Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Fought the Lawn & the Lawn Won

Dear John,
I dare you to read that title without humming Bobby Fuller all evening.
I did mow. And I trimmed, and edged the driveway, and watered everything. It was sunny and around 68 - perfect mowing weather. And in the process of trimming, I discovered two holes along the fence that have yellow jackets in them. They're so aggressive this time of year. So I abandoned my position and trimmed elsewhere for half an hour to give them time to calm down. And all is well. And you know what that reminded me of: Durham.
That log had been in Pat's back yard all the time we'd rented her house, and we'd never thought anything about it. Then there was the day you bumped it with the lawnmower and discovered that it was full of yellow jackets. We'd brought Mama home from Duke that morning after her bypass surgery, and she was staying with us for a week or so before going home to Greenville.
The first thing I knew about it was when you came running in the back door shouting, with at least 50 yellow jackets following you. You had about 50 stings, mostly below the waist, thank goodness. So I gave you Benadryl, got you and Mama and the dog safely out to the car, and came back in to set up the house and set off the bug bombs. (At least I was in practice and had plenty of them. Durham's flea problem was so bad that we bombed the house every month for four years.)
Then I had to do something with all of us for two hours. You immediately went to sleep when the Benadryl hit. Naomi thought it was a great adventure, and Mama was miserable and just wanting to lie down. I think I went and got everybody something to eat, and we sat in the car for two hours. I may have blocked out that memory. After two hours we all went home, I got you and Mama off to bed, and then cleaned up the house. We were finding dead yellow jackets for a month.
I really don't like to think about that day. It wasn't fun. And it never even got funny. But I was certainly thinking about it today when I found those two holes. I will be very careful around them for the rest of the fall. And pour something deadly in them in the spring. In your honor. When I kill them, I will dedicate it to you. It will be your revenge. Served extremely cold. (I think that was in 1987, wasn't it? That was 25 years ago. Yikes. Justice delayed is justice denied? It's the best that I can do.)
To sum up: The lawn looks great. Nobody got stung. I wouldn't want to relive that day in 1987.
Love you enough to take on the yellow jackets,

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