Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chapter 17

We arrive in the state of Florida late at night. One week later. Hour after hour on the road in a cramped crowded camper and Bob. My avoidance of him number one on my agenda every day and every hour.

I can smell the sweet smells of this foreign state even though it's dark and the middle of  the night.
We are all exhausted. 
Our new home is in Plant City, Florida.

I didn't know it at the time but the realtor had sent Bob a key to our new place. He bought it sight unseen.
 We arrive and all huddle around the front door. Exhausted, dark and very late.
All of us wait in anticipation as Bob slides the key into the lock of the front door. All I want to do is find a place to lay down and sleep. 
The camper, three kids,  hunger and fear of Bob have all taken it's toll. 

Open the door and let's go inside and sleep in the new house. Fear of Bob and his sexual advances far more abhorrent than Barbara's face-marring punches,  pinches, kicks and hair-pulling.

The key finally slides into place and we gather to see our new home.

I am so happy. 

A new start.
A new life.
I enter last and everyone else has frozen as if touched by some mythological being.  I push my way into the doorway unafraid.

Why is everyone so  shocked?

I nudge my way forward....
I see hear it before I see it....

The clicking waving sounds invade my ears. 
Musty and dank. Unused and stale.
My eyes see it but I still don't understand.
The walls of the front room of the house seem to be shimmering and waving. 
Swaying. Slithering. Clicking.
Blue gray in the beam of the flashlight, shimmering and dark. Menacing yet hypnotizing.

Bob's flashlight shines a light on the sight and that sound... I still can not make it out.
What is that sound?
What is the clicking waving movement?

Barbara runs off into the night screaming. I am happy. Whatever has made her flee can not be all bad, right? Her running away makes me giggle inside.  Her shrieks of fear fading as she distances herself from us and this house.

I peer into the darkened front room.
I am not afraid.

I don't get it... yet.
I am from Indiana. Nothing like this has ever been seen by my eyes but I learn later is normal to Florida.
The walls seem to be alive and moving.
The walls are alive!

The movement, clicking and shimmery waves are from COCKROACHES!!! 
The house is alive with them.
Crawling and slithering up and down the walls, the ceiling, the floor! Beautiful waves and walls of roaches.
Marching angry cockroaches. Rolling walls of Cockroaches!
Clicking and disturbed by the light and the sound of humans. 
They move constantly as if in protest. Up and down the walls. Across the floor. Marching like Army ants.  Clicking as they marched.
Silvery waves of giant bugs. Ugly bugs.
The walls not visible thru the hundreds of roaches moving up and down. Scurrying but not really afraid.

Bob bought a house sight unseen and it is infested with millions and millions of giant cockroaches!

He slams the door shut in fear and frustration. Slides the lock securely as if to lock them inside. 
We all pile back in to the crammed camper to sleep. The house forgotten.
The next day we all emerge from the cramped camper and move into a trailer park. We are now field workers.
Strawberries and Oranges.
Plant City, Florida
I feel like we are in a foreign country.
I feel that life is about to change....


  1. Dear God, Lana - Stephen King 'aint got nothing on you! But hey - he probably never went through the 'real' stuff like you did. I can't wait to get to the end of your horrifying life story - those awful 'carers' of yours got their come-uppance, surely?!!! Nasty, nasty, nasty vile people. Love you, Lana! xxxx

  2. OMG Lana, what a hideous, revolting sight that must have been! At least it had that monster Barbara terrified - that must have been very satisfying for you to hear her scream! The way you depict it makes me shudder, I can almost feel myself right there amongst those vile creatures! Warmest thoughts and my deepest love dear Lana. (((hugs))) xxxooo

    1. Omg, Lana! That really gave me the creeps! Those bugs are so disgusting! I could feel them crawling as you described the scene. Yuck! I hope you get a good exterminator out there before you had to move in. Big hugs

  3. Lana, you are just blowing my mind! How in the world did your life change from one terrible nighmare after another to the beautiful life you now share with your family? I know your husband has been going through hell, but I think he'll pull through and carry on. You are quite a gal, my dear, and there are many similarities between your past and mine. You have touched such an important part of people's hearts. You are helping others HEAL!

  4. Oh my goodness, Lana. You poor little girl!!!! I just want to run back through time and save you from all of the horror. I'm frightened to death of cockroaches. That all must have been extremely terrifying. Love and big hugs to you, Sweetie!~Marilyn<3

  5. Good Lord, I can't even make an intelligent comment. That's a huge fear of mine.

  6. All itchy and creeped out now eeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuu hate cockroaches xxxJoolsxxx

  7. Gaahh!!!! I live in Tampa, which isn't far from Plant City, and how I LOATHE the ginormous cockroaches. Sneaky bastards come out of nowhere, usually after a storm. blech..

  8. You didn't describe your disgust for the creepy crawly.. somehow I think at the time you may have been fascinated with them. Maybe the fact that they gave Barbara the creeps. Maybe you were just too tired after traveling so far. Maybe you were pleased that Bob had proved such a idiot as to purchase with out seeing. Was your sister scared? Awaiting another chapter .. as your story runs the gamut of emotions.

  9. Yuck!!! Oh goodness Lana I would've literally ran right behind that monster Barbara. Lol! Those bugs are So Disgusting!!! You were probably somewhat glad in a weird sorda way that the focus wasn't on you at the moment but rather on these gross insects!! God bless you Lana (((HUGS))) and also your hubby Henry. You both are still in my prayers ;)

  10. The indiana state was really helpful for It in the year 2011 and nice to see this information in this blog. Thanks for sharing with us.

  11. Parksdale Strawberry shortcake in Plant City will always have the memory tainted now with this story sad to say. We saw that the line was about 75 people deep this year on the way back from the State Fair in Tampa and dinner in Ybor City and just gave up on it. I won't be able to drive through there anymore without thinking of this retched story. Little Lana still needs saving! Good that she has grown up Lana to guide her out.

  12. Lana:

    I haven't commented in a while and have been reading all your blogs. I just do not know what to say. It breaks my heart to think a beautiul child had to go through this.

    I admire your strength and courage. Love to you, Henry and your family.


  13. Hi Lana,

    Just found you on YouTube (looking for 50+ makeup tips... sigh) and found the video about your husband. My heart breaks for you. I couldn't even watch the whole video. I have been where you've been, only with a different cancer and a more... sudden and immediate outcome. If you want to commiserate sometime, I'm around. I blogged about my experience, too. Kept me sane.

    Hugs to you, and there is NO WAY you are 4 years older than me!

    -Liz T.

  14. Lana,

    In my heart, and with all my heart........ I know that you are making a difference, to many. You are a survivor, no question. Someday, someone will read your book and THEY will survive. xoxox Loads of love to you! Natalie


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