every seventeen years, Brood V Cicadas, emerge from their underground hovels and swarm all over our lush, green landscape. (*Click here to learn more

Granted, it's a disgusting time of year...especially when walking in the dark and they crunch under my feet and leave gooey guts on my flip flops. 

(Yes, a flashlight would be a good idea, but let's be honest...I dropped out of Girl Scouts after the first meeting. Being prepared in the face of all situations is not my specialty.)

I also hate it when I find one of these critters hitching a ride on my shoulder. 

I'm not sure if this happen naturally, or if it's because I'm married to a big child who finds scaring the crap out of me hilarious. Either way, I often find one perched quietly on my shoulder, imploring me with his beady little orange eyes to offer him a salad and a bed in a houseplant for the night. 

Wait, what was I saying? 

Oh, yeah, these once-every-17-year swarms are disgusting, but they are also fun. 

Not because of the drippy squished guts, or the random hitchhikers. No, they're fun because they because they bring back good memories. 

My first cicada (AKA locust in WV common tongue) invasion was in 1982. My cousin, Ross, was visiting from South Carolina and to impress my girlfriend, he ate one of the creepy, gigantic creatures. So, when I tell people they have a buttery, creamy taste...I'm not going on personal experience. I'm quoting the culinary review of a boy in the midst of puberty with more hormones running than brain cells. 
The second invasion was in 1999. My boys were little then and hardcore bug freaks. On the first night the Cicada were out in droves, my husband and then three boys, ages 5, 3, and 1...went outside with flashlights and little plastic sand buckets to collect the bugs in all their forms- from the shelled larvae, the white newbie, and the black-bodied adult. I watched from the porch with one foot in the house, one out, protected by the screen door...just in case that bucket of bugs was tossed my way. 

Now, they're back...watching from every surface their sticky little feet can hang onto...as we go about the job of making a few more summer memories. 


Join the Goals Blog Hop Here!
Misha Gericke & Beth Fred host this monthly goal update. 

Here's an update on my balanced goals for 2016!

1. Lose weight. I lost a few pounds in the chaos of the last few weeks, but I haven't been exercising or paying attention to my diet. When pounds are lot that way, they're easily found, so I need to get back on track. 
2. Declutter rooms to declutter the mind. I haven't had a bunch of spare time, so what I've been doing is pick spot in a room- a drawer or a closet- and clean it out. It's amazing how addictive order can become. 
3. Publish two books. Swept Away is done. Now, I need to decide on the next project to work on. I have several ideas in my head, but I can't seem to find the words until one of them opens up and starts speaking to me.

Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

All the boys are home for summer vacation. All of our plan are set for the summer for vacation and a few weekend get-a-ways. Now, I'm broke, but happily looking forward to some family fun.

Swept Away is out, and so far, the feedback from readers is good. I can't help but hold my breath and pray in those first days! I'll gratuitously add the embed below...just in case anyone would like to check it out.

Available now!

30 comments:

  1. We get cicadas, but not in swarms. We see their shells on the trees almost every fall but we don't see a lot of the adults.
    Rather not step on one.
    Certainly don't want to eat one!

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    1. I was researching yesterday (mostly so I spelled Cicada correctly!) and realized there are different swarms in different areas. This year is our year for Swarm V- which i evidently a healthy brood!

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  2. awwwww

    get with it. You must enjoy Mother's cycle of life!! You don't have a choice, right.

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    1. I don't mind them so much, as long as they stay off me. My dog loves them. He's getting fat!

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  3. This was most interesting to read. I have never heard of this before.
    We learn something new every day.
    Yvonne.

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    1. You should hear them. Quite nice, I think. Sounds like the end of summer, only much louder.

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  4. Glad we get none of them here, just be another one for the cat to eat lol but memories most things sure can make. Blah to eating them though.

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    1. My dog has eaten so many, he's quite the rolly polly little thing.

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  5. So glad we don't have that kind of infestation on this side of the world. Don't know what I'd do with mischievous people around who like playing with bugs. :) Swept Away sounds like a great read based on the reviews.

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    1. Thanks! I hope it's a good read. Fingers crossed.

      Once every 17 years isn't so bad.

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  6. I don't mind bugs in small doses, but that sounds like way too many for me. I'm glad they're not up here. And I'm glad you can relate them to good memories to make the whole invasion tolerable. Your first two goals are mine, too. I'm hoping I can make some progress on them. Enjoy your summer vacation!

