I always expected to miss my Dad. I expected to miss his “dad jokes” and his subsequent full-bellied laughs. I expected to miss seeing his name pop up on my phone and hearing his voice on the other end. I expected to miss his gourmet cooking and the contented look he got as he sang along to Bob Dylan. I expected to miss how I felt when he’d put his arms around me, kiss my head and whisper “I love you, Kiddo.” And I really expected to miss his incomparable way with words, paired with his hearty, rhythmic voice. Somehow, amid all my other expectations, there are some things I never expected to miss; things like…pest control. Yes, I really miss my Dad’s ability to control pests.
This new way of missing my dad came to me just as I drifted off to sleep last night. I heard a faint, but unmistakeable, high-pitched buzzing. I flipped on the lights and set out on an extremely serious 30-minute mission to find the perpetrating mosquito — but my efforts were in vain. When I’d finally fallen back to sleep, I was more than a little annoyed to hear scratching and gnawing from every pet within in 10-foot radius (which was approximately 6 pets). Again, lights on, in fully-agitated-inspection-mode. FLEAS. Visible, numerous, hateful hoards of fleas. So, naturally, I began an immediate round of militant-style flea baths. 90-minutes and a mild-to-moderate case of scoliosis later, the sun was just peaking up in the East and I instinctively went to the kitchen to make some coffee. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I began to tear up a little when I saw a small army of ants marching single-file along the kitchen counter.
At the very moment I began making drastic considerations (such as shaving each pet bald and burning the house to the ground…just to name a few), a familiar, colorful paper-back book caught my attention. There it was. As if it was a sign from above, my dad’s book — Dead Snails Leave No Trails.
I opened it up. Page 63: Mosquitoes. Page 82: Fleas. Page 10: Ants. And just like that — problems solved.
I miss my dad. I miss him for who he was. I miss him for what he did — and I certainly miss him for how he did it. In fact, each day I find new ways to miss him. But, just as he did in life, my dad continues to teach me how to solve all of life’s problems, both big and (in this case) very very small.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is…here are some helpful organic remedies from the late, great Loren Nancarrow, a man who sure knew a lot about a lot — yes, even pest control.