Saturday, June 12, 2010

Perils in Suburbia

Humans face many dire perils in this world:  war, famine, flood, drought.  In this suburbia we do not face those perils right now, thankfully.  So perhaps we conflate other fears to a higher level than they deserve.  Some suburban fears include: the snowplow not showing up in time, encountering a skunk, and seeing saggy middle-aged women in Capri pants.  Then there is the fear that our neighbors will get fed up with our slovenly yard upkeep.

After three weeks of staying inside due to illness, I had to face my outside fears.  My fears lurk in here:

I am certain that dangerous snakes, vicious rabbits, and angry chipmunks live in there.  Actual members of our family have spotted all three species in our yard. I fear these creatures more than I fear my neighbor’s wrath at having to look at those weeds every day.  It doesn’t help that the book my daughter selected for bedtime stories the past few nights is 100 Facts You Should Know About Deadly Creatures.  Then there is also the questionable wisdom of a woman with vertigo trying to weed a muddy, sloping terrain.

Angry Chipmunk

With images from the “deadly snakes” and “venomous spiders” pages fresh in my mind from the previous night’s bedtime reading, I put on my thickest gardening gloves, and started pulling out the tall weedy grass.  Nope, better to use the clippers, even though this meant I wouldn’t get the weeds out by the roots.  No WAY was I sticking my hands down near the ground.  Because whoever lives in those holes in the ground would definitely attack me for disturbing their peace.

Attack Rabbit

After about 10 minutes work, though, and no harm done to me, I got a little bolder.  I gingerly stepped up into the chopped weeds so I could reach higher up, tense with anticipation of the Gaboon viper’s bite or the black widow spider’s sting the whole time.  

Gaboon Viper

Then I had to go work from the top of the hill down, to reach the rest of the weeds.  Vertigo prevented me from standing, so I sat down in the mud, and started chopping.  Of course, this put me even closer to the vicious rabbits that I knew were lurking underground.  But another 10 minutes, and no attack.  The only creature I saw was a huge daddy-long-legs.  I decided to ditch the clippers and pull by hand.  Pull, pull, pull, and then, aaaah!  I shrieked in panic – something had bitten my hand right through the glove!  Nobody heard me scream because this is suburbia, and there was incessant noise coming from a wood chipper down the block.  I snatched my glove off and saw a pinpoint prick – either an insect or a thorn had pierced my precious scaredy-cat skin.  

I ran as fast as my vertigo-infected head would let me, into the house.  More like a slow, middle-aged trot. My hand hurt and was turning red at the site of the sting.  First ice, then the Blessed Benadryl.  My hand hurt for the rest of the day, but the expected total paralysis did not set in.  I guess it wasn’t a black widow spider bite.  

The photo below shows the result of those thirty minutes of anxious weeding.  What you can’t see is the unfinished portion to the right.  I have decided that it is time for me to learn how to use the weed whacker.  

1 comment:

Maria Sondule said...

Haha this is pretty funny. I agree with what you say about elevating fears we have, although I think I fear more fearful things than weeds...