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    1. At first, the bugs creep you out, but after a while, you tend to ignore them.

      We'll have to keep each other honest on our goals. Did you throw some stuff away? Eat a healthy lunch? :)

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  7. Urgh! Bugs. Bugs... Urgh... Running far away now... I'll be back when they've gone!

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    1. I don't know when they leave- I don't remember that part!

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  8. Why is it that cicadas sound so nice and pretty and yet, they're...not.
    I have roaches. Damn roaches - despite two containers of boric acid/powder that I smothered them with. And they're a daily problem. If only they'd go away for 17 years.

    Happy weekend, dearie.

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    1. They sound really pretty. I like that. They make a humming sound I usually hear at the beach.
      On the bright side, they don't carry disease and dogs love to them- so there is a savings there.

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  9. I know I'm weird, but I think cicadas are fascinating. We don't get them here in Georgia like we did in Maryland, so seeing one here is a real "treat." (Although I've never been driven to EAT one...) I thought seeing those crunchy buggers all over the place when we lived in Maryland was totally cool.

    As for losing weight, a friend of mine in Arizona said it best. She sent me a note to give me an update on her New Year's resolution to lose fifteen pounds. She said she only has twenty more to go...

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    1. They are kind of neat. I love to hear them buzz. I'm not a big fan of stepping on them. Super squishy. So gross. They are everywhere right now. There isn't a surface without a bug.
      I told my niece I lost four pounds, she said she found them and I could pick them up any time. LOL. I do try not to diet. I become food obsessed and add pounds, like your friend. I shoot for healthier eating and a little more movement. (When what I actually need is a fast and a BUNCH of movement.)

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  10. I remember the first time I heard them, in Malta, and we thought it was the electric wires singing or something. Took a long time for us to identify the cause. You say locust, but you wouldn't like the real locusts. When they swarm (my dad lived in what was Rhodesia for a few years) they eat every green thing for miles on their way through. Not funny I understand. I think Chad is the source of the one's on your shoulder.

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  11. Your book is on my Kindle. I'll get to it this summer.

    I've never heard of this swarming every 17 years. Sounds disgusting. I wouldn't want to collect them in a bucket.

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  12. They're blind, I think...so they perch on whatever with no mind to what it is. They perch on me, too, and it TOTALLY freaks me out. In 2011 when they last came here, I somehow managed to make it through the whole two or three weeks or whatever it is without a single one coming near me. But they weren't at my house...only at my office. So I'd run from the building to my car each day and I parked on the side of the building where they weren't as bad for that period of time! The 13-year ones are the ones that are bad here...so in 2024, I've been telling my husband we're renting a house on the beach for the month of May!

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  13. First - congrats on your release!!!! I know you'll come up with something awesome for your next WIP. Second - BUGS!! Eeeekk!! And your husband is putting them on your shoulder while your dog is getting roly poly from eating them??!! Ack! Running away now...

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  14. Good luck with everything, Elizabeth. And congratulations on your new book.

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  15. Stunning cover! Let me know if you need a blog tour stop.

    It's a clever idea to clean up little areas at a time. Before long, you'll have complete order in your home. (If you're like me, though, that won't last long...)

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  16. Well done on achieving your writing goal. Maybe your next novel should be a horror story about a plague of invading insects?! 😄

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  17. Congratulations on your book release! As for the cicadas . . . our boys used to collect their empty shells from any tree bark they could reach when they were little. Looked like a little army of whatevers lined up on our mudroom windowsills. At least they don't bite or chase me like other bugs, and they do sound comforting at night.

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  18. Great goals. I also need to lose weight. I've lived through Cicada invasions. They are the ones that make the tremendous amount of noise, right? That's what I really remember. The constant noise.

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  19. Hey Elizabeth,

    First of all, yes, I'm actually here. Okay, not literally here :) Second of all, awesome goals. Third of all, I'm, "Swept Away", with your announcement. Fourth of all, ah Cicadas, those noisy critters. I have a friend who lives in Auckland, New Zealand who tells me the hell they go through with them darned cicadas!

    Take care and consider this post shared.

    Gary :)

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  20. I like when they perch on my shoulder and look at me. It seems friendly enough. I mean, I know he's not considering whether he's going to eat me, unlike those a-hole wasps. And in exchange, I don't think about eating him. It's a pretty symbiotic relationship.

    Also, congrats on Swept Away! It looks awesome. I love a good ghost hunting story. I might have to grab that one for the wife.

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  21. That's a really nice cover! Good work.

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