Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Don't Go Back

No man had ever shown up at my front door holding a can of SKOAL before. The irony of that moment took a back seat to the immediate blasts of pain from various points on my body.

I opened the door; he quickly came inside and said, “Let’s fix those bee stings.”

We took small pinches of dip and I rubbed them on my arms, my neck, my ankles, and my shin. Amazed at the instant relief, I hurried to my medicine box in search of some band-aids. Only one crusty, old band-aid lined the bottom of the box.

Scotch tape became my next best bet. I took a pinch to cover my itch; he put a pinch in his lip. Our southernisms bleed out in moments of stress. After we finished the creative doctoring, my body was polka-dotted with round tape patches, resembling tiny anthills.

This summer ranked as my first real attempt at gardening. Standing in the grocery store line at PUBLIX forced me to gaze upon lurid gardens gracing the covers of “Southern Living” and “Country Gardening.” My little home in Olde Town would become one of those flourishing gardens by the end of summer.

Just as Orly instructed, I waited until Mother’s Day to set out my impatiens and zinnias. She knew the danger of a late freeze. Sunflower seeds lined my front flowerbed, and various orange, pink, white, and purple flowers cover the back. My small herb garden would spice up my homemade meals that I would begin cooking. Last, my Southern garden held two ferns that I planned to drug with so much Miracle-Gro that my porch ceiling would refuse to hold them by late July.

My gardening dream became more real as May and June progressed. My late night waterings and early morning weed inspections produced beautiful flowers and perfect herbs. By this time, I had hosted four parties on my back patio. We relished in the flowers and beauty of the summer.

When July rolled into the summer, the gardening started to lose some of its appeal. The heat was oppression even in the early morning. However, I would soon meet my little enemies.

That fateful morning, my watering can awaited the morning filling. When I lifted to hose to place inside my red watering can, that wasp blasted me on the wrist. He dug in so deeply that I his fluttering wings brushed my skin like a hummingbird before I pulled him from my arm. My next sting came while trimmed the edges of the front yard.

Later in the summer, my dad came by to help cut the grass. I had waited so long since the last mowing that my neighbors must have hated me. We plowed through the weeds. As I trimmed the edges with the push mower, a swarm of yellow jackets declared war on me when I moved over the nest hidden underground.

My father, still laughing after witnessing my 50 yard dash, commented, “Caroline, why do you keep going back to the same places? Don’t you ever learn?”

In my moment of flurry and pain, my dad taught me a life lesson. Don’t go back to the places that cause the most pain. Plow a new path with someone beside you helping cut the way. Old loves, bad habits, addictions, and fears swarm when we go back. God warned Lot not to look back. We must learn not to look back either. Great wisdom comes to those who hear the warning of God and their own experiences. And, sometimes it helps to listen to your dad.

2 Comments:

Blogger Josh said...

it was nice meeting you too. yeah, i'm a bit of a blog-a-holic. one of the nerds out there. just let me know a date that works for everybody and i'll do my best to make it out.

9:16 PM  
Blogger hipastorzwife2B said...

well, well theres a medicinal use for dip. I'll tell my brother-in-law, but I think he probably knows. Hope you're feeling better.

8:52 AM  

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