A case of spring fever

I'm sorely disappointed in our winter. I had the bucket and blade all mounted on the John Deere, and the tractor parked in the garage ready for the first blizzard. I had visions of plowing Ginnie out to the road so that she could get to work. Wouldn't you know it, no snow. When I started Ole JD up this spring, so I could mount the mower deck, the hydraulics creaked and groaned like my joints on a cold winter morning.

It's been a crazy season. In January, during our first thaw, we were attacked by an infestation of flying ants. At least that's what we thought they were. We weren't sure they were termites. Uh, oh. I suppose the unusually warm winter brought them out, like tourists on a Florida beach. Ginnie and I would be sitting in our recliners watching television, and one of those pests would fly right in front of our faces, land on the lamp shade, and commence to preen itself, like home-sweet-home. My bathroom was a veritable resort. I ran out and bought ant traps, both indoor and outdoor, to no avail. I called a pest-control friend, and he said to look at their antennae. If they were bent, the bugs were flying ants, if they were straight, they were termites. I caught one, which was pretty easy because they were all over the kitchen counter, like it was a smorgasbord, and studied the critter through my trifocals. Bent. Ah?flying ants.

But what to do? I had an exterminator come out and spray all around the foundation of the house, both inside and out. That fixed'm. But it fixed everything else, too. I saw a dead fuzzy wuzzy on the garage floor. Poor little feller. I used to play with them as a kid?put'm on my lip for a mustache. They tickled my nose. But the centipedes are gone, too. Good riddance.

My cell phone number is also the number for my insurance business. So I get a lot of solicitation calls. But because of the miracle of Caller ID, I can screen them out. Lately, I've been getting a lot of calls from around the country?New York, Arkansas, Colorado. When I don't answer, they leave a message. When I check the messages, they're phantom calls?a lot of static, scraping and muffled voices. What's going on? Why would telemarketers be derriere dialing me? Like I say, it's been a strange winter.

The good news for this fickle, no-snow winter, is that Ginnie is recovering just fine from hip-replacement surgery. No icy sidewalks have been a blessing. She has graduated from a walker, to a cane (Hurrycane), and she can pick a pill up off the floor with her ?grabber.? I'm not kidding, I saw her do it. She has a sock inserter for pulling on socks and, under the threat of not taking her shopping, she is using the motorized carts. I call her Parnelli. ?Look out everyone, here she comes!? A display of breakfast cereal topples over. It's a good thing those carts beep in reverse! Tired of my cooking?a lot of frozen pizza and canned soup?she has commenced kitchen duty. Yeah! There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it's not a train?it's chocolate chip cookies! The first thing she did was clean the splatters off the inside of the microwave, then, for relief, limped outside to see how her tulips and daffodils are doing. That put a smile on her face.

We're passing her prayer pillow along to a friend who is also having hip-replacement surgery. This pillow is bona-fide!

I gave the grass its first mowing and sunburned my head real good. It was cold enough that I had on jeans and a sweatshirt, but no hat because I don't like the farmer-tan look. Easter Sunday found me with the top of my head peeling like the Rorschach Ink-Blot Test. What do I see? A spring blizzard! One sunburned head does not a spring make.

Catch you on the flip-flop.


Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm, in Mt. Pleasant, at 319-217-0526, email him at, or find him on Facebook.

Swarm?s stories are also read on 107.3 FM, in Farmington.