Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

For Sunday, September 28


Marrying a “yard woman” has saved me thousands of dollars


            When the preacher tied the knot for us 51 years ago, nothing was said about my wife being a faithful “yard woman,” but that she has been all these years. She simply loves to work in the yard.

            We make a good team because I like to sit and watch her work in the yard. I can sit back, watch her work for hours at a time, and enjoy every minute of it.

            I overheard someone ask her one day why she enjoyed working in the yard so much. Her reply puzzled me. She said, “Early in our marriage I decided that whenever Walter got on my nerves, instead of arguing, I would go work in the yard. So, for over half a century now, I have worked some in the yard almost daily. My house may be a mess, but my yard is in good shape.”

            I should be a rich man really since I have never had to hire a “yard man” like some folks do. My good fortune in marrying a “yard woman” has saved me a lot of money, probably thousands of dollars.

            Dean’s yard work has also saved me from paying for a lot of excitement and entertainment. Marriage is so dull for many couples that they have to fly off to Hawaii, Cancun, or somewhere to escape their marital boredom. Not us. Dean’s yard adventures provide all the excitement we need. Many days she is the entertainment.

             Last week, for example, she persuaded our 11-year-old grandson, Jake, to help her remove some vines that were climbing up the wall near our fig tree. The way she “persuades” Jake to help her, by the way, is to tell him that Grampa will pay him ten dollars an hour. It works every time.

            While they are hard at work, I am in the house minding my own business. Suddenly Jake comes rushing into the house yelling, “Yellow Jackets, Grampa, they stung me five times. It hurts, what do I do?”

            The only remedy I could think of was tobacco juice and I realized there was not a plug of tobacco in the house. Thinking fast, I said, “Jake, jump in the shower, and take a cold shower; that should help.”

            Jake got in the shower but in a matter of minutes, he came out flapping a towel in the air, naked as a Jaybird. “Two of those Yellow Jackets followed me inside,” he said anxiously, “help me kill them.”

            I grabbed a towel too and flailed away until I nailed one of the annoying devils. The second one got away, only not really. That night, after Dean and I went to bed, I felt something crawling in my hair. Thinking it was that Yellow Jacket in my hair, frantically I slapped my head. Sure enough, the next morning there was that Yellow Jacket, dead on the carpet beside the bed.

            Back to Jake. While he and I were attacking the Yellow Jackets with towels, Dean was rolling in the floor, her sides splitting with laughter. “That was the funniest sight I have seen in a month of Sundays,” she said when she finally stopped laughing. Jake and I were not so amused, but we were glad enjoyed our towel attack.

            Jake wisely declined using my can of wasp spray since the Yellow Jackets had been disturbed and were flying everywhere. Then he remembered something his daddy wanted him to do, so he got his money and went home. That is one smart grandson.

            A few days later Dean comes rushing into the house to tell me, “Those Yellow Jackets are still out there! They just stung me four times. I tried to use the wasp spray but I missed them.”

            I did not say it, believe me, I did not say what I was thinking: “Of course, they are still there. They have a home in the ground, right beside that fig tree, and they know how to protect their territory.”

            The four whelps suffered by Dean were on her back and arms. She looked quite pitiful because her legs were already red and swollen from fire-ant bites. Dean has an uncanny way of standing in a bed of ants and not realizing it until they have crawled up to her knees.

            I have learned that about all I can do is express my concern and continue to feed ant poison to the ants. I have concluded, however, that when the poison drives them out of one hill, they come back in two more places in the yard. Before long, we will have a fire ant farm.

            Poison ivy seems to love Dean. If anybody can find it, she can find it, and adds even more decoration to her arms and legs. Gloves might help, I tell her. But to no avail. Gloves must be for sissies. Real yard women never wear gloves.

            This summer she got the bright idea of building a small patio. I told her that she did not know how, and I did not know either. But she believes those Home Depot commercials: “You can do it. We can help.”

            So I buy her some sand, four treated 2X4s, and enough pavers for a 10X10 patio. Without any help from me, she built the patio. It looks great. She allows me to sit in a lawn chair on her new patio and watch her work.

            We had several hundred bricks left over when we bricked the house. She has hauled those bricks all over the yard, using them as a border for several beds. So now we have a brickyard and a fire ant farm.

            I have to admit it. What she does, she does well. Our yard looks good. Weeds beg for mercy; they do not stand a chance when Dean gets that look in her eye.

            I am a fortunate man. I did not realize it when this beautiful young woman became my bride, but I got far more than I bargained for. I married a yard woman, who has no equal, and I would not swap her for any woman I have ever met.

            Whatever her reasons for loving yard work, I am blessed. What is more, she can bake biscuits too, and nothing tastes better after a hard day of watching someone do yard work! + + + +