Do you ever see a shoe lying by the side of the road and wonder about its story? I do. I wonder where the second shoe is, did this one get thrown out of a car window by a bored toddler? Was it set upon the roof of the car and forgotten as the driver sped off? Or is there a more sinister story behind this singular shoe lying in the gutter? My imagination likes to grab onto these lost and forgotten bits of someone’s life and ponder them. And today, I wonder if anyone seeing the lone glove in my front yard is wondering what is the story of that glove.
And what evidence would be found? This is a left-handed gardening glove, its mate 10 feet away next to a pair of gardening clippers. The clippers lay equidistant between a yard debris can and a partially pruned and rather sad looking fern. A rake lays in the grass near the can, looking as if it was once propped against it but has fallen to the ground.
And what that keen eye would probably not see would be the wasp’s nest hidden in that fern, under last year’s forgotten fronds.
Wednesday afternoon I had the thought, “I am going to get some yard work done before the rain comes this weekend.” I had a few minutes before Biggest was due to come home and clearing out the overgrown and weed-choked side bed seemed like a good idea.
I used the time-tested gardening technique I learned at my mother’s side of grasp a handful of fronds, lean down and clip. Repeat. Part way through the front half of the fern, the dust and spores started rising in a musty, patchouli-scented cloud. So when something flew towards my right hand my brain didn’t immediately process what was happening. However, when the first wasp stung my right hand, my brain kicked in. And I noticed two things: the wasp was small and stung me a second time and a swarm was rising from the fern.
I peeled off my right glove, bumped into the debris can as I sprinted across my lawn, calling my dog and shutting the swarm outside. Then I started feeling the bees in my hair.
I’m not sure how many stings I got. There are at least two on my right hand and over five on my head. Since then, I’ve been taking an antihistamine and icing. Today the swelling in my hand is worse so I’ve added hydrocortisone to the mix since I can’t take an antihistamine when I need to be alert. And by worse I mean the back of my right hand is one big poofy mess of red, swollen, and hot flesh hiding all the veins, tendons and joints so easily visible on my left hand.
This morning as I walked back to my house after dropping Middlest at the bus stop, I saw my glove lying there in the grass. I hadn’t remembered taking it off as I ran through the yard, calling for Charlie and waving away the wasps circling my head. But there it lay, a reminder that I still need to finish my project.
It is not something I look forward to doing. Because I really don’t want the story of a glove to have a sequel.