The chore of weeding has its pleasures, too

Like a kid taking his bike for a ride on the first warm day of the year, I couldn't wait to mow my little patch of grass, fertilize and pull weeds this past Saturday.

Next, I'll prep the raised beds for our garden, and pull more weeds.

After that, I'll repair our water-saving irrigation system, which is a sprinkler attached to a hose, and pull more weeds.

By then, the ants will have arrived for the annual invasion so I will kill them right after I pull weeds.

The fence needs mending, which I'll get to soon enough, right after I pull weeds.

I also plan on painting the trellis, which I'll do as soon as the weeds get pulled.

Of course, every weekend I pick up piles of dog poop, which tend to hide under weeds that I need to pull.

Sheila will plant four o'clocks, my dear late mother's favorite flower, but not before I pull the weeds out of the flower garden.

We'll also plant morning glories, which grow fast and cover the chain-link fence so we don't have to look at our neighbor's weeds, which never get pulled, just as soon as I pull the weeds on my side of the fence.

We'll also clean debris from the yard where the grandkids will have all kinds of summertime adventures, and I'll pull more weeds.

When I was a kid, my older brother had the glory job of mowing the lawn. I had to rake the grass into piles and my little brother got to put the piles of grass into bags for the garbage collectors.

But first, we all got to pull weeds. Every Saturday morning of spring and summer, after we made our beds and before we could go play baseball, we did yard work. I didn't mind any of it, except for pulling the weeds.

Dad told us we had to pull them out root and all or they'd grow back. But that was just a lie. For every weed we'd pull, 10 more would pop up overnight.

When I became an adult and a homeowner, I had one of the nicest lawns in the neighborhood. It was a point of pride that was instilled in me before I finished grammar school.

But I never did learn to like pulling weeds. I much preferred using weed-killing granules or sprays, but they didn't seem to work much better than the backbreaking method I learned as a boy.

Once the weed pulling is done, Sheila and I will sit in the yard and sip cold lemonade and she will invariably say, "You missed one."

Oh well. At least you can't beat the weather this early in February.

• • •

Speaking of the weather, this stupid flu-cold that seems to be going around infected me in December and didn't go away until this past weekend.

I'm one of those men who only goes to the doctor when he can't stop the bleeding, but I finally broke down after missing two days' worth of work.

While waiting in a room full of people who felt just as miserable as I did, this man who would not shut up about all kinds of conspiracies - he was an expert on every conspiracy theory you can think of - said something rude to the poor overworked receptionist.

Specifically, he called her the "B" word, something that apparently offended every person in the office - young, old, male, female - we were all in agreement the man was a jackass and a weakling.

When she asked him to repeat what he said, he was silly enough to oblige her.

It was refreshing to see almost every male in the office jump on him with both feet. Not in the literal sense, but he was shouted down by all of us.

Apparently sensing we were all conspiring against him, he left - and he was in a hurry.

The receptionist thanked us for defending her honor and a couple of people applauded.

For some reason, I felt just a little bit better knowing that was one weed that would not be coming back.