Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Rest of the Story

In the summer of 1962, my paternal grandmother and her youngest daughter made for me and my cousins a playhouse in the small barn behind her home. I was most charmed by the white lace curtains at the windows, but there was also a kitchen, a table and mismatched chairs, an old sofa, and a wasp's nest of mammoth proportions. 

Perhaps my cousins and I should have learned to coexist with those wasps. Instead, we felt it necessary to clean house. And so it was that on a warm summer morning, after finding a great long stick, we began poking at it...slowly at first and then with more vigor. 

The rest of the story goes by in a bit of a haze, but you may imagine three little girls tearing across a back lawn making a beeline (every pun intended) for the safety of their nana's big kitchen. The wasps were in hot pursuit (every pun...oops...used that line already). I remember getting stung over and over. They were trapped in my clothing. What happened to my cousins must have been something similar, though I really don't remember.

All I could think was that everything would be okay when we made it to the house. You may imagine my shock when we were quickly ushered right back out the door. My mother rescued me as best she could, but she could not prevent the stings that had already happened nor could she prevent the final stings even though she had me in hand and was trying. 

And that, friends, is the rest of the story...almost.

My grandson was stung when a wasp got trapped in his sock. I think his experience is what brought my own floating back to the surface. My grandson is no longer certain that I should have this on the beam ledge.


He may be right because wasp nests are very difficult to keep tidy. I think I'll toss this one and look for another. And now I must get back to cleaning house in earnest. (Would you believe that I thought I'd be all finished by this time? Sigh.)


A happy weekend to you...

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ETA: John tells me that we have a hornet's nest on the ledge. I was stung by hornets, not wasps. My grandson was stung by a wasp. I think. Don't hold me to any of this. ☺

32 comments:

  1. Your playhouse sounds wonderful but I know those stings hurt like crazy.
    I remember getting into a yellow jacket nest as a child.
    We have a nice, steady rain today. Good day for cleaning the house and feeding these hungry pets.

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  2. I've actually never been stung by a bee or a wasp--I've always tried to avoid them like the plague! Nice blog, new reader. Thanks!

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  3. Oh that hurt, I can remember stepping on bees in the clover. Mother would say keep your shoes on.

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  4. Your playhouse sounds nice..I can't remember the last time I was stung. Thanks for sharing, really enjoyed it. Blessings

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  5. That looks like a big hornet nest on your shelf....and I have stories of stings over the years, too. It's a miserable feeling.....not being able to outrun them. We used to keep honey bees but at least with them, they can only sting once. Hope you have a nice day! I guess it's cool to clean house. It's 83 here....feels like 103! hahaha! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  6. Oh dear, what a frightful experience that was. Makes cleaning the house seem like a piece of cake, yes? Which reminds me that I'm having some drop in company later today so I best get moving and pick up a bit of clutter here and there and get rid the more visible dust. That playhouse sounds lovely minus the wasps!!

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  7. What a story, yes etched in your memory for sure. I mis read a sentence … and thought your grandson wasn't certain you should be on that ledge. I had a to read it more than once. Thankfully your cleaning isn't that thorough.

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  8. Oh Vee...from delight to disaster. I love the way you told the story. It so reminded me of a memory from my childhood. My best's friends father was a cement contractor and built a play house in her back yard out of cement. We spent hours in that little living room and kitchen. Her mom made furniture out of orange crates covered with fabric. The little kitchen had a table like yours and lace curtains. What wonderful memories...and PTL no wasps.

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  9. Still calling by and enjoying your blog, apologies for not commenting very often. It was lovely to enjoy a catch up today as always also wanted to thankyou for leaving a comment on my photo blog recently, much appreciated. I love the way you told this story, it must have been very painful at the time!

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  10. HI Vee, what a story...I am sure it must have been very painful...Those darn wasps. One year in particular, I was stung many times. I was always gardening when I was stung. I was trimming some Nadina shrubs and I didn't see the nest. They swarmed me and I took off running with my clippers. While running, I ended up throwing the clippers. I didn't find them until 5 years later. Great story. Enjoy the weekend.

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  11. Oh how awful, Vee! Your story brings to memory a time when I was just a young squirt (maybe 5) and I was outside playing in my kiddie pool. My mom brought me an apple for a snack so I went to sit down to eat it (I'm wearing only my bathing suit) and sat right on a bee/wasp and it stung me right in the fanny! Well, I went running inside and sweet mother bandaged me up and sent me back out. . .Well, being the "smart" girl that I was, I went and sat down in the same place and got stung again, this time on the other cheek! Oh brother. . . Anywho, I have not been stung since then :)

    Happy weekend, sweet lady!

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  12. Happy Weekend to you, too. I think I'd get rid of the wasp nest! ;)

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  13. Oh that must have been so miserable! Years ago I was stung by a wasp on my ankle. My whole foot swelled up and I couldn't even walk on it. So I hopped around on won foot. Then the swelling started up my leg. I had to go to the doctor. I don't remember what he gave me for it. i am very careful around wasps and bees now.

