Oh the follies of being a reluctant gardener and landscape maintenance technician. After we had been in our home for a couple of years–you know, settled in but still haven’t mastered the lay of the land–I went out and bought a new hose attachment. It seemed as though each summer we needed to replace one; thus, this go ‘round, I spent a little more time searching for just the right kind. I especially needed something heavy duty enough to withstand the playful abuse from children. I was sure I had found it.

As soon as I returned home, I immediately opened, attached it and began to play around with the various settings. One notch was for a fine mist that seemed more fun than useful. Another seemed quite useful for watering down the flowerbeds–it sprayed more like a showerhead. Then, I found the jet stream. Very Interesting.

Since our brick-colored paver patio was in desperate need of a clean, I thought this particular setting would be a great tool to power wash it. The stream was nowhere near as powerful as one of those actual power washer thingamabobs, but it probably could have stripped some of the paint off the shake siding. Feeling clever, I pointed the nozzle at the pavers and blasted away.

Now imagine Tom Hanks in Castaway when he created fire. This was me, beaming with pride as I hosed down the patio. Dirt blew out of every pore and crevice. I was doing a happy dance! “Dirt! I have power cleaned dirt from patio! Ahahahaha!” I had found a new tool and a new toy that made a job fun and easy–so I thought.

Can you see where this is going yet? Have you anticipated the havoc I wreaked upon my future self? Now, fast forward about two weeks. It was a perfect late-summer evening–not too hot and not too humid, with just a subtle breeze. While my husband was grilling brats, I relaxed at the patio table and sipped my wine. When the brats were finished he brought them over to the table, but dropped one on the way. He picked it up and set it aside. Within seconds an army of ants burst out from between our pavers to pluck up the greasy remnants. They popped out of there so quickly and with such a force it reminded me of the scarabs from The Mummy. All I could do was stare.

We had been grilling in that same spot since we moved in and food had been dropped, especially with young children around, a number of times with no issue. I had never seen such a sight, but didn’t think much of it at the time. I was fascinated, but still clueless. A couple of weeks later I noticed a few weeds beginning to creep up between some of the pavers. I quickly pulled them, naively thinking that would be the end of it.

Another few weeks went by when I noticed the army of ants had multiplied three-fold. Tall mounds of sand seemed to have formed overnight and more weeds popped through. What the hell?!? We were being taken over. I couldn’t believe that the grease from one fricken brat could have caused such a problem. And then…then, I remembered. THE JET STEAM!

It wasn’t dirt I had been blasting away. It was the paver sand used to seal the joints! Yes ladies and gentlemen, in my jet stream creating moment of premature pride, I had thoroughly removed the very sealer that was used to lock the blocks in place, seal the joints and block out the ants and the weeds. I’ll take my dramatic bow of shame now.

Sleep tight for me. I’m gone!


About Jan Rain

See the About page. View all posts by Jan Rain

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