Tick, tick, tick goes spring bomb

By Jeff Petersen, The Observer May 10, 2012 02:59 pm
The tick Mattie the Happy Cat brought home was a miniature version of a Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade balloon.

Yes, it’s flea and tick season in Northeast Oregon. And the grass is greener right where I live.

The apple tree given to Wonder Woman and I as a wedding present from a Facebook friend in Scotland came out of the box looking like a walking stick. It is now putting on colorful blooms.

I surrounded the tree with deer repellent. So far so good.

The deer seem to have migrated up Mill Hill, perhaps afraid they would be put to work mowing the grass.

Spring is a time for new beginnings — fox kits, gosling, calves, frolicking wolf pups.

It’s also a time for political signs sprouting across the landscape. The May 15 election is fast approaching. Vote-by-mail ballots sit under large piles of political ads.

The lions, tigers and bears of the floral world — daffodils, tulips and phlox — are blooming in force.

Swallows are doing their version of online dating.

The late, great columnist Erma Bombeck once wrote, “The grass is greener over the septic tank.”

The book title was in reference to people’s notions that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

We’ll be happy when we get the new job, when we move into the new house, when we buy the new car, when we graduate from college, when the kids turn 30 and move out on their own.

The bigger point is, bloom where you are planted.

Look around. Northeast Oregon, despite the recession hanging around like unwanted house guests, is a great place to live. The Grande Ronde Valley is easy on the eyes, and the Eagle Cap range looming over Enterprise never fails to inspire.

Sure, it’s a long way to the nearest mall, or traffic jam.

And this no Shangrila. Not everyone lives to 100 and attributes their longevity to the air, water and right-leaning politics.

But the grass is greener, right here, in my yard. My mower is getting a workout. The freshly mown grass, by the way, releases a scent that is a known stress reducer. The scent almost balances out the stress of watching the grass grow an inch an hour this time of year.

And although we do have a few ticks and fleas, many places have it much, much worse. 

Still, I do have worries. I worry about paltry savings in tempermental 401Ks, and what the happy cat will drag in next.


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