This is what happened recently: we had a friend over do the big circa-Labor Day stiltgrass pull… Hey, the BCS was working! It was broken the past two Labor Days, leaving us with seas of invasive Japanese stiltgrass left unmowed. Chop this annual grass before it flowers/sets seed, 'round now.
We'd been running hard all day. String trimmer, scythe, BCS' flail mower, clippers, loppers, hand pulling. The works. We made great progress, the four of us. Our family and our friend, Tom.
After lunch, we went back out. We'd been chasing the shade all day, but I directed Tom and myself to the sunny blueberry area to yank more stiltgrass that was swamping the patch. I got to the third bush and felt a fiery sting on my ring finger. I pulled my gloved hand up and a yellow jacket was clinging on to my finger. I screamed. "I got stung!" I shouted to Tom. I ran to the house. I looked back out the window, and Tom continued to work. He's a dedicated fellow.
I needed to go back and warn everyone. I ran back out and I saw an angry storm of wasps where I had been working. Jared was running the flail mower. Beren was clipping invasives. Tom was pulling weeds.
I screamed over the noise. "BEES! BEES!" and corrected myself and began yelling "WASPS! WASPS! WASPS!" (Naturalist here). I ran back towards the house and got stung again on the shoulder. I tore off Jared's long sleeved shirt I'd put on to protect myself while string trimming and weeding. I went inside. One of them followed me in and stung the other shoulder.
I was SCREAMING! THEY ARE STINGING ME IN THE HOUSE! THEY ARE FOLLOWING ME!
Everyone else was ok. After an antihistamine and multiple homeopathics, herbs, poultices, and doses of vitamin C...I am ok, too.
At the end of the day, Jared and I stood at the kitchen sink, looking at my swollen hand. "By the way, happy anniversary," he said. We laughed. "I think I am better hydrated today than on our wedding day."
Later, we were in Clinton and two guys were busking, playing jazz. Jared tossed money in their case. I ventured, "Hey, it's our anniversary. Do you know any short, sweet songs? Maybe something sassy?"
The musicians smiled and greeted us. "How about 'All the Things You Are'?" Jared asked. "That's your wedding song?" the guitarist asked. "Nope, it was 'Sleepwalk' by Santo and Johnny," Jared said. "I kinda know that one," the guitarist said. He began noodling on 'Sleepwalk'. Meanwhile, the horn player launched into 'All the Things You Are'. The guitarist followed.
Jared and I linked arms. Beren wedged himself between us and began to wiggle and protest. "Another song!" he demanded. "You can settled down or wait in the car," I said. He chose the former, and we enjoyed the song all together. I put more money in the case. "No, no, you don't have to," one of the musicians said. I've paid more money for things I didn't want, I thought. A sweet jazz request from real live musicians on my anniversary, that's worth scraping the wallet for extra cash.
As we pulled away, Jared said, "I think they're playing 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore' by Duke Ellington."