I freely admit that I took this story from Kristie as well as the name “Rage Gardening.” But it was such a thing of Viking beauty that I HAD to share it with the world.
Anyone who knows or has met Kristie (or follows her on Facebook) knows that she is pretty much a badass. A hilarious, quick-witted, Bronco-loving badass who is a direct descendant from the Vikings. I’ve done my own anscestry.com type of research and I have found her heritage looks like this:
It’s pretty much as direct a lineage as possible. In fact, she might as well star in the Vikings TV Show (except that I think it is against the History Channel’s policy to have people portray themselves on TV).
There are really only 2 things that causes Kristie any pause at all:
- Unstoppable natural disasters like a giant meteor coming to earth and Bruce Willis is busy.
- Yellowjackets and Wasps (which are really the same thing)
This is normally ok, because we still have Bruce Willis around to deal with #1 and #2 normally respects her authority… until this year.
The Wasps in the Fireplace
This year, we had a few adventurous wasps create a home inside our fireplace’s vent to the outside. Which means they are halfway into our home! And in this nice, protected nest they have decided to take over our lawn, our garden, our porch and pretty much the entire back yard!
I tried to spray them once (I am also afraid of them, and I’m a sissy with bugs so it was a pretty pathetic site) but after spraying an entire can of wasp-b-gone into their vent there were TWO that fell out and then 3 of them just flew away like nothing happened. That’s when I left.
Since then, they have grown in numbers. I believe it’s like antibiotic resistance: I killed off the weak and what is left are some type of super-wasp created by the Umbrella Corporation.
So needless to say we just gave them the back yard.
The Poor Garden
During the 3 weeks of their hostile occupation of the back yard, our garden went into full bloom. Beautiful red tomatoes, jalapeno and other chili peppers, cucumbers, zucchini/squash, green beans and even our kale and onions perked up.
It’s like a freakin’ whole foods in our backyard. If whole foods had wasps who swarmed around you when you tried to buy their produce.
For days I saw Kristie looking out at the garden with the same unfair longing that our cats show when they see a bird outside. Like our house was a prison and Kristie just wanted to pick the produce.
The Day of Reckoning
I had just figured that the wasps would just own the garden until winter, when they would retreat to the safety of our house and I’d figure it out what to do then (I have a lot of faith in the problem solving skills of my future self). But that plan wasn’t good enough for Kristie.
Last weekend, without any prompting or warning, she announced she was going to “Take Back the Garden” and put on long pants, sweat shirt, glasses and a single glove on her right hand (not so much a fashion statement but rather who knows where the left glove is) and, no joke, went outside and started yelling at the wasps.
I’m sure our neighbors considered making fun of us until they realized they were hearing legit Viking war songs.
Kristie then went and started to pick the produce and swat any wasp away with her gloved hand. I swear it all happened in slow motion – like in the movies.
It was a sight to behold! Pure Viking power!
What Did I Do?
While my wife was being brave, I did what any proud, testosterone-driven man who was getting showed up by his wife would have done:
- I called Emmett to the window and showed him how brave his mom was being, hoping that my “teaching moment” would last long enough that I wouldn’t have to help.
- I mentally indexed where the epipen was as well as the medical kit
- I hoped that Luke would wake up from his nap so that I could “go tend to him as a legitimate parental move”
- I kinda hoped the phone would ring, which would have been the rare time I would have answered it and gladly done any survey
But after about 5 minutes, I realized I was being totally weak-willed.
So I went outside, congratulated Kristie, picked 2 cucumbers then came back inside while she finished.
There were a lot of freakin’ wasps… and I’m no Viking. I have British heritage. We had our moment of glory back in the day and it was nothing compared to the Vikings!
So Now We Have Vegetables!
Yes, thanks to the bravery of my wife we now have vegetables. Lots of them.
Emmett also learned a valuable lesson: I heard him yelling at the wasps in the front yard when he was playing with a friend.
So all is well!
Oh, and for my own learning and bravery reflection: I called Orkin. Because they have guys with the good poison who come and fix problems. And I’m still afraid of yellowjackets and wasps.