Our Olde House – March 2023
Oh goody, Daylight Savings Time again; another two weeks of jet lag for me. I have to admit that our annual stupid Spring forward day has been much less stressful for me, since I decided a few years ago to stop arguing with those poor souls who think that changing the clocks actually CREATES one more hour of daylight. My guess is that these people do not get up before noon every day, so they never observe the changing time that the sun rises, only the magical one more hour of daylight in the evening. Why don’t these twilight worshippers just go to work one hour earlier, like 8 to 4 in the summer instead of 9 to 5 in the winter, and leave my clocks alone?
I have mowed the backyard green stuff three times so far this year, and it will need another haircut soon but I am waiting for a little rain to calm down the pollen. I mowed it dry once during pollen season, and was driving around in a cloud and sneezing for ten hours afterward, so now I wait for a little rain and some allergy nasal spray. Before I can mow the back I need to play fifty-two pickup with the sticks and branches that have fallen from the trees. After the last wind storm I just about filled an entire garbage can with sticks.
The front green stuff also needed mowing but I have to use my battery-powered push mower for this. As I explained to my daughter once when we were in Sears looking at the garden stuff, the riding mower is what Daddys buy when they are going to mow the lawn themselves, and the push mower is what Daddys buy when their children are going to mow the lawn. Even at five years old she understood instantly, and told me that she was not going to mow the lawn; a promise she has kept for over thirty years.
As I was just about done mowing the front yard I was greeted by the best sound for a Dad to hear which made me smile; silence, because the battery in the mower died. I had to stop mowing for the best ironclad excuse/reason there is, the battery died and it will take a few hours to recharge it. Of course, I have another battery which is charged, but that is not the point; the point is the mower stopped.
The reason I have another battery is because Miss Sherry bought this mower (with two batteries) for me for Fathers’ Day a few years ago. For men including me, this is a fantastic gift and actually is exactly what I wanted; this is a much nicer mower than I would have ever purchased for myself, it is perfect. For any young men out there, pay attention, and do NOT think that since you would like a mower as a gift that your wife therefore would like a household or kitchen appliance as a gift. No. Never. Don’t do it. You do not need to understand this, and in fact you cannot understand it, just go with it without question.
It was time to get my chainsaw-on-a-stick and cut down the ‘dead’ azalea hedge in front of the house. I was pretty sure the previously complained about 12 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas Day most sincerely killed the hedge, but I was wrong. By the time I ran out of reasons (not just flimsy excuses) to postpone this task and took my chainsaw out front, the doggone thing had flowers on it, and the flowers were of course full of bees.
I do not want to get stung by bees, probably because when I was seven years old I would grab honeybees by their wings, shake them to hear them buzz and then let them go and run. It sounds stupid now, but not to me then; it was something to do. The unfortunate part of this fun was that if I did not grab all four wings the bee would sting me on the thumb. After being stung a few times, first just my thumb swelled up, then my hand, and then my forearm swelled up so I looked like a one-armed Popeye.
At this point Mom decided we needed to go to the doctor. I do not remember much about this visit except at the end the doctor said, “If you get stung again you will die”. At the time I believed him, and actually stopped playing with honeybees. Now, I am sure he was exaggerating and just wanting me to stop playing with bees, and I am grateful to him for figuring out how to convince me to stop getting stung.
The next unfortunate part of this story was that the notation “allergic to bee stings” somehow ended up on my school permanent record. Normally this would not be a problem except that we moved a few times so I therefore changed schools, and like clockwork some day in the second week at my new school the School Nurse would call me out of class to see her. After some small talk she would eventually say “I see you are allergic to bee stings; is that a problem?” I would deadpan “No, it just means if I get stung I will die, can I go back to class now.” The School Nurse would invariably look faint, gasp Yes and that was that. The hedge can wait.