Bringing the Outdoors In… I didn’t mean literally!

I already talked about keeping up with the neighbors in the yard department. I am still falling woefully short, but I do my part. I even brought in a lovely display of iris and peonies to set on the entertainment center. Okay, so they were the ones about to flop into the lawn mower’s path and I was saving them – or so I thought, because most of the things wilted and died about eight hours later. What can I say? I tried.

But the whole idea of brining the outdoors in got a tad too literal for us this year. Two words: elm seeds.

Our neighborhood is full of trees – it was one of the things I liked about the neighborhood when we bought the house. (Slight digression here – when we bought our house, we had all of one choice. We needed a house we could move into right away, and this one fit the bill. I hate that house. Always have. But now that I’ve practically killed myself doing work on it, and have imposed permanent injury in the task, you might as well start digging the plot because I’m going to be buried in the back yard. Anyway…) The problem is most of these trees are Dutch Elm, and Dutch Elm disease has run rampant among them in recent years. Somehow, though, the Dutch Elm is pretty resilient as a species (genus? Whatever) and for every tree that is cut down due to disease, five more spring up. I spend my life trying to kill volunteer trees. (Shh… don’t tell all the tree huggers I do that. But if they want to pay to fix my foundation after it cracks thanks to the root system, they can be my guest.)

This year, however, the seeds that normally spring out in small patches on each tree practically covered them all. Green trees were brown with them, making them look like they were blooming with ugly flowers. And then the winds came. Seeds everywhere. My garden? Covered in them. I don’t mean that as a few scattered here and there. I mean you can’t see the dirt because it’s completely carpeted with seeds. My sidewalk and patio are just as bad, and there’s no getting rid of them. The second you sweep them away, five hundred more fall in their place. You’d think we’d run out of them soon, but no such luck. My favorite little writing spot on the patio is useless – unless I am in the mood to extricate millions of seeds from my laptop keyboard.

What tore it, though, was the other night when I changed the sheets on my bed. What did I find between the bottom sheet and the mattress pad? Elm seeds. How the hell did they get there? I had been vacuuming up tons of them for weeks since they track easily, but in the bed?? This has gone way too far, thankyouverymuch. I think it’s time to leave the outdoors out, and keep seeds out of my bed.

Of course, it could be worse. We had a nice little thunderstorm the other night with 70+ mile per hour winds. Nearly sent the neighbor’s Dutch Elm right through our bedroom roof. I have three wonderful friends in New York who are complaining about the heat, and I’m just praying it gets over 70 here so I can take the kids to the pool. Still, I’m counting my blessings. We only had seeds in the bed, not the entire tree. It can so stay outside where it belongs.

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