Growing Things

First mosquito bite of the season! Somehow it doesn’t seem fair that we pay for warmer temperatures with wind and mosquitoes. It seems as if the mosquitoes (one, anyway) are out earlier than usual, but I don’t really remember when I got my first bite last year. I do remember it was right below the eye, just like this one.

One of these days when I have plenty of time and the air is still, I’ll have to mosquito-proof my clothes with permethrin. That seem to help prevent bites as does wearing light colors (Mosquitoes are attracted to black, though I don’t know why. I wonder if dark colors remind them of murky waters beneath the reeds in stagnant pools.) Of course, even though the clothes help repel the ravenous creatures that so love me, I still have to use some sort of repellent on hands and face. (Lemon eucalyptus oil seems to work.)

I haven’t worried too much about side effects from the repellent because the previous summers I was only out every other day watering my plants, but it looks as if this year, I’ll be out every day. There’s twice as much area to water, and I can’t manage to do it all in one day. At least, I couldn’t today.

I find it ironic that my plan was to get the yard to where it didn’t need any work, so that I wouldn’t look as if I lived in a derelict house when I got too old to care for my place, and yet here I am, adding to my outside labor each year. Still, I’ve decided not to worry about the future, at least not in this regard, and I’ve decided not to worry about the water usage (even though it does make my conservationist heart cringe) because that green, green grass makes me smile. So do the tulips that are still bringing cheer to parts of the yard that are still winter-bleak. For so many years after Jeff died, I thought I’d never smile again, and yet here I am, smiling at just the thought of my yard.

Of course, along with wanted plants come the unwanted ones, like wild mustard and others I haven’t yet learned the names. But for now, while the weeds are so young I don’t even know for sure they are weeds or what to do about them, they add to the lushness of the yard.

It doesn’t look as if there are going to be any more below-freezing nights, so I could probably plant the seeds I have, but I don’t trust the weather forecasters. So, I’ll wait. I have plenty of growing things to enjoy right now.

Well, except for the mosquitoes. I don’t enjoy those particular growing things at all.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.