Neighbor Help

This past week I hired a neighbor teen to help with yard work as I still had not finished removing all the grass that exists in our front yard.

He was only able to work for an hour so I got ready to meet him outside.

  • Long sleeve plaid shirt – check
  • Long pants – check
  • Knee high rubber boots – check
  • Deer/tick repellant – check

I ran through my usual routine of spraying the repellant around the edges of my boots, shirt and pants. Then I sprayed the repellant in the air and walked underneath it (a method women use when they want to wear perfume but have it smell subtly).

With shovel and hoe in hand, I went to the front yard and started digging up some of the grass. Within a few minutes, I heard a voice “Hello Norma,” as the neighbor boy walked up to the edge of the front yard. Looking up I was taken aback. He was wearing a short sleeve t-shirt, shorts, gloves, ankle crew socks and hiking boots. “Oh, did you need to put any repellant on?” I asked.

“No,” he said. I sheepishly explained what I wanted done. He was quick and finished almost everything I needed done in that one section within the allotted hour. At one point, he asked me if I wanted a particular plant removed. “Sure!” I exclaimed. Kneeling down he rubbed the leaf and said “It’s mint. Are you sure you want it out? It will grow like a weed if you keep it so you’ll need to make sure to contain it.”

He was full of knowledge but I shouldn’t be surprised as he grew up in this neighborhood.

I wish I had taken a picture of the two of us — extreme opposites. One throwing caution to the wind and free as a bird and the other (me) wrapped up so as not to let any bugs come near me.

I still have so much to learn about living in Minnesota. The summers, I believe, will continue to be my least favorite season. In Seattle, I used to love to work in the yard on a sunny day. In Minnesota, I look out the window and think “let’s see, are there a lot of mosquitoes out today?” Then I wonder if the passing deer left any ticks behind.

Not being a bug person (I’m not sure where I got the dislike for them) I really need to learn to relax around them.

For now, entering the house after working in the yard, I remove my clothes, throw them in the washer and head for the shower to remove the repellant from my skin.

One day I’ll be like the locals and not care about all the varied insects that roam our property. On second thought, I really doubt that will happen.


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