Flying Gazebos and Other Perils of Life

Flying Gazebos and Other Perils of Life

My favourite season of the year is spring, when we begin to thaw out  after the long cold winter and things start blooming. It reminds me of a promise – the promise of a warm and sunny glorious summer! Until the wasps come.

Having once been stung more than 30 times, I can honestly say I hate them.

I discovered wasps had taken up residence behind my shutters on my house when I went to remove them to repaint them. So I offered my brother, who always needs money, $200 to go up and bring them down. He jumped at the chance for easy money. After climbing up the ladder to the second story of my house, he removed the shutters, threw them to the ground and quickly descended the ladder in a visible state of agitation.

“Holy cow” he exclaimed, there’s thousands of wasps up there!
“Why do you think I was paying you so much money just to remove the shutters?” I told him. “Consider it danger pay”. My next goal was to create an outdoor space on my back deck, so we bought a gazebo. It didn’t take long for the wasps to find it and start building a nest.

My daughter’s boyfriend decided he would earn some brownie points by offering to remove the nest. Armed with nothing more than a broom handle, he ventured outside and started poking the nest. I could see what was going to happen so I quickly closed the patio doors. As the wasps came out in force, said boyfriend ran for the door screaming “Let me in”. Well, there was no chance of that; if I opened the door the wasps would get in, so I quickly locked it. I’m not a cold hearted person though, so I did eventually open the door and let him in – after the wasps had gone away.

Wasp-free, my gazebo was now perfect for sitting out on warm summer evenings. I purchased a few comfortable chairs, some side tables, and plants, and surrounded the deck with solar powered patio lights. It was divine!

Until the first storm of the season, when the winds picked up my gazebo and tossed it about, twisted metal lying amid the devastation of knocked over tables and plants.

Not to be deterred, we purchased another gazebo – a bigger gazebo, a better gazebo. This one was screwed to the deck and had netting all around it. Paradise!

Until the second storm of the season, which was one week after we had put up the gazebo. Still fastened to the deck, the gazebo still managed to become twisted and mangled. We complained to the store and they gave us our money back.

Our next gazebo came from TSC which is more of a farm country type of store. Surely their gazebos were better. After we had put it up and fastened it to the deck, we added some carpeting and a beautiful chandelier style light in the middle. We even purchased more plants and some outdoor drapes to block the western sun in the afternoon and to give us some privacy. We were the envy of our neighbours.

Until the third storm of the season. The entire gazebo collapsed in on itself, destroying the beautiful chandelier.

Undeterred, my husband bought some metal bars to reinforce the parts of the gazebo frame that had broken or twisted. Success!

Until the fourth storm of the season. The reinforced parts of the frame held up very well, but everywhere that wasn’t reinforced was broken and twisted. No problem – we were pros by this time. More metal bars, more reinforcement. We were so confident by this time that we even put a new Edison light bulb in the chandelier and hung it back up. My paradise was restored.

Then the next storm hit. We were home at this point and as I heard the winds pick up from my office upstairs, I quickly ran downstairs, screaming “Protect the gazebo”. I wanted my husband to go out on the deck and loosen the canvas from the frame, believing that would stop the gazebo from damage. He disagreed and decided to hold onto the frame, to hold it down so that the wind couldn’t take it away.

I watched him through the patio door as the wind picked up and lifted him off the deck. Then I saw lightning. I asked him if he thought it was wise to be holding a metal rod with lightning happening. He assured me this was a better solution than loosening the canvas.
After checking the double indemnity clause on his life insurance policy, I decided he could do as he pleased. In the end though, he is fine.

The gazebo did not fare well – the final storm of the season destroyed it one last time.  I console myself with the knowledge that it was never up long enough for the wasps to rebuild their nasty little nest.

 

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