Thursday, September 10, 2009

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

How often have you said that? Well, I got a good healthy dose of reality, math, etc. this summer.

One thing that I love about summer is having a garden. I love my little garden. I wish it were bigger, but other than that I appreciate it in every way. I love watching my baby learn to pick cherry tomatoes right off the vine and eat it right there and the smile she gives me that says she totally just accomplished something cool. I love having fresh salad with dinner. I love playing in the water. I love checking to see each morning if there is something there for me- ripe and ready. Santa in the summer?
So, when June brought an abundance of rain (I love that too), it also brought with it an infestation of grasshoppers (I’m guessing it was the rain). Every day, I’d go out and find them all feasting upon my blessed garden and I began to feel frustrated. Like my children, they didn’t respond well to a verbal bashing.

I hated to see my garden eaten up by those dang pests. I also hated the idea of adding poison to my otherwise organic veggies. Then the idea was born: Put my kids to work. Give them a challenge with incentive. I told them that if they would go out and catch the grasshoppers to save our garden and feed our gecko, I would pay them ten cents a piece. That seemed fair. It would save money in that we wouldn’t have to buy crickets to feed Spike anyway. I figured that even if they each earned ten or fifteen dollars over the summer, that is a good allowance. Brilliant, eh? Everybody wins- and the grasshoppers die! Yes!

Well, the kids hopped right on board. They each grabbed a mason jar and set out to hunt. I was reveling in the fact that my simple plan was working so well. The first few grasshoppers caught were a celebration! I praised the kids and told them to get some more. Then I went inside to make dinner.

My first inclination that there was a flaw in my plan was after no more than five minutes Braydon came in with about 56 crickets!!! FIFTY-SIX!!!! Oh my, did my son just earn a wage of $5.60 in 5 minutes??? Followed by Sommer and Chase with forty-something each and wanted more jars. My eyes were bigger than a summer plum.
Each day that followed, I figured the “grasshopper well” would dry up at any moment, but that didn’t seem to be the case at all. In fact, my kiddos were becoming very proficient exterminators. And our lizard was growing fat and happy. The little chart that hung on the fridge was full-- FULL I say, of little marks that symbolized .10 each.
This is absolutely a lesson about how little things do add up quickly. Maybe I will start saving my dimes for Christmas money.

Now here we are at the end of the summer and I owe each of my kids over $300.
(How on earth did we have that many grasshoppers?!?)

Yes, my garden was saved and is still thriving but it looks like I will be bottling salsa not to keep this year, but to sell. Also for sale are my right arm and Wade’s left kidney.

Any takers?


The Lowerys said...

Wow! I can't believe that you had that many grasshoppers! And how much you owe your kids for getting them out of the garden! But atleast you have beautiful, yummy vegetables to eat! If I lived up that way I'd buy a jar of your salsa to help out!

Neika Boulter said...

oh crazy!! And also,.....way to funny!!!

north5 said...

We are laughing so hard. That is the best story ever! I love it. I would have never expected they would catch that many. Crazy!