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  14. Ow, ow, ow! I got stung by a wasp several years ago at our former cottage, and it hurt like the dickens. Those nasty creatures used to build nests on the underside of our porch railings. And if we failed to spray on a regular basis, we would be pursued if we ventured too close to their nests. The one in question nailed me as I was merely walking up the stairs to go in the back door. No sticks, no prodding, just minding my own business. Nasty, nasty creatures! I hope your grandson gets to feeling better. And I'm sorry that you had a tussle with some waspers when you were a little one.

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  15. P.S. I got stung on my hand. I applied lots of ice and cursed like a sailor (strictly for mental health purposes).

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  16. Yuck. Wasps!! They always remind me of the chicken coop on the old farm and I was scared to death of them. We get some form of waspiness when they build mud homes in corners of the house wherever they decide to. Believe me when I say that if I see one, I blast it away with anything that I can find and demolish their home. Shudders!!

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  17. Oh, dear.I never had such an experience..I have been stung several times but not chased by them.
    Bless your little hearts...I know it must have hurt sooo bad.
    My little grandgirl, DEEDS, had a bee hit her neck and she instantly dropped her head, trapping the bee and he stung her several times. Big brother pulled the stinger out.

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  18. You were lucky not to be allergic to bee stings or you'd likely not be here regaling us with wonderful stories every day. :-) I feel sorry for people allergic to, and terrified of bees that have to carry an e- pen at all times.

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  19. I don't like to be stung, but now we know about plantain and that helps so much! Poor little guy!

    We were pressure washing the house today, and we took the shutters off the house (likely the first time since the house was built, certainly the first we've done it) since I am going to be painting them black this coming week. I was amazed at all the yellow jacket nests that were built underneath the shutters. Thankfully all old ones!

    Deanna

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  20. Your playhouse sounds delightful ~ the stings, not so much!

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  21. You'll never be finished. Just sayin'! :)

    I have a granddaughter who could empathize with you, when it comes to wasps. They love her. They find her. They get her! She has been swarmed on several occasions...stung many times over...while her twin sister stands beside and sees it all happen. Go figure! They happen to have a playhouse in the old barn too...though I don't think the wasps have bothered them there.

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  22. We had wasps on our deck until the huge bees took over a couple years ago. But I've found the bees kind of have a "life and let live" attitude. I avoid them and they avoid me (so far).

    The wasps wanted all the territory!

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  23. Wasps! Tim just took care of a nest (we hope) down by the compost bins. He was stung a couple of times. No fun at all.
    Your childhood playhouse sounds delightful, especially the lace curtains. Did you ever go back in there?

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  24. I have been here for a while this evening, enjoying so many wonderful posts that I have missed in the past ten days or so. I will not "truly" address the one just previous to this one because you requested emails instead of blog comments. I will just say that I was drawn in to your thoughts very much. Never in my life have I struggled with current events the way I am now. To say that it requires devotion to prayer is an understatement.

    But you said not to comment, so...

    I shall comment on your inspired post from today instead. It is among my greatest burdens, if not THE greatest right now, that folks would rather remain mum in the face of evil than risk the consequences of speaking against it.

    I did enjoy this story about the bees, too. I had a similar experience as a little girl, and I will never forget it. (Mother has a wasp nest just like the one in your picture, too.) Today, my niece was the victim of a bee attack. It was just one solo attacker, but he seemed determined to chase her down. Yikes!

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  25. How frightening to be stung repeatedly! Stings are very painful, as you are well aware. Do you fear bees, wasps, and hornets now? I walk in the garden amongst them and I'm not afraid...on the other hand, if one gets in the house, I'm quite afraid! I think your nest is a paper wasp's nest, and it's beautiful!
    Hugs, Beth

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    1. I think you're absolutely correct, Beth! I was stung by wasps. What was throwing me off was the yellow bands on their tails, which I thought in hindsight might be hornets.

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  26. I've never been stung by a wasp, and only by a bee once. That hurt a lot, so I can imagine how much pain you were in, Vee!

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  27. Well it makes for a great story, but how horrible that you were all attacked! Wasp stings hurt like the dickens, I actually have scars where I was stung as a kid. Your wasp nest is a great decorative item, but I would be too afraid that it still harbored a few wasps to bring it inside.

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    1. It's been there for a half-dozen years. No fears. Careful observation is how one determines that a wasp nest has been abandoned. Then the nest is bagged and sprayed lightly with insecticide. (This is also done for bird nests and any "natural item.") After a few days, the item is allowed to air in natural light and fresh air...the attic...and within a week or so or as soon as we remember...it comes inside to be added to the decor. I have many natural items on display.)

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  28. I was stung by a wasp last summer. One good thing about it was that now I know I'm not allergic. : )

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  29. What happened to yesterday's post?

    Your "hornet" story would be a most memorable (bad memory) experience. I wonder if all children have a wasp or hornet story. Your experience was much, much worse than mine, though. It sounds as if you and your cousins weren't allergic to them ~ thankfully.

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  30. Ugh feel your pain! I was stung a few years back by a hornet. I was fall cleaning and disturbed a nest. I now have have to go get a shot if I get stung - it seems I've become allergic.

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