Thursday, June 12, 2014
Cup of Joy
Memaw’s advice works - ‘just spray them’
A few weeks ago, my Memaw and I were touring the backyard. We had been on the back porch enjoying the evening and a glass of tea when Memaw suggested we take a walk around the yard to see what all was in bloom.
Mind you, this was just a few weeks ago, and the azaleas were alive and well; they were the main beauty I wanted to see.
We roamed the yard. The hostas were full. The tulip poplar was grand, bearing its large majestic leaves. The redbud had already shed its precious purple blooms and morphed into greenery. And the red honeysuckle was giving off its sweet fragrance as it climbed the fence.
And then, as we rounded the corner of the house, going through the metal archway my Pap had given my Memaw a few years ago as a birthday present, there it was - the magnificent azalea bush with its tiny pink blooms - blooms so small and lovely, almost giving cause for your breath to catch in your chest in awe of their purity and in fear that if you breathed too deeply, they would all somehow disappear. The bush could be seen from our kitchen window, but there I was before it, drinking in its splendor.
Suddenly, I was jolted out of my moment of stillness with the baby azalea blooms by hearing my Memaw.
“Joy Beth! Look at all those wasps!”
Whenever I hear the word “wasp,” I instinctively create a ducking motion and cover my head with both arms - why? Don’t ask me. I suppose somewhere in my mind I think wasps are only confined to targeting my head rather than the rest of my body. Silly, but nonetheless, there you have it.
After realizing I was not yet being attacked, I scanned the gutters of the house, and my eyes fell where my grandmother’s hand was directing my attention.
In the corner of the roof, right above the beautiful azaleas, a group of wasps was buzzing about, rapidly swarming and building their nest. There had to be at least 20 of the things.
Memaw gave me specific instructions, indicating battling these pests was nothing new to her.
“Go get the wasp spray out of the laundry room so you can spray them, baby.”
Right off, I had my questions: 1) How am I going to target and bullseye these things with some measly spray? 2) “Spray” implies that I have to get close enough to these things to hit them; just how does she expect me to do that? 3) Where do we keep our ladder? 4) What is the best remedy for wasp stings?
Despite my questions, I did as I was told and retrieved the spray. When I returned to the yard, Memaw said, “Okay, now just spray them.”
What? I looked at her in complete confusion.
“Just spray them, baby.”
Clearly, I had to explain my doubts.
“Memaw, just how am I supposed to spray these things and kill them? This stuff won’t reach that far.”
“Yes, it will. Just spray them, and they’ll die.”
She offered no further explanation.
So, simply not knowing what else to do other than trust my Memaw, I stood back and pressed the nozzle.
Before my amazed eyes, I saw a thick stream of poison fly from the can and cover every wasp in the vicinity. In seconds, every pest was dead.
I turned to my Memaw with a slack-jawed grin. All she said was, “Told ya.”
If I had taken a moment to read the can, I would have noticed that it said, “Kills on Contact! Up to 27 ft. Jet Spray!”
Sometimes, we just need to have a little faith, and the wasps will all be taken care of.
I went back to admiring the azaleas.
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