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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Chickweed Chick....

Chickweed Chick

Arbor Day,cares,conservation,dirt,Earth Day,environmental issues,environments,females,gardening,gardens,girls,greens,hands,leaves,nature,people,planting,plants,seedlings,soils,womenThe weather finally cooled off and thanks to the hurricane in the Gulf, we had several days of showers and the ground was damp, perfect for weed-pulling. Furthermore, I had a three day weekend. I was out of excuses.

It has been so hot this summer that I've neglected my duty as far as yard work. I hire somebody to mow the lawn as I long ago decided that by the time you consider equipment, gasoline, labor and time, it is worth the price someone else will charge me to do it.

Pulling weeds is another matter. It doesn't take any intelligence to pull a week, just a lot of time. To me it is not worth paying someone else to do a job so trivial, so I do it myself. All I'm talking about here are the weeds that have come through the mulch around the shrubs and in my flower beds.

Usually, I stay on top of this job before it gets out of hand. This year, however, there were full grown weeds, pollinating and producing little baby weeds right in my front yard.

I searched for my garden gloves and couldn't find them, so I decided to go for it bare-handed. The weeds were a low-growing type. I'm not certain if they are called chickweed or something else and they didn't have an ID to check.

The deed turned out not to be as easy as it looked. It was back-breaking work. I would grab a weed and pull and it would pull back in an organic tug of war. I learned to grip as close to the soil as possible and wrestle furiously until it gave in. This continued for hours, sending them to weed heaven along with their babies. Seems rather sinister, but weeds are a sinister plant.

I worked down the row in front of the shrubs and then down the row behind them. I was flipping weeds over the bushes, angry that I had to do such a menial task, but knowing it had to be done or they would become uncontrollable.

Sure, I could have sprayed them with weed killer, but then they would shrivel slowly, produce as many offspring as possible, turn brown, and look horrible for at least a month. No, it was better to pull them and repair my unsightly yard. I could go back later and spray the ones that were too small for me to pull.

Now some people are opposed to killing anything green and some people are opposed to using chemicals. I'm in favor of anything that makes it easier for me to get rid of an ugly menace destroying my landscape. I will worry about being politically correct after the weeds are dead.

Most of the time the weeds would come out of the ground with my encouragement, but a few of them were the stubborn type. Instead of coming out, they broke off leaving the root in the ground to reincarnate itself.

Finally, however, I finished the dastardly deed. My hands were so black and dirty that I would have to scrub them later with soap and a scrub brush to get them clean. Why, oh, why did I do this without gloves? I did not pull the poison ivy and briars growing around a few of the bushes. I'm not that dedicated. They can wait until I either find my gloves or buy a new pair.

I raked up the weed piles and stuffed them into a green plastic bag. I was sore all over but happy to get most of the job done. With all the work that I did, you would think I could declare victory over chickweed for a while.

But that isn't the way it works with weeds. The weeds always win... eventually.

Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss

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