Daily Post: Out of Breath We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.
Wow, the last decade, that’s a lot of time to consider/remember. I am going to need a break to think this one over because somehow, the memory of crazy, hectic, stressful days are pretty much filed away in a part of my brain labeled “Useless, Enter at Own Risk” because recalling negative moments seems depressing.
Hmmm.. that just gave me an idea. I will “enter at [my] own risk” and open a hectic memory that produced positive results and actually taught me a lesson, which one, which one? I’ve got it!
This Christmas will be our tenth anniversary of moving from Arizona to Oklahoma. My husband’s position in Arizona had been phased out as the corporation was making cut-backs to middle management and unfortunately, he had passed up a promotion to be V.P. of Operations for the entire region, just the year before. In retrospect, that was a bad decision on his part.
He was out of work for six months, looking for careers other than the commodity he had been in for thirty plus years. He was having no luck and my job, Finance Manager at a church, had a bigger title than paycheck – we could not live on my earnings alone. He began looking for career opportunities outside of Arizona, a place where we, as transplants, both decided we did not like. He was from the panhandle of Texas and I was from Chicago, we both missed four seasons but neither of us wanted to move back to our original hometowns, the search was on.
Finally, after applying to several different national corporations, Harry decided to work for a small, family-owned business in Oklahoma. He flew out and lived in a motel for a couple of months as he tested the waters of the new position while I stayed behind in Tucson, painting every room in the house and even doing some outdoor painting, freshening up the home before listing it with a Realtor.
By three months of work at his new job, Harry decided it would work out for us so he signed a contract for an apartment closer to his new office and would begin house-hunting. Meanwhile, I was still painting and doing whatever renovations I was capable of doing by myself – changing electrical sockets, light fixtures, re-tiling the tile around the tub in the guest bathroom… those are just some of the things I contended with, but, the absolute most horrific thing to handle by myself was the KILLER BEES!! No sh*t!
While hanging the kitchen cabinet doors, after re-surfacing and painting them, the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor who asked me to step outside and look at the wall of my attached garage. That wall looked like something out of a horror movie! It was COVERED with bees! I was terrified they were killer bees because there had been recent stories of people and animals being killed by them in our own county, the most recent was a man who was doing something in his shed – they got him and he died.
I do not remember who I called for help. I had never made provisions or had a “Plan B” for “if my home is ever invaded with killer bees.” After calming down, I found the right place to call, an exterminator who was experienced in getting rid of killer bees. The exterminator would not arrive until the next day, I was panic-stricken to sleep in my home even though the master bedroom was on the opposite side of the house from where the bees were moving in.
Over the phone, while making the appointment, the exterminator told me to mix up a solution of dish soap and water and from a safe distance in the garage, spray the bees with a mist of the solution. I am fairly certain that I had a few stiff drinks of Jack before finally going to sleep that night.
The next day, the guy showed up in regular clothes with a bee-keeper’s helmet thing. I asked him if he was crazy. I thought he should be dressed like an astronaut or the medical staff caring for Ebola patients. He told me not to worry and go back inside, he would come to talk with me after assessing the situation.
His assessment was that he needed to cut out a 3×4 section of drywall in the garage where the bees built their new home. I told him to “go ahead, cut out more if you need to!” I was not sure how he was going to cut out the wall without angering the bees.
“I’m going to poke a little hole into the wall big enough for the end of this hose to fit and fill that wall cavity with smoke. The smoke will make the bees docile and I’ll cut out the drywall to see how big of a hive we’re dealing with.”
I was still frightened for him and then I went and hid in my bedroom. He told me that he would ring the doorbell when he was finished.
When the doorbell rang, I answered and followed him to the garage, I saw the large area where the drywall had been cut out. Honey was dripping everywhere. The exterminator handed me a chunk of honeycomb, “Try it, there’s nothing better than pure honey right from the honeycomb.” I declined. I was not in the mood for eating anything.
After removing the last of the honeycombs, Exterminator man explained that there might be a few stragglers hanging around for a few days only because they would be confused as to why the hive is missing, but not to worry because he removed the Queen and without the Queen, there won’t be a hive. He also showed me where the little buggers were coming in to the garage, it was a tiny hole at the outdoor junction box. I would eventually re-caulk everything after the last of the bees left.
As my horror story, most hectic day, was coming to a close, I had to ask Exterminator man, “How many bees do you think there were? How big was this hive?”
“Average size I’d say, between 20 to 40 thousand.”
“Were they really the African ones?”
“Oh yeah. That’s about all we have out here anymore. You can’t handle them on your own, people die that way.”
Three months later, the garage drywall was repaired, all of my renovations were complete and the house went on the market where it stayed for another three months. It sold only weeks before the housing bubble burst.
I might not have the type of luck that wins money-lotteries but that’s ok as long as I have the kind of luck that protects me in death-defying situations – like KILLER BEES!