On a Sunday not long ago, I woke up with my mind buzzing, making a mental list of all the things I needed to do that day. We’d recently moved into our new home, and we were getting ready for six houseguests and a dozen or so dinner guests later that week.
This meant it was probably time to locate the floor of the guest bedroom, which had been strewn with all manner of Things I Don’t Know What to Do With since we moved.
But I had a deadline, and I was motivated. I’d vacuum, mop floors, scrub toilets, organize, unpack—nothing was going to stop me. I was pretty sure I would put Martha Stewart to shame.
The Best-Laid Plans of Critters and Women
Around 6 p.m., I was making some progress on my ambitious to-do list, if not as big of a dent as I’d hoped. That’s when I walked into the living room and heard a strange humming sound. I headed toward the corner where the noise seemed to be coming from . . . and promptly went into cardiac arrest.
The windows were covered with yellow jackets. ON THE INSIDE.
I looked up to see the tiniest hole in the ceiling where the devilish little creatures were filing into the living room, one after the other. It was like a horror movie, minus the popcorn.
At that point I did what every independent, self-sufficient modern woman does: I ran outside to find my husband.
Daniel looked at my face and immediately stopped what he was doing. “Are you okay?”
I nodded automatically. “Yes . . .”
And then it hit me: NO, I AM NOT OKAY. There are hundreds of large flying insects with stingers on them, and they are INSIDE OUR HOUSE. I will never sleep here again. On second thought, I may never sleep again, period.
Thankfully Daniel came up with a plan, because my brain couldn’t get past “GET OUT!” and “LOCK THE DOOR BEHIND YOU!”
Here was the plan: Daniel would scope out the situation in the living room and see if he could duct-tape over the yellow jackets’ Gateway to Paradise while I went online to look for the nearest beekeeper/environmentally friendly insect remover/who-am-I-kidding, someone to fumigate the entire zip code.
I made a beeline (sorry, couldn’t pass that one up) for the computer upstairs, slamming doors behind me and lying to myself that surely those flimsy slabs of wood would keep the critters out, despite the glaring fact that not even drywall could stop them.
Count Your Yellow Jackets; Name Them One by One
After about five phone calls to no avail (apparently it’s wise to schedule your bee-related emergencies for non-weekend hours), I finally got ahold of someone who was willing to leave his dinner on the table and come to our assistance. (There’s a teeny chance I sounded a little deranged by this point, so he might not have felt like he had much of a choice.)
The beekeeper arrived in his head-to-toe bee suit and confirmed our suspicions. “Yep, you’ve got yellow jackets. Probably two to three hundred in your house, and that’s a lowball.”
As I darted to the relative safety of the great outdoors, it occurred to me how quickly my priority list had been turned upside down. When my feet hit the ground that morning, my main concern had been having a sparkly-clean home for our guests, but now, suddenly, all I cared about was that it was bee-free.
Toilet scrubbing isn’t a bad thing, of course, but it can be if it becomes all-important. And I had to wonder: What else needs to shift in my priorities so I can keep the main things the main things? One thing was certain: God would go to great lengths to get my attention. And I had two hundred yellow jackets to prove it.
[Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the story!]